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Review: Giri Cafe, San Juan

Hidden away in the North, a masterpiece of exquisiteness, is the Giri Cafe

The tiny village of San Juan, Ibiza hasn't changed much for hundreds of years. It's the mecca of the bohemian north of the island, boasting an ancient church, a couple of local cafes and a pretty town square. No surprises so far. What you do not expect to find there, is a restaurant with the calibre of The Giri Cafe.

With such an unpresumptuous name, you might be forgiven for expecting something run of the mill. Oh, how wrong you would be.

Even as you approach, the understated outer appearance does not belie the absolute beauty of the interior. Oozing class and understated luxury, this Ibiza restaurant has the wow factor.

Review: Giri Cafe, San Juan, Ibiza - al fresco

It was a hot spring day when I arrived at the restaurant to sample their new lunch menu and I was shown to a table in the garden. Shaded by magnolia and banana trees with the low hum of the birds and the delicate strains of Marvin Gaye tickling my ears, I took a deep sigh and relaxed!

The lunch menu was delightful. Full of light, traditional dishes with creative twists and plenty of options for vegetarians, I was impressed.

I began with the cod-fish cakes. Simple, light and nutritious I thought to myself, patting my winter belly. O boy. They were the lightest, most scrumptious, creamy morsels of loveliness I have ever experienced in a croquette! Crunchy on the outside, sumptuously creamy on the inside. Perfectly complimented with strips of green apple that added texture and freshness to an already fantastic dish. Garnished with fragrant lavender from the garden (I saw the chef come out to pick it fresh off the plant). Wow!

Review: Giri Cafe, San Juan, Ibiza - fresh

It was the beginning of a wonderful lunch experience. Head Chef Xavier sources all of his fruit and vegetables here on the island. The wonderful garden which doubles as a gorgeous al fresco dining area is veritably overflowing with succulent fresh herbs. The sumptuous taste of their home-grown strawberries catapulted me right back to childhood. That's how strawberries are supposed to taste, oh yeh!

Actually, (and this is insider information) a little bird tells me that its Xavier's birthday around the time this review is going live. It gives me great pleasure therefore to say happy birthday Xavier! Here's to many more wonderful Ibiza birthdays for you, my fellow Gemini friend!

Review: Giri Cafe, San Juan, Ibiza - beautifully decorated

There is plenty of parking in the village of San Juan so no driving around wasting your precious Ibiza time looking for an elusive parking space. Staff are polite and the restaurant has a great wine list. The house red was a particularly charming, organic Rioja without the overpowering oak taste that characterises many varieties.

My companion and I opted to share three dishes and a dessert platter, continental style. This is a great way to experience a broad sample of the refreshing summer tastes that make this such a wonderful lunch menu. Look out for the marinated salmon toast with it's tangy yet subtle lemon taste. It comes served with fresh chives, toasted seeds and wild onion flowers (yes you can eat them!).

Although the dishes were light and summery, we felt surprisingly full afterwards but not to the point of soporific. This makes The Girl Cafe a great option for those needing to be active after their lunch.

Review: Giri Cafe, San Juan, Ibiza - exquisite salads

The final crème de la crème came in the shape of chocolate hierbas truffles. Hierbas is the local (much-loved) liqueur made from a secret recipe of aromatic herbs grown right here in Ibiza. Sinfully decadent and the perfect end to a fantastic lunch.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it really is a wonderful lunch menu served in beautifully designed surroundings, even by Ibiza standards. Check it out, it's an absolute cracker!

Review: Giri Cafe, San Juan, Ibiza - thank you

Quick facts

What? The Giri Cafe. It's not a cafe. It's a fabulous restaurant.

Where? San Juan village square.

When? May – Oct for lunch and dinner.

Why? Lovely light and summery lunch menu, gorgeous setting.

Disabled access? Yes.

Average spend per head? €25-€30 for two courses and drinks.

Top Tip? Don't be in a rush! Enjoy the beauty!


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