One of the best Indian restaurants in Palma

If you come to my house, I will take care of you

Shahin Awal

The romantic ambience of Shahin Awal’s Indian restaurant in Palma’s Santa Catalina district owes much to a love story.

The charming chef/patron left his native Bangladesh when he was just 16 years old, because he couldn’t marry the love of his life. He escaped his family, without saying where he was going. Comparing himself to Huckleberry Finn, Shahin says, “If someone made a film about my story, it would win an Oscar!”

Seeking a quiet life – in what was then a quiet country – Shahin came to Spain and worked in restaurants in Madrid, then opened his own place, with a partner.

After selling the business, the chef worked in the catering sector, spending a year each in Spain and Japan, before returning to Spain. During a holiday on Mallorca in 1993, the passionate hiker fell in love with the Serra de Tramuntana. He made the island his new home and business location

Shahin takes care of every aspect of his Basmati restaurant: shopping for the fresh, seasonal ingredients; supervising the kitchen; and looking after his diners, with his customary warm smile and gentle manner.

His delicious mildly spiced cuisine is also healthy and, as well as the tasting menu (which he carefully plans and changes every day), he offers gluten-free menus: “I want to take care of people.” Shahin even grows his own herbs he uses in his ecological garden.

Because he’d had his heart broken, Shahin wanted Basmati to be romantic; the décor includes strewn rose petals and subtle lighting. He sees himself in couples, and treats diners as though he himself were sitting at the table. “If you come to my house, I will take care of you.”

The restaurateur isn’t passionate about money – but about people. “Don’t love with your head, love with your heart,” is his life’s motto. His values of respect, generosity, honesty, and a passion for his work and for people, shine through at Basmati. “When you come here, you have to open your mind and your heart,” says the man with the romantic soul.

Address details

Basmati Indian Restaurant

C/ Caro, 7, Palma

Dr. Helen Cummins is a lifestyle editor, publisher and successful entrepreneur, who has lived and worked in Palma de Mallorca for the past 20 years. She started in 2003 which has grown into one of the island’s largest websites with over 6 million visits per annum.

Her website is a compilation of all the things she values since moving to the island, running hc/ Digital Media and creating an idyllic life in Son Vida with her husband Georg and daughter Eva.

Slow Luxury Living is what sits at the heart of the hc/ website, which aims to inspire people to slow down and appreciate the Mediterranean lifestyle. Alongside her editorial team, Helen handpicks businesses and places that adhere to SLOW: Sustainable, Local, Organic and made with Love.