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A galaxy of incredible flavour at Lamuella

A parallel utopian food universe has landed with this restaurant on Ibiza to make earth dwelling better.

Almost two years ago, Ibiza became the second outpost for the restaurant Lamuella, after Goa, bringing along the hippy and bohemian vibe of that place to add to the one on this island as well as some other bits and pieces, and it's all been done really rather well.

In Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the main character Arthur Dent crash lands on utopian planet Lamuella, finding it to be much better than earth.

When Lamuella first landed on this planet, it came in the shape of a restaurant in Goa, India 12 years ago with the idea of creating a universe that would improve dwelling on earth.

Arthur is given the job of sandwich maker on the planet Lamuella; if he ever came to the namesake restaurant on Ibiza, he would have some stiff competition. As a long time food obsessive and cook, I think I can safely say that the food served here is some of the best you will find on Ibiza.

The Grand Master of the food is head chef Gome, who helped found the restaurant with partners Ilan and Shiran. Ilan brought the concept, Shiran the gorgeous boutique and of course, Gome the food. The trio of partners is responsible as a unit for creating this unique place and do so with passion.


A world of food influences

The creamiest of polentas, served with a mushroom ragout and asparagus

The food has many influences. Firstly there's Israel, where all three come from, giving us the sharing concept of the menu. Then there's more Mediterranean, Goa, of course as well as Vietnam, Thailand and Japan. Add to this Gome's stint at hyperlocal Noma in Copenhagen and you have many layers of gastronomic experience.

The food here is like art that tastes absolutely incredible. The dishes have an holistic approach of creating balance to suit different periods of the year. For example, when we went in autumn, there was a total absence of garlic and onions, which according to the Eastern system followed are not so good for you at this time of year. It's something you just need to go with as the resulting food makes sense.

Everyone in our group absolutely loved all the dishes. We ate pretty much­ the entire lunch menu, which is divided into three sections: light starters, warm starters and main courses, the latter of which has only three dishes. Why? Well it's to encourage sharing and trying more of their repertoire. And, it is really, really worth doing just that.

So out came the dishes. Some herby grissini, of which I had not seen the like served with amazing-tasting things to dip into like a paste of smoked aubergine, a tomato reduction bursting with flavour and an allioli made with rocket. I'm not a lover of fish. That said, the sea bass carpaccio was the bomb and came served with a selection of flavours like seaweed, peach and beetroot and an amazing yuzu (a fragrant Asian citrus fruit) yoghurt.


Smash, bang, wallop on taste

Delectable Vietnamese pancakes

My stand out dish from the warm starters began with the truffle polenta (I'm a truffle hound) which was like a custard in consistency; getting it down our throats was not difficult, so much so that the kitchen sent us another one to go with the mains. Second was the lobster-filled Vietnamese pancake, flavoured with peanuts, coconut and tofu. Biting is believing my friends. Smash, bang wallop on the taste buds.

Fortunately, the menu always has something for vegans, a community of visitors that is growing rapidly here on Ibiza. The aubergine miso with daikon, spring onions and orange blossom was a wow dish. We left most of it for our vegan dining companion, even though we felt like stealing it.


Dishes to share that you want to steal

The very popular duck buns

A final dish of note is the duck buns. Very popular, very individual and very tasty and something of a signature of the restaurant, though with an ever-changing menu, nothing stays still. What you get is rather posh duck sandwiches with cucumber and kimchi, the achingly hip foodie staple. Arthur would have definitely been out of business.

Which brings us to the mains. I had a very beautiful and perfectly cooked entrecote steak with a delicate curried sauce and some incredible crispy black rice cakes. More sea bass, though not the same as before and an incredible dish served with a wildly imaginative pumpkin lemon grass puree, caramel chilli and almonds. Finally, a great vegan quinoa risotto with herbs and nuts got the big thumbs up.


Dazzling desserts

Just as we thought we had got away with not eating dessert, a big array of them arrived on a huge black slate. It's amazing how you find the space for pudding and even though it was hard - well a little – we found some room for the sweet, gooey, chocolatey, fruity selection placed in front of us. These small bites were in fact a perfect ending to a perfect meal.

If you are coming now during the winter season, note that the food will change until normal service is resumed next summer. There will be ramen with seasonal ingredients from a noodle bar. Then there's lunch offered on the weekends and a party night on a Friday in the dance bar.

People do love Lamuella once they've been and it's not difficult to see why. If you are into food or even not, go just to try a unique flavour palette that will have you and your friends in raptures.


PHOTOGRAPHY | Dina Aragon

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