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Food review: Bambuddha Revisited

Fusing style with cutting-edge Asian cuisine.

From the moment you step through the doors into this temple of Asian cuisine, you know you’re in for a dining experience that’s really special. The village-like venue itself is highly impressive: a series of classic Thai buildings with high double-gabled roofs, teak pillars and bamboo-woven walls surround a central courtyard.

Clumps of bamboo grow profusely, providing shade and ambiance, and Siamese and Indian statues – many of them highly erotic – adorn every nook. The lighting is discreet – red and green filters create subtle highlights - while chandeliers and abundant candles emphasise the sense of classy, romantic fine dining.

Pre-dinner, we were guided by the charming hostesses to the cocktail lounge – itself a spacious wonder of plush seating and soft lights – where we had the chance to sample some of Bambuddha’s acclaimed concoctions. Our libations included the Erotic – a house favourite – Passion, Bamboozle (not for the faint of liver!) and the non-alcoholic Shamanic.

Here too, the DJ is located. The music is intriguing and eclectic, guiding the diner on an aural journey that encompasses CHILL-OUT and ethnic sounds to uplifting FUNKY, DISCO and HOUSE as the evening progresses.

Promptly seated at our table, we were served an abundance of the finest food, showcasing the ground-breaking approach to fusion cuisine that is Bambuddha’s hallmark. Our choices were designed to highlight the latest exciting additions to the menu alongside a few established classics.

The first dish to appear with our drinks was a bowl of crisp vegetable tempura accompanied by spicy mayonnaise. A series of strikingly colourful starters ensued in short order. First off were an Indian-influenced soft-shell crab bao and MediterrAsian prawn carpaccio – seasoned with wasabi mayonnaise and mango dressing.

They were followed by a dish of mouth-watering Malaysian scallops that combined the best of Mediterranean ingredients with oriental flair, uramaki sushi and succulent slivers of fresh yellowtail aka hamachi.

Delicate and slightly piquant, the Malaysian scallops were outstandingly good. We were equally impressed by the exceptionally fresh, sustainably fished hamachi that slipped seductively down the throat like oysters. With yuzu juice, Japanese plum sauce, red chilli and basil, this dish was a sensorial masterpiece.  

When it came to the accompanying drinks, our group plumped for a broad combination of further cocktails, Asian and German beers, and Indian tonic water with kafir lime to refresh our taste buds for the next savoury salvo. On the recommendation of our knowledgeable waitress, we elected to go for a white wine, a Galician Albariño, that she assured us was ideal for cleansing the palate after each mouthful.

The starters dispensed with, we moved on to a series of curry entrées. The Thai red duck curry was, perhaps, a tad bland, but this was fully recompensed by the spicy kick of the racy Malaysian tiger prawn curry.

An unexpected treat, the Kowloon King Crab produced gasps of gastronomic pleasure among the team. Its succulent, creamy white meat had us licking our fingers.

Our deliberations over dessert were quickly resolved by the waiter’s proposal of Bambuddha’s unique “group orgasm”, a surprise platter of five sweets encompassing a range of textures and flavours and showing the restaurant’s imaginative and suggestive approach to desserts.

Bambuddha is a cool restaurant in all senses: not only do the island’s discerning gourmands throng to eat there, but its abundant vegetation, open design, natural airflow and many well-placed fans make the experience refreshingly chilled even on the hottest of July evenings in Ibiza.

It's no wonder that Bambuddha is high on many vistors' holiday bucket lists. Book your table today to avoid disappointment. 

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