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Food Review: CBbC Marina, Santa Eulalia, Ibiza

Deluxe dining in a stylish, modern venue at the mouth of a marina.

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Why go? To dine in style with the Santa Eulalia wet-set.

What kind of food is it? Although famous for traditional rice dishes and seafood, there is something special for everyone on the CBbC Marina menu.

What diets does it cater for? Seafood lovers will be in for a treat, but vegans might not be so satisfied.

Ibiza Spotlight tip: Splash out on one of the taster menus to experience the full talents of the chefs.

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The Venue

The gastronomic scene in Santa Eulalia is undergoing something of a renaissance, with more high-end restaurants opening in 2019, increasing the quality on offer and upping the level of competition. CBbC Marina Santa Eulalia, the latest venue in the chain of this growing luxury brand, has just raised the bar a little higher.

This sharp, modern venue has been given an authentic nautical feel with wood planking, hanging rope rigging nets, buoys and propeller like ceiling fans. Terraces on the waters edge offer diners a beautiful backdrop of Santa Eulalia bay and the deluxe sporting yachts coming in and out of the marina.


The Ambience


Forming part of an exclusive sports marina you might expect an air of formality, but it is not the case. Visitors can choose just to relax with a beer and watch the sun go down on the deck of the comfortable chill-out bar or dine in the casual restaurant. In both areas service is slick, professional and courteous, with everyone seemingly proud of the quality of cuisine.

Sitting so close to the water, with light entering from all around, CBbC Marina is one of those perfect settings to enjoy the finest, freshest seafood.


The Food

Bluefin tuna tiraditos


We were invited to try out one of the restaurant's enticing six-course degustation menus. Although it might sound a little greedy, each of the portions is half the size of the regular plates. It was just the right quantity of food to give us a great overview of the skills on show in the CBbC kitchen and plenty for us to discuss too. For only €65 a head, how could we refuse?

The feast commenced with the Peruvian classic, Tiraditos of Bluefin tuna. These delicate slivers of raw tuna were topped by two types of roe, flying fish eggs infused with wasabi and salmon roe in soy, and served with spicy drops of Japanese spiced mayo sauce, radish slices, pistachios and a soy reduction. A sushi lover's dream! Ii was immediately evident the detail in presentation that was required to pass the discerning eye of proud Head Chef Roberto.

Staying in South America, we moved on to the ubiquitous ceviche. Naturally the CBbC version was just a little bit special; with red prawns, Atlantic sea bass, guacamole, sweet potato purée and yucca chips. The peppery leche de tigre sauce formed a smooth paste with the sweet potato and the ice-cold seafood. As a massive fan of ceviche, I can honestly confirm this was one of the most unique combinations I have tried.


Octopus with sweet potato puree


Two more seafood treats quickly followed: First an octopus tentacle with sweet potato puree, figs, pistachio nuts and a sweet and spicy mango salsa. The tasty limb had been caramelised on the outside in a Josper wood oven but remained practically liquid in the centre.

Secondly, a dainty portion of risotto, with fillets of one of the finest and rarest fish, grouper. The firm flesh of the fish and al dente rice worked beautifully together, with just the right amount of aioli to make it distinctively Spanish.


Slow-cooked lamb chops, with port and chocolate sauce


Our final main course was a half rack of slow-cooked lamb chops, with a deeply reduced, unctuous port and chocolate sauce containing hints of cherry and lemon peel. Accompanied by a baked potato and a micro-veg medley (courgettes, aubergines, carrots and corn), the beautifully Frenched rack had been prepared for four hours sous vide, before being finished off in the Josper oven. The result - the most succulent lamb at the heart of a deeply rewarding dish.

Thankfully, the dessert course was a light palate cleanser; deliciously zingy Kalamansi (an Asian pigmy lime) sorbet, curry ice cream, French sponge and burnt sesame seed biscuit. But it didn't end there. To round off our elegant meal, we were treated to some delicious petit fours, washed down by a shot of the Chef's own homemade hierbas liqueur. Magnificent!


A light and sweet finish


Our meal had been perfectly complemented by a steady flow of dry, crisp Catalonian white wine, Mar y Cel, from the Penedès region, close to Barcelona and everyone was utterly satisfied at the end, marvelling at the complexity of dishes we had enjoyed.

So, if you are looking for a fine-dining experience, with refined presentation in luxurious surroundings, which isn't going to break the bank, then CBbC Marina Santa Eulalia is guaranteed to please.

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