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Food review: Tropicana Beach Club, Cala Jondal

Chilled dining on the sands of Cala Jondal.



Why go? To experience an original Ibiza beach club experience

What kind of food is it? The very best of local Ibizan and Mediterranean food as well as classic international recipes

Who is it for? For those who appreciate great food and service, in a beautifully relaxed beach setting

Best table? We loved the the laid-back beach bar area for al fresco eating


The venue

Spread out amongst the giant pebbles and soft sand at the quiet end of Cala Jondal beach, Tropicana Ibiza Beach Club is the original, quintessentially Ibizan beach club. After more than 30 years of golden service by the same family, it remains the standard by which all others are measured.

Whether snoozing on the comfortable sun beds under the palm-frond parasols, sipping a cocktail at the beach chiringuito, or enjoying a relaxing massage, everything at Tropicana Ibiza Beach Club is maximised for relaxation. Even getting into the sea for a swim has been made a lot easier with the addition of a helpful bathing pier, which also assists the dinghy service, taking the restaurant's delicious food to and from the boats at anchor.

Laid-back, casual beach dining

The ambience

Diners can opt between the formal restaurant or the laid-back beach bar. Both areas are immensely welcoming, with friendly waiters greeting you as they whiz between the tables, happily serving their clients without even a hint of arrogance. The waiters will lead you to the large, sociable dining tables, kitted out with beautifully comfy chairs, which make Tropicana the ideal location for those long, lazy lunches that go on all day.

Tropicana Ibiza Beach Club has everything you desire to completely relax

We arrived on the first sunny day after a washed-out Easter weekend and the place was already brimming with people with a fully booked lunch service - the perfect reminder that it is essential to pre-book your beds and tables here in high season, to avoid disappointment.

The food

Tropicana Ibiza Beach Club's gastronomy consists of the very best of traditional Ibizan and Mediterranean seafood, as well as classic international recipes and simpler plates such as salads and pasta. The entire menu adds up to a mesmerising choice of over 60 tempting dishes.

Such diversity could make choosing the perfect lunch a challenge, so we just put our faith in Manager Juan's expertise and let him make the selection for us. He definitely came up with the goods; delivering a choice of dishes that perfectly complemented each other and clearly demonstrated the versatility and talents of the chefs.

To whet our appetities, Juan treated us to a plate of pearlescent Jamon Ibérico, from Extremadura in Spain and sourced direct from a family farm. Each slice of ham, with its perfect accompaniment of crispy "crystal" bread and tomato salsa, melted in the mouth.

A delicate prawn carpaccio

Other starters included a delicate prawn carpaccio, floating on a tomato and white garlic tartare, giving us a gentle texture and subtle balance of flavours. A refreshing melon feta and walnut salad topped with sweet fig vinaigrette was the perfect light appetiser for summer dining.

We moved on to three contrasting and equally delicious main courses, selected by Juan. All were cooked to perfection and a joy to share in such generous portions. We loved the Secreto Ibérico, the Spanish butcher's juicy, secret cut from the pork shoulder, famous for its marbled fat. Every mouthful was a succulent pleasure. Our secreto, had been seared on a charcoal grill and came served with a traditional garnish of crispy potatoes and peppers. This one caused a collision over the final slice.

Black rice, a variation of a traditional paella was served next. Made with cuttlefish and clams and tinted with squid ink, it offered a deep richness to the flavour and texture of the rice.

Secreto Ibérico, Black rice and cod confit

The third dish in our trio was a fresh atlantic cod confit, slow-cooked in oil, served with spring onion and potato mash and a Romesco sauce (a traditional Catalan speciality made with roasted tomatoes and peppers, garlic and almonds). The cod was cooked just right, preserving all the wonderful texture and flavour of the meaty fish, yet still crumbling into flakes as the fork went in.

A varied wine list provides dozens of choices with the majority priced between €18 and €34 a bottle. Sitting in the shade on beautiful sunny day, we went for a chilled bottle of pink Ibizkus wine, created in Ibiza to refresh the palate at moments like these.

We were powerless to resist the offer of a trio of summery desserts: chocolate fondant with cubes of poached pear with blood orange sorbet; caramelised baked pineapple lasagne with coconut ice cream and toffee sauce and the heartwarming staple of tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate fondant with cubes of poached pear

Each indulgent dessert had been prepared with finesse and was beautifully plated. We all had a personal favourite, making it impossible to reach a consensus about which was the tastiest. (The chocolate one was definetly the best!)

Unchanged by the passage of time and understated, Tropicana Ibiza Beach Club is genuinely one of the friendliest, most welcoming places on Ibiza. With exceptional (not over priced) food and amazing staff - qualities that are becoming more rare - you will feel completely at home.


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