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Food review: Nagai, new menu, new culinary heights

Nagai steps into summer 2023 with a tantalising new menu.

For those who still don't know it, Nagai restaurant serves high-quality Japanese fusion cuisine in the setting of Can Reyet, a 250-year-old finca on the Ibiza-San Juan Road. The holder of numerous Repsol awards, it has earned its reputation for its highly innovative take on fusion food combining the best of Japanese fare and know-how with Thai, Italian and Spanish influences.

The beautiful starlit courtyard

After leaving your car keys with the friendly valet in Nagai’s spacious car park, you enter a walled courtyard. Centred around an ancient olive tree, it’s a lovely spot for dining beneath the starlit Ibizan night sky. Inside, it’s a softly lit, labyrinthine affair with lots of fascinating nooks and crannies, a raised stage for the musicians who play live each night, and suitably Bacchic paintings. Everywhere you look, there's something to catch your eye. To the rear is a very stylish boutique whose statuesque Brazilian owner twirls among the tables showing off her racy designs.

Asian Gate cocktail

But enough background, time to cut to the chase. Once they'd seated us, Nagai's attentive waiters began by offering us some of its infamous own-recipe cocktails. The standouts were Purple Rain (love the Prince & Ibiza connection, there), which featured butterfly pea-tinted sake and other liqueurs, and Asian Gate, another potent, exotic concoction with plenty of Asian spices and herbs to delight the palate.

Tajima Wagyu Tartare

Our feast of the East then got underway with a plate of the highly-prized Tajima Wagyu Tartare with a hint of lemongrass accompanied by quail eggs served with shiso and spicy radish.

Finely marbled, the delicate slivers of beef melted in our mouths, leaving a silky, buttery finish on the tongue.

Blue Tomato Ceviche

The next dish certainly caused a stir at our table: A Blue Tomato Ceviche with shiso and Tosazu Gelee (Tozasu is Japanese rice vinegar infused with Kombu Dashi). Our team loved the sight and texture of the jumbo-sized tomato so much we had to divvy it up once we'd polished off the tangy ceviche inside it!

Norwegian Salmon Tartar

Next up was a plate of Norwegian Salmon Tartar with pear and marinated celery, Amarena cherry and red onion drops. The presentation of these tiny cubes of fresh salmon in a handcrafted ceramic bowl was divine. 

Platter of sushi and sashimi

Naturally, this being Nagai, a generous platter of assorted sushi and sashimi duly appeared. The highlights were the crispy tuna rolls, the big red Ibizan prawns and the fresh crab.

Baby Spare Ribs

This was followed by Baby Spare Ribs marinated in a teriyaki miso, ginger and garlic sauce and accompanied by asparagus. This dish was a lovely surprise that had us licking our fingers afterwards.

Hot Crunchy Apple Toffee

For dessert, we were treated to Hot Crunchy Apple Toffee, consisting of a homemade apple and cinnamon sorbet on a base of delicate butter cookies with caramelised pecan nuts and dates, doused with lashings of hot toffee sauce. This scrumptious sweet scored high for taste and texture.


Before departing, we shared some sake shots with Nagai’s affable, cosmopolitan owners, including its Japanese chef, Reina, who is the inspiration behind this renowned temple of haute cuisine. As they say in Japanese, Nagai (here’s to long life!)

Nagai is a very popular restaurant, so be sure to book in advance!


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