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Review: Nikki Beach Opening

Beach club bliss

As you might expect for a global beach club brand, Nikki Beach isn't content to let anyone miss out on any fun: there's not just one, but two opening parties, plus a raft of events throughout the summer. Thursday saw the beach club open its doors for the first time this year, giving us a preview of what we can expect this season. Its famous annual White Celebration on 6 June is the official opening event and the day it dedicates to mark the real start of the summer season – white is the warmest colour to wear on this day.

Nestled in the North East of the island just outside Santa Eulalia, this smartly decked-out club features chic, sumptuous furnishings, with the trademark all-white sunbeds; its octagon bar, with some excellent signature cocktails; and a high-end restaurant featuring food inspired by the brand's 14 worldwide locations. There's also some ‘sexy' dancers to add to the ambience, all of whom have worked in different Nikki Beach clubs worldwide. In fact sexy is a good word to describe the place, as it does really capture the raw energy of its surroundings.

The food was something we were keen to try out. The restaurant is set on an open terrace ahead of the pool and sun lounger area, so you can watch the action there and stare out to sea as you dine. You'll find an extensive sushi selection on the menu with some great Asian fusion cuisine as well as Provençal, Thai and Mexican dishes and many others. Pricing is keen for this type of place too and the produce comprises local fresh fish, quality meat and local organic veg.

We tried some of those signature cocktails whilst choosing what to order – there is quite an extensive choice of food, so you might be minded to do the same to help you decide. A trio of cocktails was brought to us quite quickly so no big wait. The World Famous Mojito stood up to its legend, whilst my Marrakech Martini was refreshing with cucumber vodka to cool and balance the sweetness of the melon liqueur. Our photographer opted for opulence with his St Tropez Sparkle champagne cocktail, with vodka, pineapple juice and fresh strawberries. Yum!

Spankingly fresh sushi

Deciding to try out as much as possible, we thought that sharing would be the best move. The menu is in fact very much set up for this and is a great way to sample the variety on offer. First up was the Sushi Dragon, served on a carved wooden dragon-like serving platter. It was a great and fresh start to the meal with spicy tuna, salmon and crab rolls plus a selection of sashimi pieces and ngiri – small balls of rice with the fish placed on top. The freshness of this sushi means you just get the iodine-scented flavours of newly caught fish. Top tip – don't go heavy on the wasabi as I did; the sushi stands out alone.

The Signature Plate, which we had next, gives you a chance to sample the broad range of starters available. Here you get mezze, cured ham on bruschetta, fresh tuna tostadas, hummus and the famous sexy salad, stuffed with fresh crab. Going for a more European-style starter, we then tried the Il Burratina salad which combines unctuous imported Italian burrata cheese, candied figs, toasted pistachios and the most delicious tomatoes we had tasted all year. The balance of the sweet, with this soft young cheese made from mozzarella and cream makes it the perfect summer starter.

The mains event

After a good amount of the excellent fish, we settled on some meatier options for the mains, namely the Black Angus Beef Fillet and the Famous Chicken Satay. The beef was cooked rare and had all the hallmarks of a good fillet: tender, flavoursome and juicy. The accompanying sauce made with foie gras was rich and packed with flavour; the richness is just at the right level and provides a good solid complement to the beef. Next our chicken satay main came nicely marinated with a softly spiced peanut sauce; the vegetables crisp and crunchy, all the better to showcase the flavour of the local produce.

If that wasn't enough, we were also treated to a special of tuna tacos with a salsa of sour cream and fresh lime courtesy of global head chef Brian Molloy, whom we were fortunate enough to meet. Brian was there to oversee food operations for the opening. He said: “We price the food reasonably so that everyone gets to try it: we want to see people leaving happy, wanting to come back and excited to tell their friends.” Brian's words make Nikki Beach's tagline of ‘Tell Only your Best Friends' easy to understand as the venue goes all out for an experience to remember.

Club entrepreneur Jack Penrod founded Nikki Beach after the loss of daughter, Nicole, following a tragic car accident, as he wanted the spirit of his daughter to live on. A charitable arm, called Nikki Cares has also been created and raises money for charities worldwide to extend this legacy. It's a touching story and once you learn it, it doesn't seem surprising, as there is a warmth you feel from all that greet you here.

A great value way of trying out the club is via its Amazing Sunday events, where for €75 you get food and endless champagne. We're sure you'll be glad you went whatever the day.

WORDS | Julian Heathcote PHOTOS | James Chapman

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