Mint

Nick Gibbs

mintWe all have  certain aspects of our work that are more enjoyable than others. Undoubtedly one of the perks of writing for a newspaper is the restaurant review. You learn to shut up about it among friends. Nobody wants to hear about your jollies around Ibiza’s wonderful range of eating establishments. For this column I must abandon any pretence at working for a living and concur with those acquaintances who tell me often enough I have it cushy.

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Mint in October is a date many look forward to. m1The return of their ridiculously good value low season menu del dia which, at only 12.50€ for 3 courses of fantastic fresh prepared chef fayre, would be great value anywhere. That it is available on the sunset strip (from 1 to 5pm daily) pushes the bounds of  value beyond those we normally expect in Ibiza.

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Greeted by manager and Mambo group stalwart Jonny  my initial questions from the standard text of food reviews were what he would particularly like to feature? When Jonny replied that he needed photography of the entire menu—5 starters and 5 mains—so did I mind if he brought it all out I was a bit stuck for words. On the one hand who could say they ’mind’ being given an entire menu. On the other hand my invited guest had to leave unexpectedly and so I was there on my own. What’s a boy to do? I called everybody I could think of in close proximity. Out of the area, answer phone, phone off, the latter two  resulting in some pretty disappointed people when calls started being returned later.  Ah well, best I just get on with it then.  Those behind the decks along the strip often say they are going to take you on a musical journey. Here then is the foodie version, my Mint magical mystery menu.

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Starters.

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Aubergine Parmigiana. One of several starters where the generosity of the portion would have been happily accepted as a main. The Aubergine was interleaved with melting tomato and cheese and topped with several big shards of parmigiana, very similar to in taste to parmesan though softer. A delicious fresh basil flavour worked perfectly.

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m10Esqueixada Salad. Definitely a contender for dish of the menu. Described as shredded cod, peppers, olives, greens and red onion the menu did not mention the fantastic Sicilian patterini (sure that’s not correct spelling—all I can be sure of is they were not the famous Sicilian pochino) tomatoes that were new to me. Wonderful taste and they were served in a sticky marmalade salsa—an epic combination.

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m8Steamed Vegetables. Topped with a knob of herb butter. Vegetarians are well catered for with 3 starters and a main (often 2 mains with the pizza) to choose from.

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Pumpkin Soup with Croutons. m9 Don’t fill up on bread was Marge’s advice to Homer at the outset of a similarly daunting eating challenge, but how could you not tuck in to fried points embedded with green peppercorns. I thought pumpkin soup might be heavy on a hot afternoon but not at all—a very light soup.

San Daniele Ham Croquettes. The real deal chef croquettes. Oozing with flavour and I dare say calories, though any weight watching concerns were clearly for another day.

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Mains.

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m7Seasonal Mushroom Lasagne. Contender number 2. A gorgeously creamy lasagne with the nuttiness of the best mushrooms in every mouthful. Even a sprinkling of miniature Japanese enoki mushrooms made the plate, and probably made chefs job of achieving his GP pretty tricky too.

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m4Sausage and Italian Chicory Pasta. A great choice for kids, and in a week or two for anybody wanting that winter comfort food fill up.

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m6Pizza of the Day.  A glance at the pizza and you’ll see this is not a second best choice at Mint. Today’s was ricotta and spinach complete with an egg fried into the centre. I’ve always wondered how they do that—blowtorch apparently.

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m3Beef Burger with Tomato Rocket and Mayo. Were my wife here instead of sitting at home with a Samsung Galaxy that has a dicky battery, this may well have been her first choice. A fat homemade beef patty—bone dry yet moist as it should be—came topped with some really tasty sundried tomatoes—much better than a regular salad. The mayo was lovingly prepared and the fried potatoes as good as mum makes.

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m2Tuna Tataki. Best till last? In my case yes. Love it, just love it. Served with an Italian twist in the form of an olive tapenade and some more of those superb pop in the mouth green peppercorns.

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Can’t end without a mention of the staff. Head chef Lorenzo has put together a fantastic menu. The front of house team are all friendly and attentive.

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The menu alternates weekly. Jonny invited me back next week. To everybody I know, please form an orderly queue.

 

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