It was a sunny afternoon and we were navigating our way along a bumpy camino just outside of Ibiza town. I had absolutely no idea what was beyond this dusty trail, given I was about to be the first of my friends to try an all-new Ibiza restaurant – Es Trull de Can Palau, set in the luxury rural hotel of the same name – for the very first time, but the promise of high-end gastronomic cuisine already had my stomach rumbling!
What a find! At the base of the lush green hill, a gorgeous white refurbished finca sits proudly, with uninterrupted views across to the sea and with the beautiful silhouette of Dalt Vila on the horizons. The terrace looks to be the perfect place to dine alfresco in summer, while for winter, the cosy, intimate indoor restaurant space has the potential to become a power lunch destination by day or a romantic hotspot by night!
After the initial oohs and aahs over the views, plus a personal greeting from chef Borja, it was time to get down to the business of the food. We opted to try the house specialties, as much time and effort has gone into designing the menu, and let me tell you, the presentation of the food was like an artwork in itself. As were the flavours…
We started with the ‘interesting’ pairing of a battered egg and caviar, not something I would ever have thought to order, yet once I’d tasted it I knew I would recommend it to every single person in Ibiza (and beyond!). The perfect tasty partnership, topped with a teensy dollop of crème fraiche, a tiny toast slice balanced with delectable caviar and on a bed of creamy mashed potato, garnished with gorgeous yellow flowers – think like a super posh coddled egg, fluffy, light and oh-so-delicious. Tick!
Next up was grilled foie – again, not something I would automatically order off the menu, but so happy to have had it suggested – served with ducle de leche and pistachio and dried yoghurt, providing the perfect crunchy texture to complement the smoothness of the rich foie and the sweetness of the caramel. I suddenly got the feeling that behind those unassuming kitchen doors was a full-scale scientific kitchen, where flavours were measured and tested until everything was j-u-s-t right. Another tick!
A picture perfect row of plump scallops served atop a bed of violet potatoes (dyed with beetroot!) with fresh strawberries was next, a sweet and sour combination of flavours that showed the true passion for food (and perfectionism) of chef Borja. Ticks all round.
Milk-fed baby lamb chops was my favourite course – ohhhhh my mouth is watering as I type, just remembering the way the sweet, tender meat melted in my mouth – cooked in a traditional Mediterranean style ‘el punto’, which in English is the equivalent of ‘blue’ – just a few seconds on each side on the grill. I generally like my meat well done, but after tasting this, I am going to reconsider my options in the future. Simply divine – as were the grilled-tp-perfection Mediterranean veggies it was served with. So far, straight As in my score card.
At this point I have to say, I was full. So full, I wanted to say no to dessert, however (greedy little piglet that I am) my sweet tooth overruled my stomach, because I was so in awe of this kitchen that I had to see if their desserts lived up to the main course. And boy, oh boy, was I glad that I did because the proof was, quite literally, in the pudding – a perfectly sculpted white and dark chocolate mousse, served with exotic fruit carpaccio that despite its rich looking appearance was light, and very palate cleansing.
Especially when washed down with a sweet glass of dessert wine!