Some of our readers who’ve spent time in Ibiza may be familiar with the name Sol y Sombra. To jog memories, the ‘Sun and Shade’ used to be a popular Spanish-owned restaurant 50 metres up a narrow road just opposite Playa Es Puet at the start of San Antonio bay. Some of our winter residents may also recall a biblical storm in 2009 which re-arranged large portions of the coast and unfortunately also happened to re-arrange the restaurant by destroying most of the trees and removing the Sombra from the equation. The owners were open for a while, but accepted the fact that you cannot have a restaurant called Sol y Sol and the space has been closed for the last couple of years much to the chagrin of local food lovers who owned their own hats.
Luckily a carpenter with a vision has taken over the restaurant this year and, with his team, has been working some wooden miracles over the winter months. The Sombra is back in the form of a large hand-built canopy, with smaller shaded areas littered around the Garden. The Sol of course never left. Feel free to insert your own ‘you know you’ve got sol’ or ‘food that’s good for the sol’ joke here to save me doing it. Many Thanks.
Paul is the carpenter and, along with his Argentinian partner Melina, they’ve decided to remain true to the restaurant’s long heritage by serving up Spanish favourites on the grill.
I’ve turned up in my little white shorts and wristbands (sponsored by Primark) to combine the Wimbledon final with the 15 euro set-menu that’s already getting a name for itself.
It kicks off with a wooden slab that you can tell has had Paul’s hand in making, covered with bread, alioli and olives. The bread is white and fluffy (none of that grey brick here), the alioli has some pesto running through it which is a nice touch and the olives are beautifully marinated with chillies. 15 – Love.
I’m being treated to a special extra on top of the menu as Paul really wants me to give the squid a try. It’s a combination of calamari and baby squid lightly fried in a batter and smothered with black and white alioli. I can see why Paul is so proud of this dish – the squid is wonderfully tender and tasty, and the alioli is heavenly. 30 – Love.
Back on the menu with the main course and it’s a meat feast accompanied with fresh salad and crispy home-made chips. There’s a lot of meat here – we have chicken breast with a chimichurri sauce, chicken wing, pork rib, 2 cuts of beef, a blood sausage and normal sausage. I’m a tad worried that I’m not going to finish this after my large plate of squid, but I manage to get most of it down and it’s delicious. There’s a definite influence from Melina here with the sauce and sausage. No nationality knows their meat like an Argentinian! 40 – Love.
I’ve not really saved any space for dessert, but in the interests of science I indulge myself in the cheesecake. It’s rich and tasty and far too much for my widening waistline, I’m truly gutted that I can’t finish it. New balls, please.
I manage to polish everything off just as Djokovic retains his Wimbledon title and congratulate Paul on the food. I can tell that he really is passionate about the meat he sources as he reels off a list of high quality suppliers from all over the island that he has researched and built up relationships with. Sol y Sombra – The Garden is all about quality ingredients cooked perfectly on the grill in a wonderful space. It opens from 2pm – 1am and the set menu of bread, alioli & olives, followed by mixed grill with salad and homemade chips, then finished off with dessert of the day is available between 2pm and 5pm.
I feel a little like the fat guy looks in the first row on Centre Court as I contentedly waddle off back home for a lie-down. Game, set and match.
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