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An evening of fine dining with Meke in rural San Juan

When Meke Coffee Roasters brought together some of the best chef talent on Ibiza, we were intrigued.

The stomach of a clubbing writer can be a tad delicate after a summer of covering Ibiza's many parties. Endless running around from club to after party means less time spent on a balanced diet and I'm sure that my recent culinary choices would be most likely sniffed at by most food connoisseurs.

With such a schedule, it's difficult to keep abreast of the hottest new chef or latest food trend. Luckily, I was offered the chance of playing catch up after meeting one of the organisers of 6 chefs, 6 plates at Meke Coffee Roasters' cafe in San Juan. Before I knew it, a table for two was being reserved and I was off to gastro heaven.

After a vaguely nocturnal summer existence, any given opportunity to review such an event, where the best of the best chefs provide a number of dishes from around the world, is something to take without the blink of an eye.


Intimate boutique restaurant

The San Juan café usually focuses on roasting coffee beans. Evidence of coffee production is easy to see, with big heaving bags of beans and vintage roasting and grinding machines out in the back. For this event however, the location had been transformed into an intimate, outdoor, boutique restaurant.

The concept of the event is this: bring together some of the Ibiza's top chefs in a major showcase of talent, all under one roof so all can see what amazing culinary artists we have here. It's also a great way of staying sane in all the madness of clubbing. Often good food and a night of relaxed socialising is the perfect antidote.


The chef's palate

Ginger gin and pomegranate vodka cocktails came to warm us up for the night ahead, as Kumharas' regular DJ, Eva Pacifico provided the laid-back beats for what was termed the 'Chef's Palate Journey'. One of the creators of Meke, and great chef, Max Mahoney introduced the concept of the night and gave us her take on the importance of food. We settled in for a convivial night of people coming together, enjoying delicacies from around the globe.

The first plate to tickle our tastebuds came straight from the bustling streets of Israel, cooked up by the head chef of popular Ibiza restaurant Lamuella. Melt-in-the-mouth pieces of falafel complemented with smoked aubergine, sumac and spiced yoghurt with fresh, tongue-tingling tahini from the 'blessed mountain'. This singular, starter made our mouths water for more - it truly revved us up.


Colourful superfoods

Max's autumn salad put the health in healthy, a marvellous mixture of colourful superfoods. Sweet potato, pomegranate and poppy seeds, nuts and feta nestled in a giant cabbage leaf ticked off every colour on the wheel. It also filled our mouths with lots of sensational flavours. The pomegranate seeds burst with delicious juice with each bite, whilst the pistachios offered a welcome light crunch; the plate was a delicate combination of sweet and savoury.

Some traditional Flamenco vibes started to trickle in and by this point every table was buzzing with conversations made by new friends from all walks of life. The next dish was served by La Grande Bouffe chef James. Deep fried mussels with cod marinated in gum honey and green tea with saffron kale - it was a treasured and embellished gift of the sea.

Beetroot and veal did not seem like a natural combination to me at first but after trying the next dish, I can tell you that you need to start looking up recipes. This meat course had been left in the hands of Santa Eulalia restaurant Es Terral. The addition of beetroot gave the dish an earthy touch and the meat was truly cooked to perfection, the delicate meal balancing out the distinct flavour of this root. Based on the presentation and truly incredible taste of this dish, the bookings for Es Terral deserve to triple.

Every savoury plate should be washed down with a little sweetness and for many chefs, this rule is often applied to refresh the palate. the pro chef Adur Arietta tantalised our taste buds with a perfectly constructed mixture of sweet vegetables on a bed of lemongrass foam. The concoction of the sweet plants with tart foam was easily the most unique and flavour combination I had ever been fed.


Just desserts

No evening of fine dining is complete without something gooey. The arrrival of homemade, warm chocolate brownies was a welcome and very yummy finish to the food and with our mouths hardly empty, the dancing had begun - not so easy to partake with full bellies.

Nothing quite beats eating exquisite food in a location as rural as San Juan, where you will see an easily-visible blanket of stars under which to dance - after a suitable interval to digest our fabulous meal of course.

The guys at Meke had done an amazing job of bringing all this culinary talent together - it's worth keeping an eye out for the next event and snapping up a ticket fast as its first come first served.

At the and of it all, we finally rolled onto the dancefloor, to burn off those tasty calories with the pleasure that only great food can give.


PHOTOGRAPHY : Jon Izeta.

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