Saturday, 31 August 2013


My great friend Amanda is always keen to try out different places and was recommended Sa Naveta by a local who said it was one of the best new restaurants of the year. It is in the middle of Binibeca Vell which is probably best described as a tiny hamlet close to the beach & it has a chilled lounge vibe with billowing curtains, lots of white with accents of blue, and a spacious, relaxed environment. Amanda previously had such a good lunch there with her family, we went back with her a couple of days later.

Menorca is the most fantastic island in the sunshine however when it rains there is not much to do - you can either go shopping although that will take under an hour or you can have a long lunch. You probably won't be surprised to hear that I went for the latter and this was the day we tried Sa Naveta and it turned out to be the most wonderful wonderful day!!

My fiancĂ©, the children and I arrived before Amanda and her family and were warmly welcomed by Marta & Charo, the sisters that own the restaurant. We were shown to our table and promptly ordered drinks - Marta immediately turned her attention to my daughter Arabella and gave her a special plate setting, a straw for her drink and a little bowl of crisps - I have never heard Arabella say grazias so much! Marta then realised we were all chowing down on her crisps so bought out more for us - that went perfectly with our sangria which was slipping down very nicely.

Amanda, her husband, her two boys and parents arrived and despite only eating at the restaurant once before, it was kisses all round as if they were part of the restaurant family. A couple of gin and tonics were ordered and Marta served these with a pink gin and poured the tonic first and then the gin down a swizzle stick - they were so good that we all had to try one of them too!

The menu was varied - there was a menu del dia for 20 euros which was three courses, bread, wine and water and included croquettes, paella and a chocolate pudding - or there was tapas, fresh fish, burger, pasta and so on plus a children's menu.

While we discussed the menu and finished our drinks we snacked on ham croquettes (my favourite) and ham with tomato bread (another favourite).

Both were delicious - the bread very fresh and ham thinly cut and tender and the croquettes crispy on the outside but soft & tasty on the inside.

I then shared the tuna tataki with my friend's husband Boris - it was delicious and was perfect as a starter or main. The tuna was cooked on the outside and raw in the middle and drizzled with a sweet soy sauce and it came with a juicy big prawn and potatoes. It was very good to try a different fish in Menorca compared to my usual mussels, prawns or squid.

Pascal had beef carpaccio with parmesan which he said was extremely good - I obviously had to have a taste and he was right (for once)!

To follow I then had the cannelloni - I had high hopes as cannelloni was a favourite childhood dish of mine in Menorca as they do it differently to over here - I was impressed. Marta explained it was a recipe passed down from her "mama" and it was cheesy and creamy and meaty all at the same time.

Pascal being a fellow piglet had a "fideua de marisco" which is a paella but with fideua which is a kind of noodle or in his words a cross between rice and pasta. Even though the dish feeds two, he managed to have most of it and we all couldn't resist a taste as well. It is something I had never tried before but definitely will again.

Boris had been told the burger was one of the best on the island and so he went for that. It was stuffed with two patties, cheese, bacon, egg and jalapenos - no idea how he managed to get it in his mouth but he did and gave it the two thumbs up.

Amanda and her mother went for gratinated cod served on a bed of green vegetables and potatoes - in the name of research I had to try this as well and I was pleasantly surprised. I had eaten something similar in Mallorca several years ago and not been a fan. This however tasted fresh and the mayonnaise and cheese were light and not overpowering.

My eldest stepdaughter has parpadelle with vegetables and a carbonara sauce. Once again this was heavenly.

Everyone else cleared their plates before I could take a photo including the kiddies which is always a good sign.

While we relaxed over drinks and coffees the children were treated to ice creams by Marta and Charo and they even entertained them. Marta noticed my daughter's nail polished was chipped so very kindly gave her her own bottle and even painted Arabella's nails. Baby Rafferty was asleep in his pram and so the sisters bought him a jumper to wrap round him. Then to give us some peace and quiet they put cartoons on for the children (that is after a game of it around the restaurant)! 

We could not have been made more welcome or treated better, the service was unbelievable and I think the friendliest I have ever had. I have to say this is one of the most surprising meals I have ever had and I will definitely be coming back year after year.

Sa Naveta
Complejo Turistico Binibeca Vell
Local No. 26
07711 Binibeca Vell (Sant Lluis)

Tel: 00 34 665 574 768

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