A long leisurely lunch at Villa Mercedes on the hottest day of the year so far. Great company with our oldest Spanish friends going back pre-millennium, plus views out over the marina and a birthday thrown in for good measure. Then factor in a 3 course menu of sublime quality for 15€ and it all adds up to one of those perfect Ibiza days. If people back home understood living a life full of days like these we’d never again hear the question “do you think you’ll ever move back”.
Vegetable wok with prawns.
Packed with juicy prawns, red and green peppers and fine soft noodles with that great sesame smoke flavour that was to prove a hit on several of today’s plates.
Grilled goats cheese salad with red fruits vinaigrette and honey.
A great example of how everything at Mercedes is food for the eyes as well as the mouth. The strawberries are always a welcome addition to a summer salad of fresh leaf and popping cherry tomatoes. The caramelised onion and goats cheese also complementing perfectly—and what a piece of cheese.
Gyosas in tempura with sweet chilli sauce and soy mayonnaise.
The Japanese dumplings are offered as a 2€ extra which did not deter 2 of us selecting these petite parcels of crispy …. actually I can’t be sure exactly what they do contain and as today was the first Minichefs session (see below) chef was far to frantic to ask. No mistaking the wasabi though, which together with a sweet chilli and soy mayonnaise should meet most people’s dipping demands.
Dorada (Fish) with a succulent aubergine garnish.
Always so good to have a really fresh white fish. When a fish like Dorada is perfectly cooked and truly fresh, the best way I can describe it is as if you can still taste the sea. I hope that will make sense to other fish fans out there. The aubergine, peppers and onions again had that subtle smoke of sesame.
Fillet steak with porcini sauce & homemade chips.
The fillet is a 5€ option—and good job too. If you are going to have steak surely better to pay a little more for a good one—and good it was, very good. Luckily for Rhian Mercedes had provided a steak knife of epic proportions and so she was equipped to fend off attempts to purloin the sirloin.
Beef Skewers with zucchini and peppers with chimichurri.
There was no lesser quality of beef on the skewers and this is in no small part due to the chef’s heritage. It would take a crafty butcher to pass off anything but the best to an Argentinean. Served with some delicious baby roast potatoes—good enough to cause one of the now rare exceptions and allow yourself some salt.
We were happy to let Mercedes prepare a Sortido for the centre of the table. We had Chocolate brownie, Forest Fruits Cheesecake and both Limon and Mango sorbets.
And then with the food finished it is ’Villa Time’. Kicking back in the sun on the terrace after a fantastic lunch with no more cares than which of the speciality Gin and Tonics to go for today. Call me a bore but I prefer a straightforward Larios and Schweppes, but connoisseurs will find plenty to please.
Our son is off happily playing with other diner’s children in the gardens that surround the restaurant.
Parents from several tables seem to share that unspoken agreement to each take our turn at some supervision of the group, enough to keep everybody smiling but not so much as to detract from the boozy slumber. Afternoons at Villa Mercedes often result in families joining together, it’s that kind of place. Quality without snobbery, relaxed yet refined.
Between the four of us we had several cañas and soft drinks on arrival, 2 bottles of good wine, a half litre of water and the 4 menus which came to a total cost of 105€ – so with a tip around 30€ a head. For this standard of service, environment and of course quality of food it is exceptional value for money.