Essential Ibiza Lunch Review at Rehab.
There’s plenty of beach clubs to choose from here on the White Isle, but Rehab Ibiza, a brand new offering for this season, is arguably one of the finest. Enjoying a stellar first year on the island, the chic, laid back ambience, bright, fresh food and enviable location put it ahead of the pack. It’s already one of our firm favourites, so when we were invited down to enjoy some lunch by the beautiful Talamanca Bay, we eagerly accepted.
With Balinese detailing, ambient music and beautiful harbour views, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Rehab Ibiza before you’ve even taken a seat. The big, shiny tables are clad in classy black details and cast iron lanterns are dotted liberally around, eliciting ooh’s and aah’s from our lunch guests as we took refuge from the fierce August heat under a printed, tasseled parasol. The sophisticated black, white and gold colour palette is interjected only by the bright cherry blossoms and wisteria snaking around the building, and the ginormous bouquets of bright flowers placed lovingly into vases around the outskirts of the seating area. For those seeking less formality, there’s a day bed area right on the front of the golden sands, with waiter service offering delicious cocktails and snacks.
Now, more about those cocktails. As soon as we were seated, our friendly host was over asking if we’d like to try some of the cocktails – and of course, we’re never ones to turn down that offer. We chose four: a Big in Japan mojito with sake, vodka, vanilla and raspberry; a Diablo Margarita with tequila, cointreau, mango, chilli and lemon; a Forbidden Fruits with strawberry, raspberry, lemon and sugar on a base of blueberry rum; and a Sun Kissed Virgin, an alcohol free number with orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and orgeat syrup. The general consensus of the table was that the thick, syrupy Forbidden Fruits was the most moreish of the selection, but my personal fabourite was the Diablo Margarita, which was super spicy, fruity and exotic and garnished lavishly with chilli slices. All four cocktails were bright, beautiful and incredibly popular with the group – which just about set the tone for everything else we were about to sample.
Rather than a traditional set up of starters, mains and desserts, we opted for a selection of mains to pick at as a table – and it was 100% the right decision. A savoury feast of meat, fish and veggie offerings rendered our table – which was heaving under all the food – the brightest gourmet offering I’ve seen on the White Isle. The first dish we tried was roasted aubergine stuffed with goats cheese and sundried tomatoes and served on a pea soot salad – the garlicky stuffing tasted a bit like pesto, and complemented the soft flesh of the aubergine perfectly, especially when topped with decadent wheels of creamy goats cheese. The first (but not last) show stopper came out shortly after – a ginormous pile of pork ribs served with Asian pickles and jalapenos on the side. The meat was incredibly thick, melty and fell straight off the bone – it tasted more delicate than it looked, with a simple BBQ marinade. The portion was ginormous and there was more than enough to go around, but that didn’t stop us squabbling over the last one – they were phenomenal.
Next up was a plate of beautifully white, fresh squid, dusted with paprika and served on a bed of bean sprouts and edamame, along with a bright chilli sauce. The piece de resistance, though, came in the form of a whole grilled sea bass, served with Vietnamese dressing and chilli lime seasonal vegetables. The beautiful fish was white and flakey with a bright herb crust, and the thick, honey-based sauce poured over each serving like velvet. The warm side salad of Asian vegetables complemented the fish perfectly and was a really nice, light and healthy way to share an incredibly impressive dish. To finish our mains, we were brought a couple of side orders – charred asparagus, caramelised to blackness in parts and topped with crushed peanuts, and a flavoursome seaweed and papaya salad with a spicy kick and a zesty Asian dressing.
When the food arrived, one member of our party exclaimed ‘oh my god, it’s the prettiest food I’ve ever seen!’ shortly before we annihilated the entire offering. And while we all felt sated and well fed after our main courses (and had left very little remaining), we were content after the light, healthy and fresh fare that Rehab Ibiza does so well. Unsurprisingly, desserts were another spectacle – the first one brought to the table was Chocolate Heaven, a staggering concoction of chocolate brownie with chunky hazelnuts in, a melt in the middle chocolate soufflé with a thick, crunchy top, a delicate chocolate macaron and a smorgasbord of ice cream, berries, sauces and biscuit crumbs.
The second was a sweet, exotic foodie take on a piña colada – grilled pineapple, coconut sorbet, pina colada ice cream and a generous sprinkling of banana chips on the top. To round up the dessert course, two more came out: a deconstructed strawberry cheesecake topped with berries, which was lighter and fresher than a normal cheesecake and – my ultimate favourite – the salty caramel dessert, a sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream, toffee sauce and flaked almonds. It was divine, so rich and sweet – sticky toffee pudding isn’t something you’d necessarily think of ordering in 30+ degree heat, but this one was light and lovely.
After we’d tackled the dreamy desserts and our amicable hosts had cleared our table, we thought we were all but done. But to finish, we were presented with a gigantic fruit platter – melon, pineapple, passionfruit, mango and berries, all scattered with fruit caviar in a giant icy silver platter. As we sipped coffees and picked at the colourful fresh fruit, we all agreed that it was the perfect way to finish the meal.
Sated and content, we even managed an hour on the sumptuous beach-front loungers before we left, baking in the afternoon sun. Thank you so much for a wonderful lunch, Rehab Ibiza – if you’re looking for the brightest, freshest and tastiest food on the White Isle, we couldn’t recommend it more highly.