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Food Review: Exquisite Mexican seafood at Cuyo Marisqueria

Let the Mondrian & Hyde Hotels transport your tastebuds across the Atlantic

It’s a general truism that the review team at Ibiza Spotlight loves their food with a little extra punch. So it’s no surprise to hear that there was an inevitable clamour when it was announced that a new Mexican restaurant, specialising in fish and seafood, would be opening soon.

We are always on the lookout for an authentic Mexican dining experience rich in flavour and spice. Often overlooked on this side of the Atlantic, seafood is a key element of Mexican cuisine. And, with over 10,000km of coastline, there are many recipes to discover.

Naturally, when the day came, we descended upon Cuyo Marisqueria with the gusto of a flock of eager pelicans in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Forming part of the varied gastronomic offering at the freshly renovated Hyde Hotel at the Mondrian & Hyde Hotels complex at the pretty, pine-fringed cove of Cala Llonga, Cuyo brings extra choice to those looking for a special holiday dining experience when staying in this charming resort.

Cuyo occupies a large space with a well-stocked bar and open prep stations. Tastefully decorated in earthy tones and natural materials and fibres, the restaurant feels warm and welcoming inside. Stepping out onto the terrace, the view opens to a beautiful panoramic vista of one of Ibiza’s most splendid coves. The choice of where to dine is yours…

We opted for a sheltered corner of the open terrace, just out of the cool autumn breeze

Cuyo has a drinks menu stacked with tequila and mezcal options - three and a half pages dedicated to the produce of the mighty agave plant to be precise! So, to commence proceedings, there was simply no alternative than to sample the house's signature Margarita.

Remarkably refreshing, even with salt and pepper on the side of the cup, the De La Casa Margarita is blended with Patrón Silver tequila, apricot and lime plus the rather surprising addition of mole (pronounced 'moh-lay'). For those unfamiliar with this staple of Mexican cuisine, mole comes in many forms and will reappear later in this review.   

The Pomegranate Margarita with Patrón Silver tequila, lime, orange flower and aromatic Palo Santo wood was a completely different experience, its gentle pink complexion masking a powerfully aromatic cocktail.

Every dish served to us by Cuyo’s chef Nacho (Ignacio Sanabria) was prepared with his total admiration and respect for its Mexican culinary heritage. Nothing was searingly hot but, instead, the traditional flavours of avocados, citrus, chipotle, jalapeños, habaneros and coriander were given room to breathe. Accompanied by a few glasses of creamy Modelo beer, the whole meal was a real delight.

Our mini-Mexican banquet began sweetly and seductively with some utterly divine vegetable dishes, before the chef turned up the heat. A plate of roasted vegetables from the Josper oven, with carrots and beetroot dressed with dill, tarragon and coriander and drizzled with lime was a delicate and aromatic start.

Cuyo’s chunky guacamole immediately got us scrapping over each morsel. It became a competition to see who could mop up the most avocado and jalapeños onto their soft, purple corn tortillas.

Ready, set, go...

Nowadays, it is possible to indulge in the Mexican speciality aguachile at many restaurants in Ibiza, but to have six different varieties on the menu is pure luxury. Spoiled for choice, we opted for just three: Red, Yellow and White. All were very different and displayed the subtleties of the art of marinating and the power of chilli and lime juice.

Starting with the mildest in terms of heat, the White Aguachile with buttery-soft sliced scallops was delicate and smooth.  

Red Aguachile with juicy prawns, a large Carabinero, thin slices of radish, tomato and picante chipotle may have appeared the most potent, but looks can be deceiving…

The Cuyo Yellow Aguachile is normally served with sea bass but, on this special occasion, chef Estefano treated us to an exquisite lobster special! How lucky are we…? It also proved to be the hottest, and was unanimously voted the favourite.

Another special of the day offered to us was Chef’s Special Pulled Chicken smothered with rich, chocolaty mole. This was the first time we have encountered this Mexican delicacy over here in Ibiza.

An absolute delight was a pan full of sizzling and tender garlic prawns, served with a nice kick of chilli of course.

No Mexican meal is complete without sampling at least one of the tacos on offer. We opted for the firm favourite, Tacos Al Pastor. The soft, pulled Iberico pork was full of flavour enhanced with a sweet pineapple drizzle.

Showstopper at the Cuyo Marisqueria has to be the Red and Green Sea bass. This majestic fish, weighing in at almost 1 kilo, was for two to share but it easily satisfied the four of us. Ringed by a generous bedding of condiments, including pickled cabbage, jalapeños, radishes, onion, green herbs, and tacos, the butterflied fish is doused in red and green salsas.

Our Chef had done an excellent job of retaining the moisture in the flesh and the sauces only enhanced the delicate flavour of the fish.

To finish, how could we resist than by indulging in the Mexican chocolate tart? We dived into the smooth mousse filling and thick chocolate biscuit base with all the enthusiasm of a team of Mexican wrestlers.

Cuyo Marisqueria provided us with a truly authentic and enjoyable Mexican gastronomic experience. All of the spices and flavours of Central America were there but deployed with subtlety and strength where needed. Likewise, the seafood was always delicately and respectfully prepared, giving it the starring role of each dish. And, thankfully, not a Chili con Carne in sight!

We will definitely be going back for a revisit before the season ends. Why not join us? Follow this link to book your table.

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