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Winter restaurant - Ancient People

Ancient People offers excellent Indian cuisine at budget prices and is open 365 days of the year!

This week, your Spotlight reviewers head to the heart of Ibiza Town, and the popular Indian Restaurant, Ancient People.

Almost impossible to miss with its prominent location on the right hand side of Avenida Espana (as you head up and away from the port), you will find parking outside Ancient People and the surrounding side-streets, but this is a blue zone, so don't forget to check metre charges.

Owner, Robert, showed us through to the small and cosy dining area, where customers can choose from regular tables and chairs, or a Tatami; a kind of day bed, draped in flowing curtains with low tables from which to eat whilst sitting on the brightly covered cushions.

Cat Milton Ancient People - restaurant

Background

As we tucked into poppadums and pickles, Robert explained that he first opened Ancient People in Playa d'en Bossa in 2000, at the same time as taking on Bali Beach (again in Playa d'en Bossa) until 2005. He opened Ancient People in its current incarnation in Ibiza Town in 2006.

We learned that Robert is from the Caribbean and his wife, Anne, is from Germany which begged the question…why an Indian Restaurant? It turns out that whilst Robert was living in Miami, his best friend's father owned a five-star Indian Restaurant, and this is where he learned to cook Indian food.

When he moved to Ibiza, he was surprised to find only one or two curry eateries on the island despite a high British population, and as the most ordered dish in the UK at the time was no longer traditional fish & chips, but Chicken Tikka Masala, Robert spotted a clear gap in the market! He enlisted the help of his friend's father to teach him the entire menu, and hasn't looked back since.

Cat Milton Ancient People - curry

As we chatted, it was clear that we were in the presence of someone who knows and loves their subject well, and after questioning us about our dietary requirements and tastes, my editor, Cat, and I were happy to accept his recommendations on what to order.

The Food

We started with extremely tasty vegetable samosas; potatoes, peas and Indian herbs wrapped in a light and delicate puff pastry.

Cat's Shrimp Bhuna was a delicious combination of shrimp, ginger and curry, not overly-spicy as Robert had recommended due to her recovering from a recent cold, whilst the Bhuna sauce of my Mushroom Bhaji was fabulously hot without being overbearing.

We shared (almost fought over) a dish of Saag Paneer, spinach and cheese in curry sauce, and were impressed to learn that, for optimum freshness, Robert keeps the spinach whole, without blending or cooking it beforehand. It certainly made all the difference in terms of pure flavour and consistency.

Cat Milton Ancient People - Indian Cuisine

With accompaniments of a huge Cheese Naan and rice, by the time we had to admit defeat and stop eating, we barely looked to have made a dint in the food, and a doggy bag looked to be on the agenda.

One thing that we both commented on was the fact that all of the dishes were positively brimming with their main ingredients of shrimps, mushrooms and spinach respectively...a far cry from the "sauce-dense" dishes that is often the norm in Indian restaurants.

That said, neither of us felt uncomfortable or heavy and we even managed to share a dessert of home-made mango ice-cream.

Cat Milton Ancient People - Dessert

The great thing about Ancient People is its availability. There are no awkward-to-remember opening times, it is simply open every single day of the year from 13.00 hrs until midnight. A three-course set menu-del-dia is offered at lunch time for just €9.50, and a take-away and delivery service is also available. There is a refreshing sense of no standing on ceremony here; Robert and all of his friendly staff offer a warm welcome to everyone, and he stresses that whether you turn up in a bikini or a tuxedo, you will feel comfortable.

As we said our goodbyes, we realised that this philosophy is working well. Even though it was a cold and rainy Tuesday evening on Ibiza, and Barcelona were playing Manchester City, a good number of happy-looking customers had ventured out to enjoy the delights of this superb Indian restaurant.

We were glad that we were amongst them.

Cat Milton Ancient People - Indian Restaurant

Quick facts

What Ancient People Indian Restaurant.

Where Avenida Espana, Ibiza Town.

Why Top quality, reasonably-priced Indian food made with the freshest ingredients.

When Every day of the year from 13.00 - 24.00 hrs.

Vegetarian Options Yes

Disabled Access Yes

Average spend per head Lunch time set menu €9.50 plus drinks. Evening meal €20 plus drinks.

Top Tip If you are unsure what to order from the comprehensive menu, allow Robert to advise you. He's spot on!

Ibiza on a Budget?

For more Budget restaurants, accommodation and things to do, please see Ibiza on a Budget

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