Ibiza restaurants: KODO Sushi – Journey to Japan

They say a journey begins with a single step and just one fanciful footstep across the threshold of KODO Sushi transports you from Ibiza to Japan (with just a little stopover in France on the way). This feeling of moving from one island to another is no happy accident; rather it is a testament to the unwavering passion of French-born owners, Sabrina and Terence.

After relocating to Ibiza in 2010, the couple – who boast backgrounds in restaurants and hospitality – were seeking, purely for their own pleasure, an authentic Japanese dining destination close to Ibiza town. Not those overpriced, glitzy hotspots more known for pre-parties than food; the couple dreamed of a place that served the traditional dishes and classical flavours of Japan. A place that was open all year round. A place that catered to island residents, not only the jetsetting summer crowds.

After much searching, they came to the realisation – as many creatives eventually do – if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself, and KODO Sushi was born. Just a little over two years ago, the perfect location presented itself: a sunny corner restaurant space in the year-round, bustling village of Jesus. Islanders will know the space as the former San Francisco, once a busy café that slowly fell into disrepair over the years. Sabrina and Terence saw its future potential through the grit and dust and their journey to bring to Japan to Ibiza began.

First things first, the tired old café was completely gutted, leaving a crisp, clean blank canvas for the French couple to design their dream Japanese eatery from scratch. “We changed everything!” says Sabrina proudly. “We wanted to create something that would allow people to travel to a new place when they arrived. We wanted the feeling of being in Japan, not just a place to eat Japanese food.” To create this feeling, the pair worked tirelessly alongside French designers to create bespoke, low seating unlike anything else seen on the island. Outside, the feeling is of a lovely Japanese garden, while the interior is reminiscent of the clean lines of a traditional tea room.

While the aesthetic is definitively Japanese, the couple have also firmly etched their French sense of style onto every last surface. KODO translates to heartbeat in Japanese, the name a true reflection of the love and passion of its owners. Grey slate floors are perfectly complemented by crisp white walls, adorned with Japanese art and offset with oriental statues and bonsai. Strategically placed, single filament globes illuminate the space, further adding that futuristic feel the Japanese are so well known for.

On the terrace, beautiful bamboo casts seductive shadows over the entire space, while white lanterns seem to float above the sunken wooden tables.  Dreamy, hypnotic music gives adds a certain je ne sais quoi and in one final, quirky twist, even the restrooms play homage to their country of inspiration. Think a total burst of Japanese pop culture, with vibrant red and white polka-dot painted walls (in contrast to the restaurant’s chic and subtle style), complete with iconic Anime on rotation all day and night long.

When it comes to food, the philosophy of KODO Sushi is actually quite simple: it’s all about creating the highest quality, authentic Japanese cuisine at prices that are accessible to local families, visiting holidaymakers and workers alike. It is this dedication to providing such a warm, welcoming service to one and all that has seen KODO Sushi win the hearts of Ibiza residents and island lovers from across the globe. On any given day, you may be sitting opposite a farmer from his nearby campo plot, famous footballers, families after the school run or Marco Carola and his entourage, in a calm and relaxed setting. After all, good sushi knows no bounds.

The carefully crafted KODO Sushi menu has some seriously impressive new additions, meaning there really is something to suit all appetites and dietary requirements. Coming highly recommended by Terence and Sabrina is the hearty Wagyu Tataki – the perfectly massaged beef just seared and sent directly to your table instantly, allowing the pure flavour to shine through. Perhaps one of the world’s most famous Japanese dishes, miso-glazed black cod also makes an appearance, its buttery soft flesh melting in your mouth, offset with locally grown grilled asparagus.

Try the Octopus Ceviche – a dish of Japeruvian origins – complete with fresh and fruity mango, chilli, lime, lemon for a light summer night. Other Japanese favourite such as edamame, wakame salads, yakitori skewers, tempura and gyoza are great for sharing – and, according to Sabrina, very popular with the littlest guests at KODO Sushi. “Sometimes the kids here know more about sushi than their parents,” she laughs. Poké Bowls – a fusion of Japanese and Hawaiian cuisine – have also been added to the healthy menu, and vegans and vegetarians are also very well catered to. Sabrina and Terence are passionate that everyone should always leave KODO Sushi satisfied.

The KODO Sushi specialty – as the restaurant name suggests – is of course sumptuous sushi, often plucked straight from the Mediterranean Sea before being expertly sliced, diced and rolled onto your plate. Try the tongue teasing, best-selling Tiger Roll, filled with the crunchiest prawn tempura, homemade Japanese mayonnaise and delicately garnished with scrumptious slithers of avocado, or an amazing Vegan Roll of crispy cucumber, colourful carrot, robust red pepper and avocado roll coated in a beautiful beetroot and onion crust.

New sushi rolls this season include the KODO Roll, filled with ceviche and topped with avocado and chilli, or the Wagyu roll, adding a meaty element via the luxe thin slices of beef elegantly draped over the roll before being glazed to perfection with a blow torch. White Rolls use silky rice paper to keep the creations tucked within each roll, such as salmon, mint and coriander creating a lovely fresh sensation with each bite. And then there are the desserts – trust us, when we say it’s worth saving room.

With far too many more options to mention, the best way to find your favourite KODO Sushi dish is simple: make a reservation, or call up to order home delivery, villa or boat catering. Champagne and Sake are the perfect accompaniment and no matter where you are on the island, KODO Sushi can bring the complete Japanese journey to you!

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