Pomelo’s in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza

February 16th, 2008 - 3:00 pm Posted in pomelo's, santa eulalia | Comments (1)

“El Pomelo” – the grapefruit, that most enigmatic, bitter sweet variety of citrus fruit – is an unwitting, yet appropriate analogy for this ‘pot pourri’ of taste combinations from around the globe.

pomelo's
Justine, Briony & Stephanie

The name was inherited but, by then, Walter & Briony had already established their reputation over the road at the renowned ‘Black Cat’, before its contentious forced closure in the name of road widening – so the new name didn’t matter…

This little gem of a restaurant is attached to the fruit and vegetable market next to Santa Eulalia’s new bus station. At the magazine we’ve found it hard to categorise over the last six years and more, because it’s completely unique in a number of respects.

The first, and most obvious, is that they serve food only at lunchtime, however, with a kitchen that shuts at 5 p.m. we’re tending towards the Spanish definition of ‘lunch hour’. Nonetheless, this simple fact has taken the venue off the radar of the many people who tend to go looking for restaurants after nightfall.

This is a shame because the food here is excellent and comes in portions that challenge the appetite of a grown man, rather than painting a picture for the cameraman. It goes without saying that the presentation of the food is pleasing to the eye, but you’re more likely to be distracted by the décor of this unusual setting.

Almost every available inch of space is covered in wall-to-wall motor racing photographs and posters of pre-war Brooklands, German and Italian circuits alongside post-war motor racing heroes covered in oil and large moustaches. Almost all are ‘amateur’ rather than press or professional, making them unique. Under the gaze of these sporting icons of the past, and other unusual works of photographic art, Pomelo’s patrons tuck into their lunch or chatter over a drink, whilst the subtle sounds from the vast collection of obscure CDs tempt those gastric juices.

Walter and Briony hail from Italy and Australia respectively – an eclectic mix indeed! But the cultural influences of the menu, and indeed the whole establishment, are almost impossible to pin down. This fact is witnessed by the diversity of the clientele – every nationality is catered for, and all are comfortable in each other’s company, whether enjoying the Spring sunshine on the outside terrace, or sharing a table laden with food and good conversation.

The blackboard menu is large, but busy with the day’s selection, and laid out in Spanish. This is not because they’re pandering to a Spanish audience, as most of the discerning Spaniards who frequent the place are multi-lingual anyway. With trademark Australian aplomb Briony will reluctantly translate it verbally if necessary, but insists that this shouldn’t be necessary as tourists rarely find this well kept secret, and the rest of us live in Spain anyway!

On the odd occasion when they do open in the evening you can be sure that it’s a special occasion, but if you don’t pass by now and then you’ll never get to hear about these ‘specials’. We had to use our press passes to get in for these photos as they’d sold out in just a few days for St. Valentine’s dinner…

Open from 11 am for coffee till afternoon guests choose to leave, Walter, who is currently planning the installation of a light aircraft to hang from their high ceiling, describes Pomelo as a sort of member’s club, along the classical lines of Sandy’s Bar in its heyday. Briony, on the other hand refers to her patrons as family and looks after all and sundry in a mother hen sort of way. One thing that they must surely agree upon, however, has to be their pride in their unique emporium.

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One Response to “Pomelo’s in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza”

  1. Franco Bisaccia Says:

    Wow, first time I was able to find something about my buddy Walter on the Internet. I was in Ibiza in the hey days and Walter and I were good buddies from high school!
    Say hi to Walter and Briony for me and good luck with el Pomelo.
    Love,

    Franco

    PS Walter, I am in Arizona now for the last 3 years, in Yuma.