Archive for the ‘restaurant’ Category

Bambuddha Grove Restaurant, Ibiza – A dynasty in the making

July 6th, 2009

john moonThe indomitable John Moon of Bambuddha Grove restaurant fame has finally handed over the reins of this temple to his son Jonjon. His retirement, after ten years building this little Ibiza country restaurant into the iconic location it has become, will free him to return to his original passion, which is travelling.

Born during the second World War in Blitz Britain to a Liverpool-Irish mother and Greek Cypriot father he never stayed long enough anywhere to put down roots, emigrating first to South Africa, then travelling through much of the rest of that continent before discovering India. His travels took him further, to the Golden Triangle and on to Japan. Australia was next, followed by Goa then the US coast to coast road trip along Route 66.

Then the Hippy Trail from the West Coast to India and Bali via Ibiza became popular and these venues became the hip places to party – a playground for hippies where anything goes… Opting for Ibiza as the more sensible of the three options for raising his young son, John went into business with an exwife and her boyfriend running a small restaurant on the San Juan road called ‘Buddha’s Bar’. Unsurprisingly the partnership broke up and John was left with the debris. Thus was Bambuddha born.

bambudhha grove, ibizaThe years of graft ahead might have deterred a less determined man, but John fought his way through the completion of the ambitious building plans, dogged by financing issues and inexperience to finally blossom like a Lotus flower. Oftentimes people stood by waiting for this house of cards to collapse. They were rewarded by the most elegant of Thai restaurants housed in a temple imported from Thailand and painstakingly reconstructed by imported Thai craftsmen. Upon entering they would be greeted by a smiling, congenial John and his fastidious team of staff.

John’s first observation when asked how things were going this year is, “Good – I’ve managed to keep all of the staff from last year!”. Looking around it’s hard to believe that anybody would want to leave such a stunningly beautiful working environment. It would appear though that John himself has had enough, which brings us to Jonjon…

jonjonJonjon is a child of Ibiza. Brought up in the eclectic style of Ibiza life with its chaotically entertaining summer season and quiet reflective winters. One of the more depressing aspects of Ibiza life is the high incidence of fatal traffic accidents on the island roads. This has been addressed over recent years but, unfortunately, Jonjon was an innocent victim of one that almost cost him his life a little under a year ago.

Initially doctors predicted that he would be paralysed from the chest down, but they hadn’t reckoned with Jonjon’s exceptional spirit. He is now able to stand on his feet and, although he is not yet able to walk, he still has high hopes of being able to get there through lots of hard work with physiotherapy. Jonjon adjusted his temporary new life to his situation and became surprisingly stronger through it.

Jonjon explains, “Since partying and chasing around the island to the clubs with my mates isn’t an option for the time being, I’m focusing on the restaurant and the skills that I need to take over from my dad – in order to maintain his extraordinary record of success. This actually helps me to divert my mind from my predicament and keeps me positive.” ‘Positive’ is definitely the adjective to describe Jonjon as we discuss the potential of stem cell treatment to eventually cure the problems posed by a broken spine.

With regard to the restaurant and its future under his guidance, he reflects upon the lessons learnt by his father. Of dealing with the crazy expectations of his father’s earlier social circle and the mission to make the restaurant a feature of every visitor’s holiday to Ibiza, rather than the crazy parties of days gone by. The impression is that this is another example of the next generation being more sensible than the previous and catering not just for the aging generation, but preparing for those that follow- of whom he is representative.

All in all it appears that the stage has been set for John to continue on his mission to see the Amazon rain forests and the few remaining deserts that he hasn’t yet crossed…

All that remains is to wish the pair well with their new responsibilities. The new guardian of the temple known as Bambuddha Grove looks well capable of turning this project into a dynasty.

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Casa Piedra Restaurant, Cala Llonga, Ibiza

June 16th, 2009

casa peidra, ibizaCasa Piedra is an innocuous but beautiful little restaurant, just 100 metres from the turning into Cala Llonga, on the old Ibiza – Santa Eulalia coastal road past the golf course, has emerged from the Spring like one of those June explosions of butterflies.

The dozen or so tables are tastefully set out in the fresh air of a lovely garden featuring a central mature olive tree, orange and lemon trees and even a grapefruit tree. It forms the perfect location to enjoy fine dining in a lush sunset environment.

casa peidra, ibizaThe tables are resplendent amongst the greenery with their pristine linen and the raison d’etre for all of this is the cuisine of new chef, Matt Hatton. Matt, from Yorkshire, cut his teeth in the multi-cultural Australian melting pot and soon became an afficiando of international cuisine.

Subsequently he honed his skills working alongside a Michelin star cast, at the Volvo Masters Golf tournament and an inspirational service at the Michelin three starred La Pergola in Rome.

casa peidra, ibizaThe couple behind this coup, and the restaurant’s unique ambience, are Ken and Louise Wells who retired to Ibiza in 2007 after 28 years running pubs and restaurants in the UK. A well earned retirement beckoned, but when Casa Piedra, their favourite local restaurant, became available they couldn’t resist the temptation of taking over such a little gem.

Almost coincidentally, they have been regular holiday visitors for the past 27 years. So smitten were they by the island that they bought property here 15 years ago. It all goes to show that distant dreams do sometimes come true.

casa peidra, ibizaTheir comment on the new venture: “We’ve created an evening eating experience for all nationalities to join our multi-cultural clientele in enjoying a truly international menu in the ambience of the garden, or the terrace overlooking the lemon grove.”

Bookings are encouraged as it is restaurant policy never to hurry people from their tables…
An extremely satisfactory evening can be acquired simply by ringing 971 196 558

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Ibiza Restaurant news for May

May 4th, 2009

Taste in Jesus

taste, jesusTaste is the name of this new garden restaurant which is definitely worth a visit. It is located just five minutes away from Ibiza town on the road from Jesus to Cala Llonga at kilometre 0.6. It used to be known as Tu Casa, but is now called Taste. Now this rustic establishment with its gorgeous garden is being run by Petra Flenter and Hans Molkenboer, both from the Netherlands. These two inveterate restauranteurs have run a variety of establishments back in their home country – and for many years have been attracted by Ibiza’s relaxed atmosphere. Several months ago they decided to take the plunge, to move to Ibiza and start a new restaurant.

The new interior of the restaurant is modern and warm and the garden is as gorgeous as ever. The guests enjoy relaxed jazz-lounge music and the nighttime chill-out flair for which Ibiza is so famous. The kitchen offers fresh Mediterranean dishes in a modern style with tasty nuances from around the world. Among other things they recommend the giant prawn tempura with chilli marmalade or the grilled vegetables with Mahon cheese and balsamic vinegar. They have an excellent selection of Cavas and wines and the service is easy going and professional. Over the next few weeks they are also offering “fixed menus”, however, guests can also always order ‘a la carte’ or from the selection of daily specials. Restaurant Taste, Carretera Jesus-Cala Llonga at kilometre 0.6.

Flamingo Grill, Es Canar

flamingo grillFans of top quality meat and large portions will be enthusiastic that the Flamingo Grill in Es Canar is open again, and there are two pieces of good news that come with this announcement – well, perhaps three. The prices at the restaurant have not changed a cent, there is a fixed menu for 25 euros per person that changes monthly (glass of Cava, alioli and bread, small soup, salad, sorbet, fillet of beef with baked potato and dessert) and, last but not least, the famous Kobe/Wagyu beef is now a permanent fixture on the menu. Readers may recall that we tried the Kobe/Wagyu beef for the first time during the Ibiza NOW gourmet meeting at the Flamingo Grill last year.

Donja and Klaus are famous for their excellent meat dishes and friendly service and the meats, whether beef or pork, rabbit, chicken or skewers of the same, are all prepared on the big BBQ in the garden over very special wood. We find the Flamingo Grill to be one of the best places for meat on the island. Donja and Klaus also received an honour recently: Holiday Check chose their connected hotel as having one of the best price-performance ratios in the whole of Spain. You can find the Flamingo Grill in Es Canar on the left-hand side when you come from Santa Eularia past Cala Martina and the Hippy Market site. Follow the narrow road in and then just follow your nose.

Chiang mai, Santa Eularia and Eivissa

chiang maiAppetite for a delicious Thai meal during your lunch break? Then the Chiang mai restaurants in Santa Eularia or Ibiza town are the right place for you. In May both locations are offering a fixed lunch menu for 11,95 euros. Now a drink and dessert are both included in the price, meaning you are getting even more for your money of the same quality that we’ve come to expect.

Guests can choose from four appetisers and five main dishes. Desserts include lychee fruits or ice cream. If you don’t want a dessert you can substitute a coffee, naturally free of charge and if you prefer to eat at home or back in the office you can also get the lunch menu and drink to take away. In the evenings the menu offers a wider pallete of exotic specialities that will make you feel as if you’re in Thailand.

The addresses: Santa Eularia – Passatge Molins de Rei; Eivissa – Calle Sant Cristofol 20, Local 4b, Torre des Limoner.

La Vineria in Jesus

la vineriaThe exceptional Italian Trattoria del Mar restaurant on the Marina Botafoch now has a sister establishment. At the start of April this family owned business opened a second location in the heart of Jesus, with a view of the village church directly opposite, called La Vineria. As you might already guess from the name, wine fans will be well served here. Their 14 page menu includes about a hundred different wines – it’s almost a book of wines. Naturally they include Ibicencan wines from Can Rich on their solid wood shelves, but wine fans who like variety in their drink will find a number of wines that cannot be found in other island restaurants.

In culinary terms La Vineria complements the Trattoria del Mar. The kitchen has focusedon a selection of small meals for in-between and tapas with an Italian flair: rocket salad with gambas and Parmesan cheese, bruchettas topped with freshly prepared vegetables (warm or cold), Parma ham as an alternative to the local Serrano and Ibérico varieties. “The quality is just as high as in the Trattoria, however, La Vineria is a more urbane place to go out,” say Linda and Gabriele, who cheerfully take care of their guests. Simply stop by and check it out! La Vineria, Calle Cap Martinet 3, Jesus (Santa Eularia), telephone: 971 19 18 27. Open daily (except Sundays) continuously from 1 am to midnight

El Pato, Santa Gertrudis road

el patoAfter a long break El Pato is throwing open its doors again on May 15th. Fans of the best cuisine and good wines will be pleased as El Pato, under the direction of head chef Matthias, is regularly chosen by restaurant critics as one of the best venues on Ibiza. The comfortable atmosphere and charm of the 300 plus year old finca works its magic as well as the gorgeous garden during the summer. Beneath palms and between blossoms the tables, with their white tablecloths, are a wonderful place to enjoy a meal and drinks.

The menu of the restaurant will again be offering market fresh specialities, including high quality fish and, naturally, duck – which is hardly surprising since El Pato means duck. The restaurant is open daily (except Mondays) from 7:30pm. El Pato is located together with Ars Vivendi on the road from Eivissa to Santa Gertrudis. The guests of both restaurants will be celebrating a big party together in the second half of May

Ibiza Restaurants

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