Samovar is a spacious outdoor covered restaurant bar on a quiet street in Siesta. It's a mish-mash that had me smiling and feeling at home from the moment we arrived. There's a sense of generations colliding - old homely furniture with tweaks of modern table arrangements. The menu looks crisp and beautiful on soft cream paper. The wine menu looks like it was printed in the eighties (although delightfully international which was refreshing as many restaurants only serve Spanish wines - here there were wines from Australia, the Americas. Great!) I fell in love with the contrast.
Opening in 1978 Samovar offers everything from snacks from the in-house bakery to homemade pizzas, icecreams to a fullblown evening meal from a comprehensive six page menu. The childrens menu is well done but vegetarians beware - you might struggle here (although in the same breath, I've a feeling the chef would be pleased to help - the place just has that kind of sense about it - "people matter")
With this extraordinary ... mix, I wondered just what sort of meal we were in for. I need not have worried. I seldom bother to mention bread & alioli in my reviews - it has to have something truly remarkable for me to give it space. In Samovars case however it's a 'must order'. The alioli (garlic mayonnaise - an island specialty) itself is fairly non-descript but served with the bread from the bakery, simply wow!
A starter of battered prawns in sweet chilli sauce seemed quite ... unremarkable in its description. It was one of those lovely moments when a restaurant, unknowingly or otherwise downplays a dish. The batter was superb - crisp but not oily and the prawns huge! My guest had ordered the curry soup with prawns on a lemongrass kebab and was equally impressed. It was fast becoming clear as to why this restaurant has survived so well for more than three decades.
A mains of Argentinian rump steak with herb butter salad and fries was on a par with all we had experienced so far; the steak cooked as requested and surprisingly tender. On being informed that the chef had been with the restaurant for twenty years I was unsurprised. He obviously knew his kitchen and dishes perfectly, ensuring this was reflected in presentation and enjoyment for the diner. The steak was better than I'd had in restaurants charging twice the price.
Dessert was just a game. With homemade ice creams on the menu we reverted to childish joy, my guest tucking into a 3 flavoured bowl and I sipping a vanilla milkshake. Ice cream lovers might want to consider the 'Titanic' - 12 flavours of ice cream in one huge dish...
An average three course dinner would comfortably be in the 25-30 euro range per person, not including drinks.
Saturdays - special BBQ - select your meats and watch them be cooked in front of you.
Sundays - Paella "show cooking" - just 12.90 euros pp.
Wednesdays (until the end of August) -Family Bingo (with childrens toys provided!)
Special event - 3rd August - Lost Mountain Orchestra (jazz)
Special event - 30th August - steel band accompanies the evening.
Special Event - Oktoberfest for one week, starts 17th September - Bavarian beer specialities, live music. Time to dress up.
Look out for the huge murial that spans one of the walls of the restaurant. Painted for the owner, she likes to joke that you don't need to go anywhere else to see Ibiza, for everything is in the painting from Dalt Vila to the Almond Blossom, the traditional people of the island, even the fincas. It really is quite something.
The restaurant closes at the end of October.
For more information, contact Samovar directly.
...because egg-white omelettes aren't for everyone.
A showcase interview with Ibiza Lights photographer Jose Antonio Hervás.
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A new parade and series of events will take place 8-12 July 2015.