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Ibiza Winter Restaurants - Chimichurri Restaurant, Cala Bassa

With a frankly stunning Menu del Dia, wonderful hospitality and a beautiful garden, our reviewer discovers why San Jose's Chimichurri restaurant is such a well-established island favourite.

Located between San Jose and San Antonio, Chimichurri restaurant is hugely popular with locals, holiday-makers and celebrities alike, and one sunny Ibiza winter day, we were about to find out exactly why.

Elena and Marc have owned Chimichurri for seven years, and their pride in the place was clear to see, their enthusiasm contagious as they happily showed us around the "small" restaurant, the "large" restaurant and the beautiful garden. A first for us, we were even treated to a tour of the spotlessly clean kitchen where Marc showed us the huge barbecue, specially made in Argentina, where he cooks the meat.

Now, as a non-meat eater, I must confess that my stomach had started to sink slightly; Chimichurri, after all, is famed for its Argentinian meat and German sausages, but my concerns were quickly allayed and I was assured I would be well catered for.

Back in the small restaurant which, with its open fire and subtle Christmas decorations, felt homely and warm, Elena explained that Chimichurri offer a self-service, buffet-style menu del dia, and she invited us to help ourselves to the first two courses of tuna stew followed by salad.

As we ladled the stew into our dishes, my two friends and I were all struck by a sense of novelty here…this was great fun! The stew itself was wholesome and hearty; big chunks of tuna, potatoes, peppers, onion and garlic in a thick, tasty tomato sauce. Perfect for a winter day on Ibiza...or anywhere for that matter.

We returned to the buffet table to help ourselves to our next course, and found not one, but two salads awaiting us; Vietnamese Salad and Ibicenca Salad. The crunchy texture and delicate flavours of the Vietnamese salad with its shredded cabbage, onion and carrot in a dressing of soy, mint and coriander, and the delicious mix of potatoes, boiled egg, pepper, tomatoes and onion in the Ibicenca salad were the perfect accompaniment to our main courses which arrived at the same time.

My platter of chargrilled, roasted vegetables, all locally sourced, was beautifully presented and a blast of different colours and shapes, which had us all oohing and aahing. Asparagus, aubergine, courgette, pumpkin squash, sweet potato, onions, orange pepper, corn on the cob, all barbecued to perfection and served with a nutty Romesco sauce.

My two friends sharing a huge platter piled high with pork, lamb, chicken, sausage, green pepper and, of course, served with a dish of the restaurant's own chimichurri sauce, were equally as thrilled with their lunch and told me they could now fully understand why people from all over Ibiza come to Chimichurri for this masterfully cooked meat.

What was particularly striking was the size of the portions which is why we were completely flabbergasted when about half way through our main course, Elena asked us if we would like some more.More?? It turns out that Chimchurri would have continued serving us food until they closed, had we wanted, but it is important to understand the dignity here. This is not a case of "all you can eat" so gorge yourself, it is a fine example of generous Ibiza hospitality, a genuine desire that no-one should leave hungry. It was also heartening to note that Elena seemed surprised, almost disappointed, that we all declined. In fact, we could not even manage to finish our first serving, and between you and I, dear reader, none of us are particularly known for having bird-like appetites.

With a choice of ice-cream or pineapple sorbet for dessert and a good strong coffee, we were staggered to discover that this extravaganza of a menu del dia would cost us only €9.50 each.

Excellent on all counts, it is fair to say that Chimichurri gave us the most authentic, as well as one of the most enjoyable lunch-time set menus del dia we have experienced so far this winter on Ibiza.

Quick Facts

What? Chimichurri Restaurant

Where? Cala Bassa

When? Monday and Wednesday 13.00 - 15.30. Thursday and Friday 19.30 - 23.00
Saturday 13.00 - 16.00 and 19.30 - 24.00. Sundays and Fiestas 13.00 - 16.00. Closed on 31st December and 1st January, re-opening again on 2nd January.

Why? Warm, Generous hospitality and top quality food.

Average Spend Per Head? Lunch time buffet-style menu del dia €9.50 plus drinks.

Veggie Options? Yes

Disabled Access? Yes

Room for Improvement? We are being very "picky" but toothpicks on the table would be good.

Top Tips? Book in advance with a minimum of six people to sample Marc and Elena's special Sushi or Arabic food. Alternatively, share at one of their famed half-meter or one meter German sausages, and wash it down with one of the 80+ national beers they have to choose from.

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