Travel restrictions in some parts of the world may mean we can’t visit our favourite exotic destinations right now, but thanks to many of the island’s well-travelled and creative chefs, we can still savour the flavours of Asia here on the white isle. Using produce sourced here on the island and fusing it with ingredients and techniques from far-flung destinations such as Japan, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, these restaurants will take your taste buds to the orient and back again, without needing to pack a bag and leave the comfort of Ibiza.
There’s absolutely no denying that when it comes to fusing Mediterranean cuisine with Asian dishes in Ibiza, Bambuddha have been the pioneers. After first opening its doors in 1999, the restaurant trademarked its MediterrAsian menu, so popular was its signature culinary style. Over the years, as Bambuddha has grown – and the island’s gastronomy scene with it – they have remained at the forefront of the industry. There couldn’t be anywhere more perfectly suited to enjoy fusion cuisine – more like a temple than a restaurant, the signature Bambuddha style includes Indonesian style canopies, huge stone Buddha statues, decadent chandeliers, rustling bamboo fences and sumptuous furnishings. The menu itself is a testament to the owners’ dedication to fusing classics with creativity: think Korean tuna tartare, Iberian beef carpaccio, Vietnamese fried chicken, wild Kowloon king crab and of course, an array of curries, endless platters of sushi and so much more. Reservations essential.
A newcomer on the Ibiza scene in 2020, Hawker Beach Club Ibiza is the brainchild of Laila Bazahm, the culinary queen behind renowned Barcelona hotspot Hawker 45. Her signature style of high-end southeast Asian and Latin American street food – and indeed the restaurant’s moniker – are inspired by the traditional hawkers (street food sellers) in places such as Thailand, Manila, Singapore and beyond. It’s easy to be wowed by the beachfront setting – discovered only after walking through a long and dark LED-lit tunnel through the AxelBeach Ibiza hotel complex in Cala de Bou – and the amazing sunset views at first, but in this beach club, the food is really the star. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, it’s never too early or late to tuck into Bazahm’s creations. Highlights include a yam kai do for breakfast, with a fried Thai fried egg on top, the sticky Thai chicken wings, Rendang curry of grilled Angus shortribs and the Singaporean Laksa. Everything is homemade, and draws on the produce of the island and mainland, fusing it with the vibrant and exotic flavours of Asia. A must try this summer.
Situated just opposite the promenade and marina of Ibiza, with views to Ibiza’s iconic old town, Dalt Vila, IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar has been winning the hearts of local foodies and holidaymakers alike since its opening just a few years ago. The creation of Amsterdam-based THE ENTOURAGE GROUP, the Ibiza outpost of this renowned restaurant, set in the glamorous Sir Joan hotel, puts and Ibiza twist on Asian fine dining – think small plates ideal for Mediterranean style sharing made with local ingredients and time-honoured techniques. Taking much menu inspiration from classic Japanese dishes, sashimi and sushi are a standout – with a huge array of vegetarian options – while creative salads made with the island’s freshest seafood are great for hot summer nights. Fresh off the Robata grill are dishes such as Jumbo Jurassic prawns with a spicy yizu sauce, spring chicken with truffle teriyaki and a melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin. Reservations are essential due to limited capacity.
When it comes to fine dining in Ibiza, you don’t get much finer than the incredible La Gaia, the high-end restaurant concept housed on the ground floor of the impressive five-star grand luxe resort, Ibiza Gran Hotel in Marina Botafoch. Acclaimed executive chef Óscar Molina has dedicated many years to evolving the La Gaia concept into what it is today – a take on traditional Japanese Kaiseki using Mediterranean produce. Here, dinner becomes a ceremony inspired by the delicate balance between flavour, texture, presentation and colour. Every last mouthful is savoured, never to be forgotten. Standout dishes include pureed roasted aubergine with a tsume foam (a shellfish glaze), Tuna belly usuzukuru and locally caught ray fish ravioli. Desserts too, are a work of art – inspired by local Ibiza traditions and given a fine dining Japanese twist. La Gaia is not just a restaurant – it’s an experience, and one no Ibiza lover should go without.
Internationally acclaimed fusion restaurant Nagai stands out on the rustic road between Ibiza town and San Juan – known locally as ‘restaurant road’ – thanks to the amazing Geisha murals emblazoned on the old finca walls, by local artist Findac. The exterior is just the initial attraction however – here, it’s what’s inside that counts. Step inside the low-lit restaurant space and be prepared for a feast for all senses – award-winning chef Reina Nagai is one of the island’s most creative and talented culinary heroes. Sushi, of course, is one of the restaurant’s main attractions – made with the finest Japanese organic rice – however the hearty fusion menu is equally as impressive. The light-as-air homemade gyozas are one of the most popular dishes, the Wagyu beef tatami and chicken karaage have their very own fan clubs and the curries are truly out of this world. Drawing on local produce, and with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, Nagai has become known as a must-visit on the Ibiza gastronomic map.
The reputation of fine dining destination Nobu certainly precedes it – you’d be hard pressed to find a well-travelled lover of fine dining who hasn’t heard of it or eaten in one of the many outposts around the world – and yet its Ibiza home base manages to surprise and delight diners with a plethora of dishes that take chef Nobusan’s signature style and fuse it with the traditions, produces and tastes of the Med. Set on the stunning starlit wooden deck of Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, on the seafront of Talamanca (just outside of Ibiza town), the iconic restaurant is as unpretentious and laid-back as its island location. Fans of Nobu will be happy to know their favourite dishes such as the black cod miso and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño make an appearance on the menu, but the more adventurous foodies out there will love the padron pepper crispy rice, Formentera prawns and locally-sourced seabass. Reservations recommended.
To the uninitiated, Shamarkanda may be a bit of a tongue twister, but those-in-the-know will tell you it’s a place well worthy of perfecting its pronunciation. Named after a colourful city in Central Asia that was once a cultural crossroads along the Silk Road, the rustic-chi restaurant plays homage to a variety of Asian cultures, fusing them with the bohemian internationalism of Ibiza. Set within a stunning olive grove surrounded by pine forests (and boasting its own onsite veggie garden), the space is 100% Ibiza, and when it’s filled to the brim (within social distancing guidelines of course), live music is playing and rich aromas are floating out of the kitchen, there’s no place better to spend a balmy summer night in Ibiza. The menu showcases an array of Asian favourites – sushi, bao buns (soft shell crab, pork belly or vegetarian), curries, Thai salads and more – plus Mediterranean-influenced dishes like grilled octopus, marinated sardines, grilled aubergine with miso and cod fritters – all with exotic salsas and accompaniments that take your taste buds on a journey from east to west.
There is no restaurant in Ibiza that is more appropriately named than The View, the upper level restaurant on the sprawling grounds of 7Pines Kempinksi Ibiza that looks over the Mediterranean Sea to Es Vedra and the horizon. As night falls, the restaurant comes to life – after witnessing the incredible sunset from your front row seat – and the menu is a sophisticated ode to traditional Asian cooking methods, made using the finest local produce, in addition to internationally sourced ingredients when only the very best will do. The finest meats, fish and vegetables are barbecued on the Japanese-style Robata grill, and a selection of tasting menus are available to allow you to treat your palate to a selection of the chef’s favourite culinary combinations. Dishes range from veal sweetbreads and green Thai papaya salad to softshell crab, blue lobster, Wagyu beef striploin, silken tofu, octopus – all with elegant Asian tastes that take you to the Orient and back in one bite. Be sure to save room for the decadent homemade desserts – the Golden Chocolate Buddha is The View’s signature, but it’s also hard to resist the Banh Chuoi Nuong (Vietnamese banana cake) if you have a sweet tooth. Reservations recommended.