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Review: El Sapo Restaurant, San Antonio

El Sapo - on the lookout for high-quality cuisine, cool ambience and reasonable prices in San Antonio? You just found it! Step inside...

El Sapo is in the heart of San Antonio, just behind the fountain in the main plaza where the taxis are. It's only been open a year, but already this Ibiza restaurant is creating a buzz.

Best ceviche in Ibiza?

Word reached us that Peruvian owner Milko, along with his mother, made ‘the best ceviche in Ibiza.' Then we heard that their chef, Carlos, is also a chef at the prestigious Amante Beach Club. Back at Ibiza Spotlight headquarters, our ears pricked up.

Ample parking nearby

I subsequently rocked up to this unassuming Ibiza restaurant one lovely sunny afternoon last week at 2pm. A great time to lunch, by the way, as the blue parking bays are free during siesta time (2-5pm), and there's usually plenty of space in the surrounding streets.

My friend was already there sat outside on the street terrace watching the world go by, evidently well taken care of, cradling a lovely looking glass of red wine.

Nice touches

Owner, Milko, was straight out with a warm welcome and mercifully shortly afterwards, bearing an exactly-correctly-chilled glass of the house white wine. It was not only very decent wine, but it was served in a generously sized ‘fine and rare' glass. A subtle extravagance. As a wine-lover, that was a big tick for me, as was the speedy delivery of course!

Decision free lunch

Having much to discuss my friend and I asked Milko to please relieve us of all responsibility and bring us his recommendations. Delighted to oblige, he suggested we share two cold dishes for starters with two hot dishes for the mains. Ideal.

As the strains of Jimi Hendrix drifted outside to our table, our starters arrived. One large ceviche and another very beautiful dish of an unpronounceable name that I confess I do not remember. It was a beautifully arranged, circular concoction of creamy mashed potatoes drizzled with an exquisite sauce. Try it yourself when you visit!

Zingingly fresh

The ceviche (i'm salivating at the memory) was zingingly fresh with a surprisingly fierce kick. Made with local white fish cured in lime juice with fresh coriander and chilli, it was light, spicy and refreshing. Not to mention incredibly nutritious and almost zero fat (I thought to myself, happily patting my winter belly).

What was great was how the two dishes complimented each other. The fresh and funky ceviche with the altogether more chilled-out, mild tasting potato accompaniment were perfect for a summers day in Ibiza.

Subtle elegance

When we were done, our table was cleared, and fresh cutlery was set. I liked how elegantly Milko poured the wine; I liked how he laid the plates down on the table very gently. Subtle touches of class were evident.

To bridge the gap between starter and mains we selflessly sampled the house cocktail, ‘Pisco Sour.' Embarrassingly, I do remember the name of that. It was deliciously tangy citrus and sinfully moorish, although perhaps a tad dangerously non-alcohol tasting?!

Gorgeous gravy!

Our mains arrived. A creamy chicken dish with rice and a moist, beef dish called ‘seco con cilantro' (beef with coriander). Truly melt-in-the-mouth, tender pieces of beef in a delicious gravy. As a northerner, I was almost frothing with delight. You normally do not find gravy like this south of the Watford Gap. I kid you not.

Looking over at the other tables, the burgers, home-made, juicy and massive, looked amazing as did the veggie options. The light, fluffy croquettes made from quinoa that I could see someone devouring to my left, for example, looked scrumptious.

Genuine family business

To sum up. El Sapo is a genuine family business. There's something really lovely about family run establishments, whose owners usually care passionately about providing a quality experience. Milko and his mother designed the menu, so these are authentic Peruvian family recipes passed down the generations. His sister and girlfriend both wait tables there, and his brother-in-law Carlos is the chef. This is South American soul food delivered with an elegant, contemporary twist, dear reader.

High-quality

The cuisine in this relatively new Ibiza restaurant is very high quality, expertly prepared and lovingly cooked. Featuring cool artwork, the restaurant itself is cosy and inviting, and there is regular live entertainment in the evenings, from DJs to live jazz guitar.

Ibiza workers get 20% discount

Not only that, but you lucky Ibiza workers get a generous 20% discount between 12-5pm every day. Just show up with any worker ID and flash it when you order. It's also worth checking their Facebook page for their latest offers and freebies. I confess it's currently my favourite San Antonio hangout so quite possibly see you there!

Quick Facts

What? El Sapo restaurant

Where? In the centre of San Antonio, Ibiza - up on the left-hand side of Calle Bisbe Torres to the left of the WIP supermarket in the port as you look at it.

Why? High quality Peruvian cuisine, gorgeous burgers, cool music and a generous 20% discount for workers from 12-5pm each day. This Ibiza restaurant definitely adds culinary kudos to San Antonio.

When? Currently, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 12-4pm, then 8pm-12am. From May, all day, every day.

Vegetarian options? Yes.

Disabled Facilities? Whilst the entrance is large and the restaurant all on one level with good accessibility, the bathrooms are sadly not yet adapted for disabled use.

High chairs/baby changing facilities? Not yet.

Average spend per head? Around €20 each for our two courses and wine.

Top Tips? Check out their Facebook page for regular offers and freebies. Don't forget your workers ID to claim your 20% discount.

Room for improvement? Wi-fi would be a great addition. It's also fair to say that the service is relaxed, with the emphasis more on genuine warmth and friendliness rather than robot-like efficiency. Our advice? Relax, and enjoy the unhurried vibe of this great Ibiza restaurant.

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