Ibiza, in foodie terms, is inside-out. The wider island is scattered with beach clubs and rural restaurants serving up first-rate fusion cuisine (see Cotton Beach Club, Bambuddha, Sunset Ashram). But the main town, Ibiza, is something of a culinary ghost-town, packed with identikit bars serving the same plates of scorched fish, fried calamari, and jamón ibérico, at, lets be honest, given what you’re getting, the same outrageous prices.
La Brasa, located on Carrer de Pere Sala in the heart of Ibiza town, is different. As soon as you walk in, you see a place with its own identity, from the climbing plants that encircle the entrance, to the twinkling lights that hang over every table, to the range, coal-fired and ready to grill you a nice shoulder of lamb. It’s a little like wandering into a fairy story. There’s even a jolly jailbird – the cashier, holed up in a little stone room, tallying up your bill when you’ve eaten.
Ah, the food. Cool little eateries can so often be a disappointment. (There are plenty of places here that look cozy and enticing, only to serve up a lump in the stomach and a dent to the wallet). La Brasa does not make this mistake.
Tapas is only served until 7pm, so when our friendly waitress swings by with two menus, filled with temptations, we peruse the evening menu. It’s everything you’d want, from light bites to heavier meals. We start with a bottle of dry Torres white wine, and plunge straight into the food.
My partner isn’t that hungry – it’s a hot and cloudless evening – so she chooses a main of the octopus and cucumber salad. I go for the anchovies with bruschetta, followed by fresh Anglerfish casserole – a melange of clams, mussels and crayfish, steamed and served in a light tomato sauce. It’s good, light and, perhaps most importantly, local food. And we didn’t have to jump in our hire care or a cab (we were staying in Ibiza town) to get there. It’s everything a romantic holiday meal should be. And it didn’t cost the earth.