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Es Tancó: the best pizza on Ibiza?

We went to try Es Tancó in San Rafael to try their famous pizzas...and some of the rest.

Authenticity in taste and flavour is something that Es Tancó takes very seriously when it comes to its food, comprising of amazing pizzas, salads and delicious Spanish and Italian dishes.

We are starting with the pizza, because Es Tancó has managed to build quite a reputation for being the provider for what many say is the best pizza on Ibiza bar none. We were more than willing to go and test this theory - which is exactly what we did - taking our hungry selves along.


Pizza theatre

Cherry bites in the Bufala pizza

Watching a pizza being made is like theatre. Our pizza maker was packing a fair bit of rippling bicep into his craft, useful for the stretching out and shaping out of these delicious savoury discs. Watching him sliding our dinner in and out of the oven, got us to salivating about sliding it into our mouths.

The pizzas are placed in a hot wood-burning oven - these give by far the best flavour - and left in for just three minutes. It's important that the oven be hot and you also need some flame to make the dough rise. Our pizza man achieved the latter by tossing loose flour to get the fire roaring.

As we waited patiently for our photographer to finish, tastes buds more than sufficiently tingled by watching the pizzas being made and smelling their delicious aroma, I was getting ready for the kill. Delayed gratification added an extra charm. Biting into the first one, the ‘Rustica', we got a nice hit of heat from the spiced salami followed by an oozing creaminess from the melting mascarpone. This topped wheat wonder felt like just about the best thing on heaven and earth.


Thinner than Kate Moss

Our delicious entraña steak making an exquisite picture

I haven't even got to the pizza base itself. Well, it's thin, as thin as possible. Thinner than Kate Moss's definition of thin. It's also slightly chewy, deep of flavour and crispy at the edges as you'd expect, but not too much. No more was this more adeptly demonstrated than with Es Tanco's ‘Bufala' pizza. Here, you have a simple and delicious mix of buffalo mozzarella, basil and cherry tomato, with the taste of pungent basil piercing through the melange of delicate flavours.

Pizza isn't for everyone, but we challenge anyone not to like the ones served in this restaurant. Fresh pasta, meat and fish dishes are also on offer here. We just had to have a go at one of each of these categories. It's hard being a food reviewer, but someone has to do it.

Opting for the hand-made orecchiette, we were deliciously surprised when presented with rather long, slightly twisted pasta tubes. These orecchiette are more typical in Italy and much better than the smaller dried versions. Perfectly al dente pasta was paired with prawns, cherry tomatoes and courgette pieces, then topped with two whole king prawns. The sight of one of my fellow guests wolfing down the majority attested well to its taste. I managed to steal some before it all went and can confirm that its flavour did indeed match its looks.


Rare materials

We shared the next two plates, a medium-rare cooked entraña (skirt) steak and a long piece of tuna, seared to about two millimetres of depth and perfectly pink in the middle. They come served with roast potatoes and fries respectively, but given our carb-filled first course, the restaurant had kindly replaced these with vegetables. They are both served cut and dressed artfully on platters, with the pinkness of their insides showing the chef's skills. Meat and fish lovers, be assured Es Tancó has your back.

We shared a yummy slow cooked apple dessert served with what tasted like more mascarpone, this time sweetened and topped and a sprinkling of chocolate. You will forgive us for not sampling more after our feast.

The secret to Italian food is in making fresh ingredients shine in each single dish, an influence which comes through strongly at Es Tancó. We would recommend trying the pizza at least once, and if you can't make it to the restaurant, there's always delivery.

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