Ibiza restaurants: Salvia at Ca Na Xica – All hail the Josper
Nestled among golden fields and swaying trees in Ibiza’s rural north, Ca Na Xica is a gem of a luxury hotel that harbours a secret. Within its striking grounds is a restaurant guests have been praising for years. In 2017, the fine dining destination is finally open to the public, inviting one and all to embrace the Mediterranean menu and its interspersed international flavours. The name of this gourmet hub is Salvia, and foodies should set aside several hours at lunch or dinner to truly make the most of a unique dining experience.
Salvia’s head chef, Sergio Zubiadut, hails from Galicia, so as one may expect, he’s woven some of his home town’s culinary joys into the menu. There are Spanish favourites including Iberic ham, breaded calamari and a divine Galician beef sirloin, with an emphasis on slow cooking, where food is cooked at low temperatures to allow the flavour to evolve gradually, assuredly permeating the dish. Ask the man himself what he’s most excited by in his kitchen and the resounding answer is the Josper oven.
A cutting edge piece of machinery, the Josper allows the chef to infuse meat and fish with different kinds of flavours depending on the charcoal or wood used to fire it. Essentially, it’s the hottest indoor barbeque on the market; a glorified grill that actually helps to retain the food’s moisture once its doors have been closed. A Josper is an expensive piece of kit, and the Salvia team are exceptionally proud of theirs and the high levels of cuisine it helps them to attain. And it’s not only red meat that tastes amazing when given the smoky Josper treatment; it can applied to seafood and white meat too; including octopus, scallops, sea bass and chicken at Salvia.
The Josper is becoming increasingly popular in kitchens worldwide. A Spanish creation – invented by chefs Josep Armangue and Pere Juli for Mas Pi, the restaurant they opened in the north-eastern Spanish town of Pineda de Mar almost 50 years ago – the grill can reach temperatures of 300 degrees. That of course, cooks ingredients quickly, sealing its essence and charring it attractively with the distinctive markings of a latticed grill tray. Chefs are hugely enthusiastic and very protective of their Jospers, they’re attended with care and revered for their versatility, often forming the focus for standout menus such as the one found at Salvia.
Zubiadut is passionate about producing the best dishes on the island, and with his dedication for sourcing the freshest, most delicious produce available, combined with a state of the art kitchen that includes his much-loved Josper, he’s found a winning combination. Stop by Salvia to immerse yourself in sun-drenched countryside surroundings, to feel the warm summer breeze on the alfresco terrace and to savour the many delights from the specialised Josper menu. A visit here is a feast for all the senses.
Photography by Ana Lui