Ibiza restaurants: Salvia at Ca Na Xica – The quest for quality

Once a fiercely guarded secret of guests at Ibiza boutique hotel Ca Na Xica, in-house restaurant Salvia now opens its big, bright and breezy doors to Ibiza’s foodie set daily, from 8.30am until midnight. Gastronomy reigns supreme in this ultra professional kitchen and stylish dining space – it’s all about freshness and quality, fusing Mediterranean flavours with an international flair.

The man behind the menu is dedicated head chef Sergio Zubiadut, hailing from Galicia, bringing to the table a wealth of experience from fabulous international destinations. Given the restaurant’s location in a luxurious hotel, it was essential the extensive menu cater to all appetites and dietary requirements. There was no easy route to go down, with just one style of cuisine on offer for Sergio and he rose to the challenge. While there may not appear to be a common theme on the dishes presented in the menu, with every bite, it becomes more and more apparent. The consistent element throughout the Salvia menu is quality – only the highest will do.

If it’s seafood, it has to be fresh. Not just fresh; the freshest, and wild where possible. If it’s meat, there’s no excuse for it not to be close to perfection, whether it is jetted in from the very best suppliers in Galicia or sourced from a local farmer. This unwavering quest for quality has seen the Ca Na Xica team curate their own vegetable patch, putting the very best KM0 produce at the chef’s fingertips daily. Foraging is all in a day’s work, with almonds, figs, herbs, apricots, prickly pears, olives, oranges and lemons growing in abundance across the hotel’s expansive grounds, while in the garden there are peppers, cauliflower, all types of lettuce and more sprouting from the ground. Ca Na Xica is even planning to produce their own olive oil for next year..

Behind the scenes at Salvia, the theme of quality continues. A spacious glossy kitchen is equipped with all the latest equipment including a slow cooker, a snap freezer, cold-press juicer, Josper oven and more, ready not just for the restaurant’s daily turnover but also professional catering for weddings and events. No matter which way you look – from ingredients and produce to equipment and design – cutting corners is something that just doesn’t happen here. And yet the prices remain accessible, an ethos close to the owners’ hearts and you will always walk away from the table at Salvia feeling satisfied.

The high standards begin with breakfast – your first teaser into the world of Salvia. Your fresh orange or green juice is cold pressed, made with ingredients plucked fresh from the orchard or farm that morning. The breakfast buffet rivals the world’s best hotels, while hot dishes are cooked to order, and always to perfection. As the day unfolds, the menu takes on new creative twists and turns, moving from lunch through to dinner with an a la carte option and daily specials. Embracing the concept of slow cooking, with chef Sergio designing dishes around the fresh, seasonal produce of the moment.

Where should we start? Starters! When you’re just looking for something to pick at, look no further than the finest aged Iberico ham, served with crystal bread. Or opt for the freshest mussels, served steaming in a coconut, coriander, ginger and chili sauce bring a touch of Asia to your plate. Calamari is a hotel classic, but here at Salvia it is lightly fried to retain its freshness, served alongside crispy whitebait and marinated dogfish. Three types of tomato are hand picked to complement the melt in your mouth Burrata, and health lovers will enjoy the quinoa salad with a difference or lentils served over a rocket and feta cheese salad with a Tandoori vinaigrette.

Moving onto the more substantial meals on offer at Salvia, the chef has created a silky smooth risotto of slow cooked quail and artichoke, sitting alongside delectable pasta dishes including a deluxe tagliatelle with locally produced Mediterranean vegetables. When it comes to meat, this is where Ca Na Xica really comes into its own. Try the classic steak tartar with a twist, a mouthwatering Galician beef sirloin or the very chunkiest, heartiest T-bone steak served with hand-cut Ibiza potato chips. Out of the smoky Josper oven comes Ibiza chicken marinated in local herbs and lemon, a mind-blowing charcoal grilled wild boar and the all-time favourite Wagyu burger, served with a healthy (and delicious) serving of yucca fingers.

When your chef is from Galicia, it’s a given your menu will have a heavy touch of seafood, and that the quality of said seafood is unrivalled. Make a beeline for the house specialty: a raw tuna tartar served with seaweed salad and house-pickled veggies. With the seafood dishes on the Salvia menu, it’s all about the carefully thought out little extras that make each dish truly unique. Think scarlet shrimp and scallop carpaccio marinated in ponzu; cod served atop kale and bacon hondashi with health-boosting black garlic alioli and wild seabass with homemade sweet potato gnocchi… the list goes on, but you’ll have to try it for yourself.

Wine lists are expertly curated and the Salvia sommelier can recommend the perfect drop – he also happens to be a cigar specialist, with the very best on offer for those who have a taste for the finer things in life after dessert.

Ahhh, dessert. The sweetest of ways to end a meal. At Salvia at Ca Na Xica, desserts are a specialty and as with everything on the menu, presented with a unique twist. Try the upside down cheesecake – a taste sensation at every mouthful – or the amazing chocolate quartet, where Sergio fuses four different chocolate textures and consistencies to create an unforgettable sweet sensation. Grape liqueur French toast with banana and cinnamon ice cream brings a breakfast favourite into night mode, while the homemade lemoncake – you guessed it – is made from the fruit of the trees in the orchard.

High standards at Salvia start the moment you stroll down the pathway through the hotel to arrive at your destination, cruising past 17,000 meticulously planted wild grass plants as they sway seductively in the Mediterranean breeze. Step inside the restaurant, and out onto either terrace – choose between hotel view or garden – to take your place at the beautifully designed contemporary settings. As the sun goes down, Salvia is elegantly illuminated with carefully placed soft lighting, and the smooth sounds of jazz and Bossa Nova float over the airwaves. And last, but definitely not least, is the service. Each and every Salvia team member is multi-lingual, highly professional and knowledgeable, and genuine with their desire to help make your gastronomic dreams come true.

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