In 2014, the famed Ibiza beach restaurant co-owned by Carl Cox, Safehouse Management’s Lynn Cosgrave and long-time island entrepreneur Jason Bull (of Es Vive fame) landed in an all-new frontline location on Playa d’en Bossa (formerly Sirocco), set between sand dunes and the perfect place to while away a summer (or winter – stay tuned for more news later) afternoon. Giving you all the more reason to visit Sands Ibiza is the menu created by renowned head chef Tim Payne – an array of options and flavours to suit all tastebuds and sourced locally where possible. A menu with a heart as big as its… well, burger!
Well known for his stint as executive chef for Marco Pierre White’s Hell’s Kitchen, Tim left his post at London gastro pub Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green in 2012 to join the Sands team, bringing with him his passion for seasonal cooking and support for the local suppliers, farmers and environment. Each and every dish on the Sands Ibiza menu has been well thought out – from who the diner may be to where the ingredients are sourced and the perfect techniques to bring them to life.
“Our philosophy with the menu is based on three principles,” Tim explains. “First, it needs to be affordable. Second, sustainable. And last, but equally as important, is that there must be a great variety for people to choose from, as we have many English and Spanish customers, and we’re also starting to see a lot more Germans, Italians and other nationalities come through the door. It’s great – while the crowd is predominantly British, we do see a real mixture of people here.”
Finding the very best local produce is of utmost importance to Tim, who has been coming to Ibiza as a punter for many years and is as passionate about the island as he is cooking. “I try wherever possible to source locally – we work with local farmers, buy Burrata made here on the island, olive oil, tomatoes, and salt of course. All of our fish is ethically caught in the Mediterranean and any meat that we can’t get here on the island is from mainland Spain.”
In addition to sourcing his day-to-day ingredients, Tim also devises plans to work with the many seasonal fruits of the island to ensure they don’t go to waste when they are overproduced. “Last year we made so much apricot jam it was crazy, and this year we’re making fig chutneys and some citrus jams to go with our cheesecake, all things that can be preserved rather than letting the fruit just rot on the floor. We reuse and recycle all of our glass bottles… we do everything we can to support and sustain our environment.”
As for the menu itself? “It’s nice and light,” says Tim. “You could order two dishes and share – we understand in the heat that not everyone wants a three-course meal in one hit! We have plenty of salads, gazpacho, fruit plates, light and fresh seafood…” The list goes on, and of course, includes heartier options for those who’ve worked up an appetite, such as Galician fillet steak, Ibicenco lamb chops and a fabulous topside burger.
Tim’s highlights include the incredible crispy duck salad made with duck legs poached in ginger, garlic, spring onion, soy sauce and star anise, before being pulled from the bone in chunky strips and deep fried to crispy, sticky perfection. Served atop a bed of crisp carrots, radish, watercress and bean sprouts and with a bespoke sweet oriental dressing, it’s a taste sensation to be savoured – and almost too good to share.
Another favourite is the octopus salad – based on the traditional Pulpo Gallego, but given the light, Sands twist, the octopus is grilled and served with courgettes, thinly sliced red onion, poached new potatoes and a rocket salad, drizzled in a Creole dressing of olives, courgettes, red pepper, black pepper, olive oil and a touch of vinegar. “When people see this going out to other tables, it starts off other orders,” says Tim. “When we have a day that it starts selling, we really sell a lot!”
His third recommendation is the delicious whole sea bass, caught daily by local fisherman, then grilled and served up with citrus fruits and saffron potatoes then drizzled with a zingy, zesty sauce of orange, olive oil and coriander. Truly delectable, and a refreshing change to the overpriced fish-in-salt that is so often on offer in Ibiza beach restaurants.
The Sands Ibiza kitchen is open daily from midday until 8pm, and good news for parents is that rather than a traditional kids menu, kid-sized portions of each menu item are also available, meaning the little ones aren’t excluded from trying all the different delights on offer. “We’re planning to do Saturday brunches and Sunday roasts in the winter,” says Tim, when asked if Sands will remain open in the winter. “There are so many people who live here all year round, and even a lot more out of season visitors now, so we want to be able to offer something interesting all year round.”