At first glance when arriving into the main square of San Juan by night, you don’t see a stand-alone ‘café’ anywhere. A church, yes. A paved plaza, sure. A few shops, an estate agency and a pharmacy among other storefronts. Your typical Ibiza village. But as you sharpen your vision and look a little more closely, your eyes can’t help but be drawn to a set of open ancient double doors with some low seating outside and soft lighting emanating from within. Welcome to The Giri Café… by night.
One of the most loved restaurants in the north of the island, The Giri Café is famed for its sun-drenched garden and laidback atmosphere by day. But as darkness envelops the sky in Ibiza and the moon comes out to play, the distinctive laidback garden oasis is transformed into a stylish and sophisticated dining destination, showcasing a night concept is perhaps a side to The Giri Café that is lesser known to island visitors; it’s the darker, sexier side… Boasting a (slightly) more formal ambience, intimate lighting and a modernised take on the already appetising menu, this sleeker, more complex version of The Giri Café is the perfect place for group celebrations, romantic dinner dates and late night cocktails alike.
Where style and service are more relaxed and casual during the day, by night you can feel comfortable to glam yourself up; wear that special dress, step into those stilettos, put on some lipstick and relish the memorable experience as service is stepped up a few notches and finely tuned to a more fine dining style, with the same welcoming warmth you know and love from the daytime service. You will be received as a friend at The Giri Café, but you can also be sure the maître d has their eagle eyes on your table to assist you with anything you desire throughout your evening, be it wine, cocktails, menu suggestions and more. Cuisine is at the heart of the night concept at The Giri Café. The evening menu is an amped up, more elaborate version of its daytime selection. Think delicious Mediterranean cuisine spiced up with exotic flavours and tastes, where texture, taste, colour, contrast and structure mingle together to create an explosion for the senses and a journey for your palate. The healthy and fresh food (plucked from the onsite garden where possible) ethos of the restaurant continues after dark, however the presentation and platters are taken up a notch. With a focus on fresh seafood changing daily based on the island’s best catch of the day, a selection of slow cooked mouth-watering meat dishes and light and refreshing tartares and ceviches, there is something to suit all appetites.
Start with the outstanding octopus tartar and be tantalised by the velvety, lush texture of the fish and the way it tastes paired with a coriander-rich, creamy hummus. Indulge in the 10-hour slow cooked lamb, served without its bone so the meat simply falls apart upon piercing it with your fork, perfectly complemented with a side order of fries seasoned with fresh rosemary and garlic. The buck doesn’t stop at your main meal – far from it in fact, as The Giri Café’s dessert menu is something to write home about; imagine a fluffy cloud of light, almond butter cake topped with strawberry chutney, a double dose of whipped cream and a light dusting of mint, orange zest and toasted almonds to create a frenzy for your taste buds. The Giri Café by night succeeds in creating an extraordinary gastronomical dining affair well worth the drive to San Juan from any corner of the island. This is what entices the loyal old and curious new clientele of The Giri Café to make this beautiful northern village a must-visit destination every season. Those really in the know also book a room next door in the namesake boutique hotel, hidden behind another subtle doorway just metres away, making the Giri experience carry on from day, to night, and into the day again…