Ibiza restaurants: Aubergine Ibiza – A place to call home
Ibiza is full of pockets of loveliness that appear out of nowhere, off the glitzy, touristy radar, where the true island spirit resides. Secreted away along the road between Santa Gertrudis and San Miguel is one such place: Aubergine Ibiza. From the outside the restaurant looks like a 14th century peasant’s roadhouse (complete with rings to tie up your horse) but turn the corner to discover one of Ibiza’s most tranquil and delicious eateries. Open year-round, warm and welcoming with something for everyone, Aubergine is a place to call home.
Aubergine opened three years ago and has recently returned to its origins under the umbrella of the Atzaró Group. Since then, the plant based menu has expanded to include the best meats and fish available. The concept is farm-to-table and there are very few other places in Ibiza where that actually means your table sits along side the organic vegetable garden from where that delicious tomato you’re munching down on came; a journey of mere metres. This really is KM0 cuisine.
Chef Rosina Walter Garcia is a self-taught food obsessive. Her team of all female chefs at Aubergine have a very simple goal. “We cook here as if we are cooking at home,” she says. “Everything is fresh and made to order from good produce. Everything is homemade. We are a kitchen of mamas!” There’s also a nod to the island’s Moorish past. “It’s a fusion of classic dishes with Arabic and Mediterranean tastes. It’s a very intuitive cuisine – I like to mix flavours.”
Rosina’s menu reflects her own culinary interests and represents a deep respect for the changing seasons and the gastronomic cultures of the Mediterranean, from the shores of Turkey to the islands of Italy, naturally passing by the Balearics. Big hearty salads, homely burgers, plant-based dishes, classic Mediterranean plates such as grilled lamb chops or Turkish aubergine stuffed with spiced lamb and beef, Burratina with pesto and on it goes; a list of the region’s most distinct flavours.
Vine covered trellises shade the vintage, tiled tables alongside the garden glowing with edible flowers and bright vegetables of all kinds. It’s the kind of place where you really could spend all day, starting off with a delicious Aubergine breakfast including healthy juice blends then move over to one of the massive sofas to catch some rays before taking a dip into the shop to browse local homewares and peruse the current art exhibition. All the while kids romp in the outdoor adventure playground – there truly is something for everyone. As the day moves to night, cocktails at the bar are required followed by dinner under the stars.
From the beginning of June, Aubergine Ibiza plans to host live music on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Laid back vibes are the mainstay of the rotating list of minstrels. Jazz, classical Spanish guitar, gentle soul and chill out tunes fill the fragrant air and lend even more Ibiza romance to an already dreamy location.
The gallery and shop space is host to a rotation of local artists. In May, Julia Ribas presents her striking paintings and mixed media work. Big canvases depict the noble fig trees of Ibiza while smaller works pay homage to the sea. There are plans to host a craft market too and Aubergine Ibiza would be the ideal spot to host a private event, be it a birthday, family get together or any of the many happenings that surround a wedding.
Come the wintertime, everything moves inside the old farmhouse where roaring fires warm the cosy, rustic spaces and hearty meals warm the soul. Aubergine Ibiza is more than just a quality restaurant – it’s a place that adds to the fabric of life here in Ibiza for locals and visitors alike. Manager Esteban Gutiérrez sums up the Aubergine ethos in one simple sentence. “We wanted to create a space where everyone can feel comfortable in a beautiful place.” There’s no glitz or glamour, no VIP, no pretence – everyone is simply themselves. In short, Aubergine is part of the wider community, providing a gorgeous venue where people can gather for authentic connection, delicious food and the real Ibiza vibe.