Ah Bambuddha. The iconic Ibiza I restaurant I think of as an oldie but a goodie. You can trust the food, trust the service and know you’re always going to have a good night. But with a swag of new restaurants popping up in Ibiza like mushrooms after a rainstorm… it can be easy to forego an old favourite in favour of trying something new…
There’s a new Bambuddha in town folks… well, to be precise, a newly reincarnated Bambuddha, and let me tell you it is A.MAY.ZING. The all-new Bambuddha has officially scored the role of my number one go-to-restaurant whether with a group of visiting friends (so easy to impress them just by walking through the entrance), a bunch of on-island mates (guaranteed great night, whether you want a party vibe or a laidback catch-up) or for a romantic dinner (the new layout and design makes it work equally well for couples as it does groups).
So what exactly does the reincarnation of an already impressive restaurant involve? Very many months of hard work, a lot of love and plenty of passion, under the watchful eye of new restaurant manager Jonjon Moon, taking the reins from founder John Moon after his retirement (although we’re sure he still has his fingers in a spicy Bambuddha pie or two!) as was evident from the re-launch event that took place in the gorgeous temples last week. It’s Bambuddha (note it’s no longer known as a grove), but not as we knew it… now having been given a new lease of life in a multitude of ways, from the simply stunning entrance and new open-air dining area to the tri-temple layout and the mouth-wateringly delicious transformation of the menu.
From the minute you step foot onto the sprawling estate (in my case, the minute I stepped my feet out of the car and onto a red carpet for said coche to be whisked away by a very proficient and friendly valet), there is a feeling of grandness; an exotic air and almost all of your senses start to tingle. With thousands of bamboo plants towering beside you, and nothing but the stars twinkling above your head, the new and improved alfresco feeling almost transports to Asia instantly. Or should I say, MediterrAsia…
The main difference you feel, is that rather than walking INTO a temple, Bambuddha is now much more of an open-plan, free-flowing venue (so perfect for Ibiza in summer), with the open temple walls, and an easy welcoming journey to walk through, rather than each section being segregated as it was before.
To your right, is the enormous Tantra Cocktail Palace terrace, a lounge and cocktail area filled with sumptuous furnishings, ancient artifacts, giant fertility totems and many more eye-catching decorative pieces. Immediately in front is the Bali restaurant temple, to the left, Goa restaurant space and terrace, offering a multitude of places to eat, drink, see and be seen… all in the classic Bambuddha style, with stunning chandeliers sparkling overhead and exotic spiritual and sexual artworks hanging from the temple foundations. The saucy boutique is now find behind the dining temples, giving you many excuses to linger longer after dinner… or race home in anticipation, depending on what souvenir you’ve selected!
When it comes to dining, Bambuddha fans need not worry that the MediterrAsian menu has changed too much! Classics and old favourites like the Teriyaki Salmon, Pad Thai, Crispy Duck and Red Duck Curry remain, but with a revitalized method of cooking, bringing them into the healthy here and now, but there is also a plethora of lush new additions in which to partake. I took part in a tasting menu (alongside the who’s who of Ibiza society!) – which I always find very interesting, as it makes you discover new things you’d never normally order (being the staunchly loyal Pad Thai fan that I am).
Starting with a zingy fresh Papaya salad – perfect for the steamy August heat – and a super-fine, rich beef tataki topped with crispy yucca chips, I felt in heaven! You don’t get fine food like this every day (unless you’re lucky enough to eat at Bambuddha of course). The mini-portions mains included melt-in-your-mouth black cod (oh-so-trendy!), marinated in miso and served alongside seaweed noodles plus a 24-hour slow roasted lamb, drizzled in a sticky sweet Jack Daniels glaze and served on a bed of polenta.
Y.U.M. I couldn’t have ordered better if I’d chosen myself (well… there is the matter of the Pad Thai… but I can have that next time).
Dessert followed, in the form of lime sorbet served with a Midori Sour jelly cube (retro!) and a lush selection of hand-rolled truffles, starting with a hint of sea salt and ending with a packed punch of spicy chili. Wowzers. That certainly cleared the cobwebs and woke me up, just when I thought I was about to descend into a food coma!
At the end of the dinner, I was basically texting everyone I’d ever met to forward plan my next visit to Bambuddha… there’s just so many new things to try! So many new places to sit! So many new experiences to be had! And I’ve got to try them all until I find the one that is j-u-u-s-t right!