So, let me be honest. My lunch at El Viejo Gallo ("The Old Cock") was accompanied with Fernando, the manager. What did this mean? Was the food suddenly better? I suspect not for
this kitchen is well established - fifty years well established! What did happen with Fernando joining me was that I had the pleasure of receiving the best recommendations.
Look to the walls as you walk in or sit down and you will see history before you. Fifty years of it adorn the restaurant through various photographs. This unassuming restaurant and bar is a gem and it would be a poor judgement call to overlook it. Children are well catered for (there's even a childrens play area should they get restless!) and whilst the vegetarian range is minimal, the kitchen are pleased to assist with requests. Further, there are ramps throughout the restaurant - disabled persons are welcomed (how refreshing on Ibiza!)
Time to try out the starters. The Mussels Marinara was good - good in the best sense. The mussels were huge, fresh and tasted fabulous. The Baby Squid was to die for. We were off to a flying start and I was so pleased I hadn't just ordered my Gazpacho! It was time to live a little and with 50 years of experience behind them, you can order with confidence.
The restaurant sports the best quality coal grill you can buy in Europe and (rightly so, it transpires) proud of their meats on offer, you will not put a foot wrong ordering any of the familiar cuts - fillet, sirloin, T-Bone (make sure you've an appetite for the latter!)
With Fernando at the table, we shared dishes - Dover Sole, Fillet steak (lovely, what a relief having sent one back recently at a far more expensive restaurant) and "Picanha de Brasil" (beef which you cook on a hot plate before you - better even than my fillet & my new favourite)
The house wine was an eye opener - perfectly complimenting the heat of the day. Light, fresh, I found myself actually pausing and checking the bottle. Too late I spotted the sangria but Fernando suggested it my lunchtime dessert, a recipe created by the previous manager and exclusive to The Old Cock. They're proud of their Sangria and.... *takes a sip* ... It's beautifully refreshing. As I come to the end of my meal the chef of another restaurant - a supposedly better restaurant - arrives for lunch... this surprises me not at all.
Average spent would be - not incl drinks - around 25-30€ per head and as my guest said "the food's brilliant!". Agreed. If you're seeking a decent lunch or dinner in Port des Torrent, pop this somewhere HIGH on your list.
El Viejo Gallo is better than its surroundings and don't let the area fool you. A proverbial rose amongst thorns. Once it looked over the beach but new builds have resoundingly ruined that.
Saturday is Curry Day and they're famous for it!
Sunday is live music - get down there, eat, chill and enjoy if you need a break from the clubs.
Special occasions are beautifully catered for here - up to 50 people - in a designated (and air conditioned!) room.
PS. If you're a fan of Gin... there's 18 gins to choose from and 6 tonics...!
This is a venue I'm genuinely pleased to recommend and I look forward to sharing it with my own circle of friends.
For more information or to make a reservation, visit El Viejo Gallo. Bon profit!
Photographs courtesy of Peter Young
The latest issue of our weekly magazine...
Our Ibiza Virgins series returns with a look into beach clubs.
The 7th edition of the Pintxa festival begins this Thursday in San Antonio.
Group hug anyone?