By Lisa on Aug 03, 2013 with Comments 2
The first time I went to the Red Rum in Alcudia was two years ago and it was by accident. Normally I would not dream of going to a restaurant in Spain called the Red Rum. Just the name conjures up images of British tourists sitting around a TV watching their favourite soaps from home whilst swilling beer and contentedly chomping on some leather-tough meat because they “don’t want none o’ that foreign muck”.
Yep, I’m a snob. And I look down my nose at people who go to Spain and want English. There you have it.
How I got the best steak in Alcudia by accident
The first time I went to the Red Rum, Toni and I were actually going to another place for dinner: a new trendy chill-out place in the same area, Barcares. A restaurant which, incidentally, is no longer there.
This trendy place was full and there was no possibility of eating there. So, hungry, we decided to eat at the Red Rum, the only other restaurant in the area, and we thought we’d have a laugh.
Indeed we did have a laugh, but we also got much more….
The Red Rum: A place of contrasts
Now don’t get me wrong: what I’ve said above about a tacky British pub is not that far from the truth here, but despite this, the place is great.
Firstly, it is right on the edge of the bay of Pollensa, almost secluded on it’s own beach but with a magnificent view out over the bay and with all the outdoor tables facing Pollensa Bay.
The interior decor leaves a lot to be desired and the place looks like it has not had a lick of paint for 30 years, which is probably about as long as the place has been there; a testament to its popularity.
70s and 80s pop music blares out of speakers and competes with the two large television screens showing sports.
The Red Rum is owned by a larger-than-life, bolshie English woman who, as far as I can tell spends every night in her bar, sitting at one of her tables bossing the staff around and chatting to the customers. I think she is one of those characters that you either love or are terrified of.
She speaks rough, northern English at a high volume. Even her Spanish sounds like rough, northern English when she speaks to the staff.
When I was there a few nights ago I went to the bathroom and there was no paper – yeah, it’s that sort of place – and when I came out to ask she said “int there none in there,” before bustling into the back to get some.
The best steak in Alcudia but the worst service in Alcudia
The waiters are a joke at the Red Rum. Okay, correction, they were a joke; I went there the other day for the first time this year and the same waiters were marginally better than previous years.
That said, I do think that the other night could have just been a fluke because really, the first time I went to the Red Rum, the service was so bad it was almost funny. In fact, we did laugh, but only at first…
Whatever we ordered, it did not come until about half an hour later, when it all came at the same time: starters, main courses and drinks.
I remember that first night we went there; we were tired, we had been working, we were working again at 8am the next day. We couldn’t get the bill. It was awful; we asked for the bill at the same time they took away the dishes. Then we asked for the bill again when they brought us the dessert menu about ten minutes later. Then we asked for the bill again when another waiter was passing. When the service had finished and the Red Rum closed the kitchen and turned into a pub, they brought nuts to the tables. Again we asked for the bill… Actually, I don’t remember leaving that night, I must have fallen asleep at the table and Toni must have carried me back home.
The funny thing was, despite their complete uselessness, the waiters were really likeable: they were smily and sweet, they were genuinely nice, and they all spoke good English and Spanish.
At first we laughed about their utter uselessness and were quite amused and endeared by it. But as we got more tired it became more tiresome.
The Best Sangria in Alcudia
That first time we went to the Red Rum we decided to go right down the tourist route and order sangria. We assumed it would be over-sweet, full of additives and from a carton. How wrong we were: it was excellent sangria; you know, the real stuff that you rarely see anymore.
It came in a jug full of fresh fruit – apples, plums and bananas, that is; fruit that the Red Rum clientele can get along with; nothing with an unpronounceable name.
The sangria, clearly homemade, was mixed with spirits, red wine and fruit, just the way it should be, and was a huge surprise for us as we were expecting something weak.
I think our already biased minds were expecting something that the tourists would accept, not knowing any different.
The Best Steak in Alcudia
When the food eventually came, it was delicious.
The melon and serrano ham starter that we shared was half a melon covered with serrano ham and presented with an artichoke in the centre. It was simple but huge, and it was good.
The main course was even better.
I had their kebab, which was huge chunks of fresh meat on a skewer, interlaced with huge chunks of fresh vegetables. Toni had the steak and it took over the whole plate.
The waiters couldn’t get much right, but apparently they did have the art of communicating steak preferences to the kitchen. Toni’s steak was perfectly cooked, just slightly over rare, and it was delicious.
My kebab was excellent. It was pork, and each enormous piece was succulent and juicy, with not a trace of fat.
The secret at the Red Rum is that all meat is barbecued, not fried. When the massive plates are carried to the tables, the smell of delicious barbecued meat wafts through the air making everyone hungry and turning all heads.
The Best Chips in Alcudia
The Red Rum can also claim the best chips in Alcudia. Their chips beat any others I’ve ever had in Mallorca hands down.
I don’t mean fries or anything that comes out of a packet; I’m talking real potatoes, cut into thick chips, deep fried to perfection, soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, glistening with oil but not greasy. I mean chips that Britain is famous for, those that you rarely even see in Britain any more. Just the thought of them makes my stomach growl.
It’s ALWAYS the best steak in Alcudia
Every time we have been back to the Red Rum, we have been back because we were so satisfied with the food the previous time. The quality of the ingredients is high, the chef clearly knows what he is doing, and the prices are reasonable. On top of that, the setting, if not the pub itself, is beautiful.
We have been several times to the Red Rum and every time: the sangria is homemade, the meat is cooked to perfection and the chips are the ones I have described above.
And, if you go there with an open mind, knowing that the service is going to be terrible but the waiters sweet, you can expect to have a laugh at the poor co-ordination. There’s no point getting upset about it, it’s not going to change. Ever. Just prepare to be there a while and go with the flow. This is not a fine-dining experience and does not pretend to be. It is real, honest down-to-earth home cooking at its very best.
For all its faults, the Red Rum has stood the test of time, is popular with both tourists and locals, and in my opinion, it is the place where you will find the best steak in Alcudia.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....