Ibiza restaurants: Coco Beach – A flair for fine cuisine
There are those who come to Ibiza in search of its authentic Balearic soul – the sunsets; strolls along the beach at dawn; midnight swims. And there are those who come seeking Ibiza’s alternative side – sheer, unadulterated indulgence. Those people want champagne popping extravagance, fine dining with toes buried in the sand and the kind of venue that openly encourages excess and easy-going, feel-good fun. Nowhere exemplifies this more than Coco Beach on Playa d’en Bossa, one of Ibiza’s original beach restaurants – a place which dances to its own beat, embodies unabated charm and serves up some of the finest cuisine on the east coast.
Coco Beach is somewhat of an institution among European holidaymakers. It’s famed for its carefree ambience, long lunches that dissolve into raucous nights and the kind of clientele who appreciate the finer things in life, with their kids in tow too. Set at the far end of Playa d’en Bossa, to the left it boasts views of Dalt Vila; to the right one of the island’s historic watch towers, Sal den Rossa. The restaurant itself is an ode to the Mediterranean with white linen, wicker chairs and turquoise touches, while straw-topped umbrellas that shimmy in the breeze shelter the restaurant’s chic, beachside sun loungers.
Aside from a lively atmosphere, fine food draws crowds to Coco Beach. Offering a range of Mediterranean classics, plus a variety of German-inspired dishes (including currywurst!), each ingredient is of the highest quality, and each element of every plate is made entirely from scratch. Such is the calibre of food, in fact, that clients make specific trips to dine here especially for certain dishes. The lobster soup, for example, is a much-loved favourite, and rightly so. Each spoonful of this decadent dish is infused with potent flavour, with whole chunks of lobster waiting to be discovered like treasure at the bottom of the bowl (best enjoyed when taken alongside a glass of champagne, according to clued-up staff).
The rest of the menu is overflowing with delectable options too, at the skilled hands of charismatic owner Jimmy, who is responsible for the menu creation each year. These days he flits effortlessly from table to table getting to know his clients, and is passionate about the quality of food that emerges from his kitchen. For this reason, dishes like the surf and turf only ever consist of the finest cuts of tender beef and the most succulent king prawns, and the crab salad comes with entire legs of plump, juicy crab to enjoy. Jimmy wouldn’t settle for anything less.
In his quest for perfection, Jimmy has also invested in his own Coco Beach wine. A crisp, refreshing rosé produced in Austria, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon, not to mention one of the many seafood dishes on the menu. It’s found alongside a seemingly endless selection of wines and champagne in the restaurant’s wine ‘bible’, which true to its nickname, is of epic proportions. Luckily, there’s a sommelier on hand to advise – though choosing from some of Europe’s finest wines is still no easy task. And that’s before you’ve even looked at the cocktail menu…
In what has to be a first for any beach club in Ibiza, Coco Beach boasts its very own patisserie. Under the guidance of chef-patissier extraordinaire Katja Fenn, a variety of show-stopping cakes are made every day in the specially designed Coco Beach kitchen. Like miniature works of art, each one emerges like a vision of tiered perfection. Fresh strawberries are combined with soft sponge and rich, creamy, dark chocolate. It’s no wonder diners often make orders for entire cakes to take away with them once they’ve had a taste.
All of these elements combined have made Coco Beach an Ibiza favourite for over 13 years and its reputation continues to grow. Like a beacon at the end of Playa d’en Bossa, its unique character continues to draw guests in their droves, and whether they’re downing champagne by the magnum, enjoying the luxury of the full menu on a sun lounger, or entertaining a brood of energetic children, everyone is welcomed with a smile. Some places just have that certain je ne sais quoi, and this is one of them.