Sa Tramuntana: Mallorcan cafe made with love

by Penelope, 19/01/2016

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When you think of Mallorca, the first thing that comes to mind are probably the beaches that have earned the Balearic Isles title of “the Caribbean of Europe”. Did you know Mallorca is also famous for the traditional food and cooking it’s exported to the mainland? Sobressada (pork pâté) and ensaimadas (Danish pastries) are just two of the area’s best-loved delicacies, and are eaten all over Spain.

At first, Sa Tramuntana’s origins weren’t hugely apparent (although the name, a cold wind from the North East which blows over the Tramuntana mountain range in Mallorca and rest of the Balearic isles and Catalonia, should have given it away), but bit by bit, recognition started to seep in: when we saw the olive-flavoured flor de sal d’Es Trenc salt on the table was when it really hit home.

That said, if you go off the way the café/restaurant is decorated, you could be anywhere in the world. The styling is eclectic and fresh, with a plant wall in the secret terrace outside, bottles of wine hidden under a glass covering in the floor and -why not?- a swing in the back of the restaurant.

A café for anyone of any age

The swing is a clear child magnet, but just about anyone can enjoy a coffee in Sa Tramuntana – not just families. It’s modern enough to attract the trendiest hipsters, but the food and drink has enough substance to also be a valid choice for the pickiest classicists. We sat in the terrace outside, and for some time were the only group to be seated there, which allowed us to bask in the peace and tranquility of a good coffee. There’s also an upstairs area, which serves more as a restaurant, and a tiny shop/delicatessen inside the café, which sells Mallorcan delicacies.

A great place for a light (or not so light) lunch, we ordered several llonguets (large sandwiches), and also the tumbet (something like moussaka, but without meat). The sandwiches were delicious – served on warm, crusty bread, and containing Mediterranean combinations such as: sobressada, honey and cheese mayo; and rocket, butifarra sausage and roasted peppers. Our waitress also expained that there are also daily specials. Then, to top it off, we got the apricot ensaimada, and washed it all down with coffees, cappuccinos and beers.

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A new place to stop for coffee in Poblenou

Sa Tramuntana hasn’t been open for long (since May 2015), so we recommend it a try before the crowds discover it. In a side street just off the Rambla del Poblenou (c/Dr Trueta, 255), it’s located in a great place to avoid the main traffic of this area, but is still central. Like more or less everywhere in up-and-coming beachside Poblenou, you’ll find a few tourists, but nowhere near as many as in the heavily-transited Rambla del Poblenou.

Bad reviews?

Looking to see what other people make of Sa Tramuntana, I was quite surprised. There’s some not-so-great TripAdvisor reviews out there, which comment negatively on service and cost.

In terms of service, all I can comment is that our waitress was friendly, patient, attentive and knowledgeable about food. I’m not excluding the possibility that someone else might have had a bad experience, but comments indicating that waiting staff are prone to “hacer la pelota” (suck up) to clients seem unfair.

In terms of the cost, you’ll pay about 5-10 euros for a huge cooked sandwich heaped with delicacies, some of which are imported from Mallorca. This isn’t cheap, but I don’t think it’s wildly expensive either. Perhaps it’s a different story if you come here looking a full restaurant meal experience rather than just a coffee and a few extras.

The concept of “something for everyone” often translates as “no-one is really satisfied”, but Sa Tramuntana is a place where all types can genuinely find tranquility, comfort and good food and drink. I’d genuinely consider it one of the best cafés in Poblenou (see our list if you’d like to explore others!).

Above all, I got the impression that Sa Tramuntana – from the menu down to the plants in the garden – has been put together with love and care. And in my book, there’s no better thing that can be said of any culinary experience. Don’t just take my word for it, though – you should go and see what you think. And don’t hesitate to write in to let us know if you agree or disagree when you’re back!IMG_20151108_131516

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