The lively streets of London’s Soho are a hotbed of gastronomic inventiveness, with people flocking from far and wide to sample its eclectic array of restaurants led by the most talented chefs in the business. For years, the Spanish tapas restaurants Barrafina have topped that list, earning a place on every foodie’s hit list. The unrivalled skills of Ángel Zapata Martín are to thank, but now the acclaimed chef has swapped the big smoke for beach life, landing on the white isle to take the helm at brand new restaurant Lado Ibiza, a new concept from the group behind IT Ibiza.
Barcelona-born and a Catalonian to the core, as a child, Ángel was inspired by his uncle’s unique approach to cooking, which riffed on traditional Spanish dishes but emboldened them with personal flair. Growing up, his style rubbed off on Ángel, who initially studied architecture but soon realised that his heart lay elsewhere, before enrolling at the prestigious Hofmann School of Hospitality. The switch paid dividends, and after training in multiple acclaimed restaurants around the globe, he set to work at Barrafina, earning the eateries a coveted Michelin star. His next culinary adventure brings him to Lado Ibiza.
Trailblazing, Michelin-starred chef Ángel Zapata Martín channels his talents into Lado Ibiza.
Set within the sophisticated and sparkling surroundings of Marina Botafoch, second home to the island’s visiting super yachts, Lado Ibiza is a waterside restaurant that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the instantly recognisable skyline of Ibiza town in the distance. A bustling hub where diners linger long after food has ceased being delivered to the table, eating here is as much about cultivating relationships as it is about enjoying stunning flavour combinations. An ode to the Spanish way of life that prioritises convivial conversations and human interaction, the concept of sociable dining rests at its core.
The Lado Ibiza food philosophy is intimately entwined with this idea. Based on a series of sharing plates (selfishness can play no part in Spanish dining!) that embody the fundamental tenets of Spanish cuisine, but are modernised with an exciting twist, Chef Ángel has created a menu that has one foot in tradition with the other firmly headed for the future. Divided into sections: raw, grill, sliced, main dishes and desserts, each plate celebrates the bold and vibrant flavours of Spain by using the finest quality ingredients and bucketloads of culinary flourish. The results are nothing short of magnificent.
The Lado Ibiza menu begins with a hand-picked selection of raw dishes. Bluefin tuna caught in the crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea is served tataki style, with chutoro tartare and salmorejo, a traditional Spanish soup made with tomato, bread, olive oil and garlic. Yellow tail is served in a special marinade, and oysters come in typically lavish fashion, with cava cream, pickled cucumber and caviar. On the grill, the red shrimps – famed across the Mediterranean for their superior quality and taste – are unmissable, while the Frisona beef tenderloin is juicy and perfectly cooked.
Classic Spanish dishes are also given a fresh new spin at Lado Ibiza. Old favourites are still present, of course – think tasty pan con tomate; creamy ham croquetas and cured Iberian pork. But they sit alongside oh-so-soft aubergine with goat cheese and quince; gooey Reblochon cheese and fresh truffle toastie; succulent Sáncular king prawns with white garlic melon; and local asparagus served with courgette flower and truffle. Don’t miss the traditional tomato salad, made using tomatoes plucked fresh from island plants, to experience the talents of Chef Ángel in action.
A new restaurant in Marina Botafoch where traditional tapas sharing plates are given a fresh modern twist.
The delights don’t end there, with a range of innovative fish dishes available to treat the tastebuds. Try the fried John Dory; the grilled red bream; the razor clams, caught from the rocky coastline of Galicia; or the spiny lobster paella for pure indulgence. Continuing with that theme, be sure to leave room for a signature Lado Ibiza dessert. The Basque cheesecake served with fruit coulis, is renowned for its rich and velvety texture; the fine apple tart is served with rich Chantilly cream (with Chef Ángel’s classic French training coming to the fore); and the torrija is a type of Spanish, pan-fried bread pudding.
Fine wines and spirits are integral to the drinks menu, but diners should start the evening with a signature Lado Ibiza cocktail, beautifully presented and bountiful in flavour. Gin devotees will relish the Ladoni, made with a splash of Beefeater gin, Spanish vermouth, Pedro Jimenez sherry, chocolate and Campari; tequila fans will enjoy the Tommy, made with Avion Silver tequila, Ibiza herbs infusion, lime juice and agave sherry; and everyone will appreciate the poignance of the Ibiza Sunset, whisked with Absolut Elyx-Malaga, sweet wine and strawberry, lemon sherbet and grapefruit soda – best sipped on at dusk, while admiring the twinkling lights of Dalt Vila beyond.
Considered a trailblazer at all his previous posts, and with multiple stints in Michelin-starred restaurants among his accolades – as well as his own Michelin star, of course – Chef Ángel is bringing the same passion and vision to Lado Ibiza. Using exquisite food as an expression of love for his home country, he invites every single diner to embrace the culinary traditions of Spain while daring to reimagine where that journey might lead in forthcoming years. Take a table with friends and tuck into a Spanish-style feast where plates, wine and words rebound around the table in unison — no one does dining better.