Ibiza is made up of extremes. Extreme hotels. Extreme DJ's. And extreme parties. But what the average Ibiza holidaymaker occasionally overlooks, is the extreme dining.
Bambuddha offers just that: an extreme eating experience that needs a moment to consider. Nestled out in the hills just between Santa Eulalia and Santa Gertrudis, it's a destination restaurant that requires a marginal, yet worthy amount of effort to get to.
Sitting somewhere between a cocktail bar, restaurant and holy temple, Bambuddha offers modern fusion dining with a spiritual and sexual ambiance. Mediterranean and Oriental flavours merge on your plate, while ancient erotic artifacts, dark wooden furnishings and gentle house beats merge around you.
I ordered liberally and tried a few different dishes, and recommend you do the same. Start with the Green Papaya Salad with crunchy vegetables, onions, and a lime and chilli dressing. It's a completely refreshing, raw dish that knocks your day long drinking in to touch and tee's you up nicely for the indulgence of the night ahead. I'm still craving the lime and chilli dressing for its cleansing, spiced aromas. Paired with a gin and triple sec cocktail it makes a great start to the meal.
As another light starter, try the Tiradito Nikkei - a tuna and salmon tartar marinated in lime, miso and yellow chilli. What sets this dish apart though is the guacamole and mandarine sorbet, which is served on the top in decorative fine dining finesse. Light, bulging in flavor, and looking like it should be on a tasting menu in Nobu. Winner.
Keeping room for the mains, it's a toss up between more fish or some serious meat. In the fish corner lies the Alaskan Black Cod, marinated in miso and served with sautéed seaweed, which is the right side of salty, the right side of fishy, and the right side of flakey, falling off your fork just by looking at it. However bringing up the meat corner is the 24 hour Slow Roasted Lamb - a meat so flavoursome it leaves you speechless. And rightly so, considering it's cooked in a Jack Daniel's sauce and served with a dark cocoa biscuit. Now you see why I say to order liberally, and that's without even venturing into the Sushi section of the menu.
Continuing with that theme, make sure you carry on to desserts, as there is as much adventure and experimentation here as there is elsewhere. The Crispy Lemongrass Bites, for example, explode in your mouth with their rooibos tea candy, cleverly harbouring popping candy, which brings out the little kid in you. Meanwhile the four Spiced Chocolate Truffles give four explosive flavours of chilli, figs, red curry and coconut milk. No better way to end than on these with a coffee.
After the inevitable indulgences lying all over Ibiza's playground, the single most striking point on Bambuddha is it's fresh, light and totally surprising food. Even the heavier meat dishes are served with a soft and subtle edge, which is what you want from an evening here, as who knows where the night will go.
Off season they offer a tasting menu, which I would do in a flash. However, in peak season they have a vast and varied selection to go wild on. Don't be put off by the logistics of the trip though, and settle for your local hotel restaurant instead. I would have travelled five times as far to sample what this almost mythical retreat has to offer.