Tulp Beach Café: Review

  • S’Arenal Promenade, San Antonio/Bay
    • Nick Gibbs

Tulp has a very special kind of cool that many aspire to but few achieve. It is an effortless kind of laid back beachcomber chic with a touch of freak.

We all tend to have particular establishments we frequent for particular needs. A favourite bar to watch football, a Spanish local for café and tostada, perhaps a place that is really good for keeping your kids happy or a good setting for meeting clients.

Tulp Beach Café has been on my certain-situations tick list for a long time, and it fulfils quite a few of them.

Obviously a great choice for sunsets and our default with visiting family and friends. Also a good choice for an hour getting to grips with ‘the morning after’, Something fresh, long and healthy and a quiet corner with the added sea breeze does wonders.

I have developed a taste for their Dutch menu treats and though I am not yet swallowing whole herrings as is the Dutch way, a fancying for a Frikandel or one of the best Nasi Goreng I’ve tasted will have me walking through their doors .

Then there is what I can describe no better than ‘the general atmos’. Tulp has a very special kind of cool that many aspire to but few achieve. It is an effortless kind of laid back beachcomber chic with a touch of freak.

A  respite seeking sunbather can snooze in a shady hammock alongside movers and shakers from club-world doing and dealing one cortado at a time.  A pristine Patsy Stone will be air kissing darlings when at the same time a dad runs by chasing his errant 2 year old who is making a break for it through the tangled jungle of chairs and trees, plus the odd elephant or two to make it all the more exciting.

Not many places I know would suit or welcome such a wide variety of people, but Tulp does so—and here’s that word again—effortlessly.

But of course it isn’t effortless. Owners Paul and Diana have spent years refining the art of  hospitality to achieve what we see as effortless cool. Creating a venue that attracts the right sort and dissuades the wrong ‘uns is no mean feat.

And that brings me to the last on my list of ticks as to when Tulp becomes my preferred choice. That being when I fancy an hour’s R&R without nutters. Tulp doesn’t have nutters and I love them for it.

Actually that isn’t the complete list is it. There are the St Barts fireworks, and of course it is a ‘fair’ meeting point half way between bay and town. I’m sure I’ll think of more.

So my list of reasons to go Dutch is already quite long, but after my visit last week to try some of their new season menu, I now have even more.

Carpaccio of Rose Veal & Dressed Salad

Is everybody familiar with Rose Veal yet? I’m not sure how commonplace it is here. If you don’t know, give it a google.

The flavour of the veal is very subtle, delicate even, and it seems to develop—it was half way through the plate I realised just how much I was enjoying it.

Perhaps that was in part due to how much I was enjoying the salad, I had no doubts on that from the first forkful.

The combination of capers, pine nuts, shaved parmesan and a pesto-mayo dressing sounds like something the MasterChef judges would ridicule as flavour insanity. However, if  Tulp’s plate were served to them you would have the rare pleasure of an episode in which they had to admit they had got it wrong.

Somehow the smooth delicate beef seemed to provide the ride for the popping taste sensations provided by the plate’s rowdy passengers. It did need a bit of seasoning to bring out the flavour, and in salt-happy Spain it is a welcome change to be left with the choice.

Really delicious, and absolutely perfect for a hot summer’s day when anything heavier would have you in a hammock for hours of recovery time.

That salad truly rocks. Love it.

Ridiculous Ribs

Now looking at the photo as I type, I don’t know whether the sheer scale of the Spare Ribs comes over (they are not called ridiculous on the menu—I just felt it apt).

In terms of pure volume I can’t remember being served a bigger plate. Huge. There are two of them both as big as the one you can see.

Brilliant ribs too, though my feelings were more of guilt than pleasure. My wife and son are both the committed red meat lovers in our house, so I felt truly awful to be food-cheating on them. That’s what I said when I got home anyway.

They were great ribs, but again sitting here a week after the event my heart keeps going back to that salad.

I have promised to take the family for the ribs though—I will leave them thinking I am being thoughtful, no need to mention the thriftiness of my cunning plan—at 14€ it will feed them both. And the dog come to think of it.

Carta de Gin

I mentioned the Tulp sunset as an obvious reason for a visit at the beginning didn’t I?

Well that just got better too.

Tulp have an extensive Gin menu and though typically a simple Larios and Schweppes man, they won be over with a Hendrick’s on cucumber with an elderflower tonic.

So refreshing, I mean cucumber in drinks, where have you been all my life?

Thing is, they are so perfect for the scorching heat that you could easily get through a few. They do go down what you could call the Tulp way …. effortlessly.

 

For more info and bookings for Tulp Beach Café visit their website www.tulpibiza.com