Naan, the friendly side of Santa Catalina

Anticuchos

Anticuchos Credit: Naan Street Food

Naan is inspired by street food, offering original takes on recipes from around the world in a relaxed atmosphere.

In the cramped Santa Catalina district, it is great to come across this little restaurant on the edge of the fray.

Chef/owner Nicholas Malenchini has the best credentials to create a cool but unpretentious street food restaurant. Originally from Buenos Aires, he opened Naan with his friend Matty around 2016.

Duke and beatnik Tahini

Before that he was head chef at two acclaimed restaurants: Duke, in the heart of Santa Catalina, and the beatnik Tahini Purohotel restaurant in Palma.

Nick says they opened the restaurant without any wait staff or money but with a huge amount of support from friends and family. It began as a return to the source, to the street, to the markets which form an integral part of any journey – and the surrounding district.

The two friends had originally wanted to just run it from a food truck, but perhaps there were simply too many good ideas to fit into that limited format.

The restaurant soon found a place in the hearts of locals due to the quality of the products and the intense flavors of the dishes, which take you on an effortless trip around the world.

Naan is just north of the exaggeratedly fashionable district of Santa Catalina, on the way to Calle Industria. It is small, cosy even, but not cramped.

To step through the door is to feel at home, welcomed by a smiling face. Nick says the most important thing about a restaurant is the team behind it, and the attentive hostess would make anyone feel at ease. In the open kitchen, a genie and an international helper contribute global influences.

Restaurant with a great atmosphere

There are both high chairs to perch at high tables and others at a conventional height.

Whether for a snack or a full meal, this is a great pop-in place. And for a lighter mid-day meal, a couple of starters is more than enough.

There are so any dishes to recommend it is hard to know where to start.

Thai curry croquettes are €2.50 each, then there is a zingy ceviche, fish taco, kimchee salad, delicious pakoras.

Main courses range from €15 to €23, with half portions available from €8. Butter chicken at €19 is a free-range chicken breast simmered in a mild tomato sauce with spices and coconut milk, served with almonds, coriander, papadums and basmati rice.

More upmarket options include a lobster sandwich for €22.

Original desserts for €3, €5 or €7 include a mango crumble, chocolate brownie, crème brulee with coconut, a darling individual pavlova, and an elegant expresso martini.

Scandanavians love it here

Around half the guests are locals. The rest are foreigners, a large proportion of whom are Scandinavians.

Accompanied by The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed

All the dishes are crisply and photogernically presented, as are the many exquisite cocktails. And the ambient music put together by Nico is full of cool, resonant classics such as the Stones and Lou Reed.

Naan is on Carrer Caro at the corner of Carrer des Pou.

Reservation is recommended: 971 91 55 22

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Annie christmas in the Bay of Palma
Written by

Annette Christmas

Annie Christmas loves language and communication. A long-time resident of Mallorca, she enjoys an outdoor life of cycling, horse riding and mountain walking, as well as the wealth of concerts and cultural events on the island. She also plays fiddle in a traditional Mallorcan dance troupe.

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