k Clandestino k
Why oh why have we not visited this marvellous place sooner? It’s a little oasis found a few blocks away from the madness of Bossa on Calle Picasso and a stones throw from Sankeys nightclub. It’s a charming little find that captures cool rustic décor without over trying with lovely whitewashed furniture that we are told was constructed by the owner’s own fair hands. The restaurant inside is equally inviting as the outside with a funky bar area and fireplace perfect for those cosy (and boozy) lunches that ex-pats crave in the winter.
On arrival you are immediately greeted with genuine warmth from husband and wife team Pier Paolo who hails from Italy and French wonder women Sabrina – a fabulous foodie marriage made in heaven. Their menu reflects dishes from their homelands with wonderful Mediterranean touches. Fresh, seasonal and always homemade – this is one of the secrets of their success.
Good friend of LoveFoodIbza Tim Payne has recently taken over the kitchen as Head Chef. Respectful of the existing menu, Tim has a true understanding of the essence of Clandestino and I’m sure he will only enhance what is already a winning formula. I think he has finally found his Ibiza home.
Whilst Tim talks us through the menu we enquire about the cocktails that have been highly recommended by our resident mixologist Chris Edwardes (of Hidden). Paolo eyes light up when he talks cocktails – as a very well respected mixologist earning his stripes at London’s Soho House and the London Academy of Bar Tending, he certainly knows his stuff. His cocktails really are rather special. We let him conjure up house specialities that were refreshingly sublime with a little hint of magic in every sip. And as for his classic mojitos, well that’s what they are, classic!
When I asked how they met and what brought them to Ibiza Sabrina says – “I met PierPaolo in London in 2001. We both had we a clear vision of having our own restaurant but as we were young at the time knew we needed more experience. So we looked at working at some of the best places in the city, I worked for five years as a manager at Soho House where PierPaolo was working as a bartender. He then moved on from there to work at was the best cocktail bar in London at that time – LAB Bar in Soho. London really is the very best school and it trained us perfectly to be ready for opening Clandestino. And so after five years of living in London we decided to start a family. We had been coming to Ibiza for many years and thought it would be perfect and a safe place to bring up children offering a better quality of life. We always knew Ibiza could give us a great opportunity to start a restaurant and finally settle. When we first took over Clandestino in July 2013 we lived on the premises for about six months, it made sense – we had all the amenities here and it was fun..well for our children anyway!”
When it comes to the menu Sabrina and PierPaolo’s philosophy is simple: “We are concentrating on local and seasonal produce and whenever possible direct from farms in Ibiza, we go to the local farm which is on the San Jordi road, only a one minute walk from Clandestino”. No food mileage here!
Clandestino do not have a regular main menu per se, they have a Specials Board which is not vast – always a good sign indicating it is fresh and changeable. But what does feature on the menu will not leave you stuck for choice as it all sounds and looks delicious. Great anti pasti, simple fresh homemade pasta, a selection of fish and meat dishes – it covers all bases. On recommendation for starters we had wonderful creamy local burita and tomato pesto salad, wafer thin melt in the mouth beef with rocket and a ceviche of tiger prawns on a beautiful ripe avocado salad.
I have to say that the main course was exceptional, la Pluma Ibérica – a cut of pork that I was unfamiliar with (even Tim said he had not cooked with it before). It’s known as feather loin, which is a cut that comes from the shoulder section of the loin. This acorn fed, free-range iberico pork is marbled with flavorful fat that melts away when it’s cooked. What stands out is that it is amazingly tender and juicy with a delicious richness of flavour (not dissimilar to slow cooked ribs). Due to its small size, only two feather blades will be available from each Iberico pig – therefore making it a delicacy. I assumed that the intensity of flavour came from slow cooking but in fact it only needs to be flash grilled. It was an undeniable taste sensation that was nothing short of exquisite. Served with a simple but wonderful mashed potatoes (the secret tip is to use baked potatoes instead of boiled) and a sweet but tart homemade apple sauce – perfecto. Yes I was so impressed that I bullied the diners sitting next to us into choosing it – I was high fived as a result.
As our meal came to an end the restaurant filled with more customers, glitzy pre-clubbers, some dining, some sitting at the bar enjoying the cocktails. There was an underlining atmosphere of excitement bubbling. Clandestino has quite rightly become the restaurant of choice for the owners of Sankeys, Space and DC10. Sabrina tells us it’s a firm favourite of Sasha, Rudimental, Pete Gooding, Apollonia and Luciano and now of course little ol’ LoveFoodIbiza!
- Address: Calle Pablo Picasso 22 Ibiza, 07800, Playa d’en Bossa
- Phone: +34 653 934 512