August 06 2011
Whatever the weather, I’ve always had a soft spot for a good, hearty Sunday lunch. Something uncooked such as salad, or light like fish, just won’t do. So as soon as we arrived in the pretty Mallorcan town of Pollença we headed straight to El Moli, recommeded to us for its three-course Sunday lunch.
El Moli is an unpretentious place, situated on the edge of the town, that was created from a former windmill (hence the name). But what it offers is authentically Mallorcan food in a relaxed, convivial setting. And with its small windows and high-pitched roof, it’s cool and airy, offering refuge from the heat. So, swapping our typical weekend visit to London’s Columbia Road flower market for Pollença’s buzzy market in the town square, and having booked a table at El Moli (advisable, otherwise you’ll probably have to queue), we admired the hydrangeas and freesias and worked up an appetite sampling local olives and inhaling the sweet, sticky smell of fresh strawberries.
The market is clearly popular with the many German and British who have settled in this quieter corner of the island. But at El Moli it was Mallorquin that was in the ascendence. Here, congregated at big tables, were multi-generational families enjoying their Sunday lunch. Outside, customers who had opted for a takeaway option were waiting for their orders; every so often a couple of waiters would carry heavy foil-covered trays stuffed with paella out to the boot of a waiting car.
Meanwhile, our table began to fill up with homemade bread, olives, slices of green capiscums and lemon and a bottle of thoroughly drinkable red wine. Choosing from the three options on the board for starters and mains, we began with paella and followed it with cochinillo al horno (pictured) – Mallorcan suckling pig with cracking and meat that just fell off the bone. And finished with a melt-in-the-mouth lemon dessert. So good was the lunch here (€15 each) that we headed back in midweek.