Ibiza restaurants: Parihuela Nikkei at La Gaia

The recent rise of Peruvian cuisine’s popularity means it is currently fascinating the foodie world. Here in Ibiza, renowned chef Oscar Molina is the king of the culinary trend, presenting his twist on the tradition at the Japeruvian restaurant La Gaia, set in the grand luxe surrounds of Ibiza Gran Hotel.

One of his signature dishes in 2017 is the Parihuela Nikkei. A traditional Parihuela is a little like a spicy seafood soup, not unlike a Bouillabaisse for those who haven’t heard of it, but with much more of a kick and those fresh, Peruvian flavours shining through. Much love and passion is put into Molina’s Parihuela Nikkei – first, a sofrito is sautéed before being added to a fresh chilli paste featuring the ‘aji panca’ hot pepper, ginger, cumin and coriander. The mix is then softened with a homemade seafood stock and slow cooked for five hours, with the finishing touch being the addition of mussels just before it is ready to serve.

Meanwhile, freshly caught sea bass and octopus are given the grill treatment, bringing a smoky flavour into the mix, served alongside a lightly fried shrimp atop a bouquet of fresh nori seaweed. The Parihuela is poured delicately around the meaty middle and then topped with tempura codium (another form of seaweed) branches and sprigs of Salicornia. Hot, spicy and ready to be devoured.

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