Gastro / 20 Jul 2022

Authentic cuisine from the sea

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ishing in Sant Antoni de Portmany has a long tradition, dating back to the time of the Carthaginians and the Romans. Portus Magnus, as the Romans called it, formed a huge natural bay providing a safe haven and serving as a port for trading and supplies at a time when fish and its by-products, treated to preserve them, such as garum or salted fish, were much sought after in the Mediterranean world. Access to freshwater wells in the area was an additional bonus that increased the importance of the place. Centuries later, the fishing industry continued to grow in the Quartó de Portmany with this growth leading to the use of new, increasingly sophisticated methods for catching fish.

Today Sant Antoni de Portmany can be proud of its  village and sea port  where myriad craft set sail daily, returning to port with a huge range of top quality fish and seafood. Quality that is guaranteed by the Peix Nostrum seal developed by the Fishermen’s Guild to ensure full traceability of all the fish caught from their capture, to distribution and marketing.

Photograph extracted from the Facebook page Fotos Eivissa Antiga

The island’s most prevalent local fish can be found daily on the vessels anchoring at the docks, grouper, dentex, John Dory, scorpion fish, greater amberjack, red lobster, red prawn, squid, and red mullet. All fish with a delicious flavour that has enriched the Ibizan culinary heritage.

Taking this delicate raw material, along with the experience, intuition and talent of many skilled hands, since time immemorial, dishes have been created to regale our taste buds with a whole universe of flavours, aromas, textures and tastes. All of which, in short, combine to make the authentic seafood cuisine of the Pityusic Islands. At Sant Antoni there are havens that nurture and preserve this exquisite tradition, but there are also new proponents who have more recently joined the gastronomic range on offer, bringing new interpretations and elaborate examples of fusion.

The restaurant Es Nàutic, , in Club Nàutic de Sant Antoni, offers at its spacious and modern facilities a cuisine that is faithful to the Ibizan seafaring tradition. Grilled red prawn, bullit de peix with rice a banda, guisat de peix,fish in salmorra or fresh fish of the day grilled or baked, Ibizan lobster or crayfish are just some of the most characteristic and iconic dishes. Diners also get the added bonus of the views over the waters of the port and the bay.

Hidden away in Cala Salada is a restaurant that bears the same name, and which also bases its cuisine on fresh island seafood. Set among pines, with stupendous views of the crystalline waters of Cala Salada and Cala Saladeta, this restaurant offers visitors amazing fish and seafood paellas, as well as bullit, the restaurant’s signature dish, and lobster casserole. With its fresh fish tank, we recommend that you ask about the fish of the day and let yourself be guided by the team with their 30 years of experience and the quality of their raw materials.

Sa Punta des Moli is a classic of its kind set in the heart of Portmany bay across from the beach of Es Pouet. From 1998 it has been serving dishes that will exceed the expectations of any gourmet seeking quality seafood cuisine. Rice with lobster, the noodle paella fideuá or borrida de ratjada are just some of the dishes you can try. Like other specialist restaurants of this kind, it has its own fresh fish tank and offers fish of the day.

Es Ventall provides an illustration of how traditional Ibizan cuisine has evolved. The current chef, José Miguel Bonet, taking traditional sources for his inspiration, has gone on to forge his own style, reinterpreting classic recipes with an exquisite respect for raw materials and a careful and painstaking preparation that includes new culinary techniques. Rice dishes and fideuàs, Ibizan crayfish, squid with sobrasada, breaded monkfish steaks, amberjack tataki, Ibizan shrimp croquettes with spicy ají and its sashimi…  all dishes that amply showcase the 21st country seafood cuisine at its best.

Es Rebost de Can Prats is a dedicated proponent of traditional Ibizan cuisine. With local products, faithful to years of experience and market cuisine, Es Rebost de Can Prats proudly produces the great seafood dishes that have made history, the humble yet exquisite salad of crostes con peix sec from Formentera, squid stuffed with fresh Ibizan shrimp and sobrasada, fried octopus, squid in their ink, fresh monkfish in crab sauce, rock fish baked in the oven… Entering Es Rebost is like embarking on a voyage to the most authentic taste of Ibizan seafood cuisine.

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