For those in ‘the know’, the secluded cove of S’Estanyol has long been a treasured and precious place, a haven from the masses, a heavenly spot just outside of the village of Jesus, a place which has been a fiercely guarded ‘secret’ for many years. However, that looks set to change, as the beautifully renovated chiringuito, aptly named Cala Bonita, which opened without pomp or ceremony this year, is shaking up the fine dining scene of the island by bringing a new level of culinary excellence to the island.
The driving force behind this most elegant new destination comes from the global influences of the restaurants owners and chefs, a truly international team, hailing from Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa who have worked all over the world, carefully honing their innate talents, and have now joined together to create this new slice of Ibizan paradise. Ibiza Style spoke to Mike, one of the partners, who explains that the one thing they all identify with is finding a place in life where you can enjoy true natural beauty, and where they can showcase what really matters to them, which is great quality food & wine, beautiful music, all within this glorious setting.
Their firm philosophy, he explains, is about respecting the environment, the natural beauty, and making the most of the local produce and local talent, from the Ibicencan carpenter who built the tables, to the island made Law gin, which is brewed using only natural fragrant herbs from the Ibiza. Everything in the kitchen is made by hand, each morning the chefs go foraging in the local forest to take fresh pine leaves to infuse the in house pine oil, also they collect fresh wild fennel and rosemary which goes into many of their excellent dishes. The lubina fish for example is soaked overnight in water scooped straight from the sea, the seasalt helps to intensify the flavour of the fish and loosen the scales, it’s then coated with salt in the morning and placed into the wood fired grill, where the aroma of the smoke and the salt gives it a wonderfully crispy crust, and is served decorated with wild fennel flowers, simply delicious. We could go on and on about the number of divine dishes on the menu, but it would take too long; we recommend you try for yourself!
Mike tells us that for him and his team, it’s all about respect, making the place accessible to the local people and holidaymakers alike, and allowing islanders to be proud of the local produce they see be used. As for the decoration, it’s delicate, humble and natural, beautifully blending African and Moroccan influences with subtle lighting, whilst retaining the simple, unfussy style of the original chiringuito itself. Having searched the island for a suitable venue, Mike and his partner Karen were drawn back time after time to S´Estanyol, and in the end it was the abundance of natural herbs and the sheer beauty of the bay that helped them to their final decision.
Everyone is welcome here, and you can choose to dine in the comfort of the shaded and stylish restaurant area, or enjoy the full menu as you relax on the stylish sunbeds. Mike tells us that this is just another part of their firm belief that people from every walk of life should be able to come and enjoy the fabulous food and idyllic location, not just a privileged few.
So, when choosing your next fine dining destination, in true Ibiza Style, look no further than Cala Bonita, a paragon of excellence and passion in everything they do.