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The decades vibrate through the menu & music at Pamelas

Saturday night done right at Pikes House Party.

Not only is Saturday the preferred day of arrival for many travellers, but Saturday night is the height of the weekend. Even somewhere like Ibiza, that means something. So, what do you do on a Saturday night on a party island, where partying is currently off-limits? You head to Pikes.

Poolside reception

We roll up to Pikes in the early evening, just as the sun threatens to disappear behind the hills yonder. The August heat makes it feel more like mid-afternoon and guests are making full use of the facilities, whether stretched out on recliners or cooling off in the water.

Dotted around the pool are a colourful assortment of characters. People of all ages and nationalities. Some are coy, some are flamboyant. Some are conservatively dressed, while the attire of others leaves little to the imagination. We could only be at Pikes.

Conversation is sparked with the occupants of the table across from ours. There are no strangers at Pikes, merely acquaintances you haven’t met yet…!

DJs Ric, Regan and Tarka from Kennel Club lay on the music from the booth. Joey Negro, Felix Dickinson, Jamie 3:36 and Dimitri From Paris are the order of the day - a quintessential Pikes soundtrack.

We have some time to kill before our table is ready for dinner, so nonchalantly order another round of drinks. It’s what Tony would have wanted.

Pamela-La Land

A sitting at Pamelas restaurant is about so much more than food alone. Much like the pool area, there is always something to look at; something going on. Some theatrics, some drama, some scandal.

What role you play will depend largely on where you are sat. A table in the middle? Congratulations, you have assumed a central role. Don’t be a disappointment now. Remember, bold is beautiful. Confidence is sexy.

Get given a table tucked around the side? Also, congratulations. You have bagged the best seat in the house, looking out over everything and everyone spread in front of you. Prepare to be entertained.

We are gifted with the latter. Let the show commence! 

Oysters are the first appetisers to arrive, but, in a surprise twist, they come deep-fried in breadcrumb. With a slice of chorizo and a dabble of salsa brava, Pamelas has opened this hors d'oeuvre to a wider audience - bravo.

Though purists might disagree, served this way, they are an acquired taste no longer.

Despite the recent upgrades, history seeps through Pikes' walls. Here nostalgia and hedonism dance a merry jig together. What could be more '80s than a prawn cocktail? The cocktail is a bed of gem lettuce, cherry tomato halves, Marie Rose sauce and prawn - all pretty standard.

But your eyes, like ours, will be drawn to the gigantic carabinero prawn arched over the glass - a deep red, prize brute captured from the depths of the ocean. Pulling away his armoured coating to reveal musclebound innards, we add them to the glass and soak with lemon juice.

Collectively, our hearts are stolen by the burrata salad, with the whole group vying for its affection. This nectar sweet starter comes with caramelized peach slices, fennel and a honey dressing with honeycomb nuggets.

Not only do we find the shoulder of lamb deeply satisfying (arguably, it’s big enough to feed two) but this Ibizan favourite is cooked perfectly, with crisp skin and pink centre, aided by saltiness from the anchovy-dotted jus.

The lamb comes accompanied by garlic-buttered stems of broccoli and charred cabbage with parmesan crumb. Both do the business.

Now members of the Ibiza Spotlight review team are partial to a curry, it must be said, though we usually wouldn’t opt for the tofu tikka masala by choice. Credit where credit's due, the crisply coated tofu surpasses our expectations and the thick, creamy turmeric sauce is as tempting as ever, making this the perfect vegetarian option.

Like all good curries, this is as much about the side dishes as the main. Plaudits rain down for the sabji (a sag aloo gobi hybrid with aubergine, mint and hits of chilli), alongside the obligatory pilau rice, raita yoghurt and poppadom to scoop and sample each of the aforementioned.

The third and final main dish is a British staple: fish and chips. The golden beer batter and tender cod give flashbacks to childhood, but the big surprise is the gourmet chip shop curry sauce. Retrospection has a habit of tinting memories, but this is superior to any recall from our youth. Our fries are dunked shamelessly.

The vamp

Throughout dinner Pikes House Band, fronted by resident Dangerous Woman, BLONDEWEARINGBLACK, provide the Pamelas entertainment for the evening.

Comprising of DJ Camilo Miranda and saxophonist Franco Botto, alongside the seductive singer, the trio perform a session of jazz covers. Wicked Game and Lost In Music get the cover treatment, before Samantha channels Peggy Lee on Why Don’t You Do Right and Fever.

It’s a cover of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita that has the entire restaurant floor warbling along in harmony, desperate to get to our feet and dance. Lung capacity is tested.

Amid the fracas unfolding in front of us, our desserts arrive.

The chocolate brownie is as rich and inviting as it looks, with alternating strokes of crunch and moisture. While the panna cotta topped with strawberries is the classic combination of delicate vanilla blancmange coupled with sweet fruit.

Completing the trilogy, another old favourite, the naughty knickerbocker glory - an exuberant sundae of whipped cream, raspberry drizzle, fudge fondant and cherries-sprayed-gold.

Dessert is barely finished, but our wandering eyes are already fixated on the liquid dessert coming next and weaving its way to our table - a round of perfectly blended espresso martinis, as smooth and as decadent as they come.

If there’s a better post-meal cocktail, we’ve yet to find it.

True to form, Pikes has given us a colourful and magical evening that left us wanting more. Even after all these years…

Head here to make a reservation at Pamelas - absolutely essential, or why not book at stay at the original boho chic hotel?

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