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Food review: La Mesa d’Es Vedrà

A home for the very best in Balearic cuisine at the most emblematic of locations.

The past decade has seen an influx of high-end international franchises and renowned celebrity chefs, broadening the gastronomic landscape and introducing new flavours to Ibiza. However, this trend has tended to overshadow the magnificent culinary traditions that have always existed on the Balearic Islands.

Nowadays, those of us looking for a truly Ibizan gastronomic treat have to search a little deeper to discover what fine dining, utilising mostly local products and recipes, tastes like. Such gems can sometimes be found in unlikely places. One example is the La Mesa d’Es Vedrà restaurant at Petunia Ibiza Hotel near Cala Carbó.

Set back a few minutes’ drive from the beach, Petunia Ibiza is a 5-star boutique hotel built in a traditional Ibizan finca style and a view of the islet Es Vedrá from an awe-inspiring angle. Beaumier Group’s classy hotels are all situated harmoniously in ‘peaceful and unspoiled locations’, offering ‘locally inspired food and drink, with relaxing spas and wellness’, and Petunia Ibiza fits this brief perfectly.

Driving towards Cala Carbo is always a pleasant journey if you haven’t toured the west coast for a while. Teasing glimpses of the sea appear between the trees on the gently winding way, making the full payoff as you finally ascend the steps to the La Mirada cocktail bar and raw food restaurant atop the hotel even more satisfying. The view is one of the finest on the island.  

In the fading golden hour sunlight, a chilled-out Jazz trio entertain drinkers on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings with their reworked renditions of classics by Portishead, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder and the White Stripes, to name but a few. On Sunday evenings there's live music at La Mesa. 

It's hard to think of a better way to enjoy this moment than sipping one of Petunia’s eponymous Es Vedra Spritzes in hand in anticipation of the fare to come. Containing our favourite local aperitif, Hierbas Ibicencas, with a splash of grapefruit, it offers the perfect blend of cool, bittersweetness for the end of a warm day.

Current custodian of the kitchen at La Mesa d’Es Vedrà is a young chef from Mallorca, Baltasar Rigo. A one-time protégé of Alberto Adria, whilst cheffing at Pakta in Barcelona, Baltasar is passionate about preserving the true essence of native Balearic cuisine in his menus.

The young Mallorquin defines this with only the finest products from the Balearics, supplemented by fresh ingredients from the hotel's own kitchen garden. Nowhere is this home-grown mentality more evident than in the starter dish of marinated aubergine, Menorcan Mahon cheese, and Mallorcan Black Pig sobrasada (a spicy pork sausage unique to these islands).

After resetting our palates with a delicate cherry gazpacho, the starter dishes arrived.   

A chunky steak of grilled cauliflower with hollandaise sauce and black truffle decorated with tiny white flowers was another excellent reminder of just how utterly captivating vegetarian food can be with a little extra imagination. The rich hollandaise, sweetened by a generous dash of Port, tied the whole dish together.


Tempted by the allure of spicy strawberry gazpacho with red shrimp tartar and lemon in brine, we dived in with gusto. However, although a delicious dish in its own right, it was far too mild to be considered ‘spicy’.

It’s a recurring theme that the Spanish interpretation of ‘spicy’ leaves much to the imagination and that chefs on Ibiza seem afraid to offend their diner’s delicate senses. But it is at the cost of deceiving those of us who would like (and in many cases expect) a good kick in the tastebuds when we see something advertised as such on the menu.

Nevertheless, this is a minor gripe. The main plates that followed really elevated the cuisine to new heights and restored our faith in the joy of expectation.

Our seafood choice was confit cod ‘El Barquero’ with tumbet (a traditional vegetable dish from Mallorca consisting of layers of sliced potatoes, aubergines and red peppers), tomato sauce and pine nuts. The fish’s translucent flesh fell apart effortlessly into thick, succulent flakes and was complemented perfectly by the smoky aromas of the tumbet.

There always has to be a ‘dish of the night’, and the chef’s slow-cooked lamb shank on a bed of creamy pumpkin and dukkah (a Middle Eastern condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts, and spices) was near perfection. Clearly, the meat had been handled with the utmost respect, and the rich and glossy jus had taken 3 days to reduce. An absolute triumph and possibly the nicest lamb shank we have ever enjoyed. And, trust me, we’ve had a few…

Our meal reached a dramatic crescendo with a fresh tiramisu constructed at the table.

A slice of traditional Mallorcan-style homemade bizcocho sponge served as the base to soak up the coffee and Amaretto before three gluttonous scoops of mascarpone were added and a generous flourish of pistachios. With a further sprinkle of cacao sprinkled on top it was ready and was devoured even more quickly. So simple, yet so wonderfully moreish, it will be our party piece from now on.

To book a table direct at La Mesa d’Es Vedrà, follow this link.

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