Just around the corner from the bustling Mercat de Santa Catalina on Carrer de Pou, is a fairly unassuming doorway, which you could be mistaken for thinking leads into a pretty looking craft shop. Well you would be half right. However, what lies behind that front entrance is so very much more.
As you step into the cool oasis the first thing that you notice is the light. It is filled with natural sunlight, streaming in from the back terrace where white shading voiles gently waft in the breeze. You can feel the energy of the place bouncing off the light stone walls, covered in the artwork of the week, this time stunning photographs of African women. The natural muted surroundings really make the photos and the soft furnishings pop. If I could choose a season the help describe this restaurant then it would be Spring. It has the feel of freshness, of new life, of well-being. This was a motif I came to over and again during our two hours in the restaurant.
Temple is a Vegetarian Cocina or Kitchen with a very simple concept that of Plant B or Plant-Based diets. Essentially, the plan is that you only eat unrefined foods that are barely cooked. It is about using your energy for the right things, so rather than expending all of the energy in your body trying to break down and process foods that are of no benefit, instead, you can eat easily digestible food and can appoint your energy to better, more fun things.
One of the interesting things that Gary, owner and Plan B expert tells us is about Gluten. We all hear the words gluten free banded about these days and how people are trying gluten free diets, some to no affect. However, there’s a very good reason why you may not notice the expected difference after two or three weeks, and that’s because it takes a whopping 40 days to rid your system of gluten. So if you are trying a new gluten free diet, Gary suggests that you check in around the two month mark to see the benefits.
The next fascinating fact imparted in mine and my ever-fabulous photographer, Anouska’s crash course in Plant B, is that when people tell you to chew your food well, it’s not just to break the food up, but because the saliva in our mouths acts as a pre-digestive. We essentially have a two-step digestive process, the mouth and the gut and raw food works very well in both of these situations, to the extent that every single thing we will be eating will be burnt successfully by our bodies that day.
Armed with our new knowledge and very hopeful that by the time we come to leave, our former sluggish selves would be a thing of the past, we turned our attention to the menu. One of the things that Gary says it is imperative that we understand is that what we will be trying are not substitutes. He uses the example of a burger, rightly pointing out that if you use, for example, tofu instead of ground beef, this can never be a compared as it is not a substitute, it is simply a new version and so will therefore not taste the same. This is something he feels is very important for his customers to understand.
We decide to start with the poached eggs and avocado on integral bread, a firm breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack favourite of mine. The integral bread, Gary tells us, has been left to prove for 48 hours in order to lose the gluten, something that fast bakeries don’t do. It’s tasty and crunchy, the avocado is ripe and full of the flavours of Mediterranean fields and the poached egg oozes its sunshine yoke over the plate. It’s delicious.
It’s now time to dig into the real dishes of the concept and we share the Raw Bowl, made up of a mix of green leaves, daikon noodles, rocket pesto, sunflower paste, fermented red cabbage, wakame, nori roll, sprouts, yellow cashew dressing, ginger and turmeric, decorated with beautiful purple and pink flowers. Once again I am brought back to thoughts of spring. We are informed that everything in the bowl is edible and as the sprouts have been germinated, that much of the bowl is living food. It’s really beautiful.
The second dish we chose to share was the Pad Thai and this is where the idea behind it not being a substitute comes in, as the noodles are made of vegetables, in this case courgettes, but these will not taste the same as typical udon noodles. The dish was made from a base of zucchini noodles, daikon and carrots, with marinated and sautéed tofu, ginger and garlic. It is served with a sauce of butter of peanuts, coriander, black sesame seeds and mixed sprouts. It is equally lovely in design, with fantastic attention to aesthetic detail.
As many of you know this style of food is outside my general comfort zone and some of the elements are an acquired taste for my palate, as it is not necessarily used to such flavour combinations and I will definitely be back to educate that palate as I honestly believe the health benefits are beyond measure and that the philosophy behind Temple is a great one. A happy gut is a happy body, so it really is time to start treating it like the Temple that it is, and this wonderfully bright and airy restaurant can definitely get us all on the right track!
Carrer de Pou, 24, PALMA DE MALLORCA
Open Tuesday- Saturday – 09:30 – 17:00
Tel: +34 06 98 14 50 06