Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Sushi of Ibiza

The Balearic island of Ibiza, renowned for its wild nightlife and beautiful beaches, is also home to a certain trendy sushi-lounge known as "B.For," by the company Planet Sushi which also manages locations in Paris and Milan (it makes you wonder why they didn't just name the restaurant Planet Sushi). Patrons of "B.For" are surprisingly more image-conscious and well-dressed than even the party-goers down the street at Pacha, one of the island's more famous nightclubs. Perhaps it's because of the architectural splendor (the better part of the restaurant is on a terrace), or the electronica music that plays in the background and the club-like lighting and atmosphere. "B. For" also delivers ordersto your home or boat (this is an island, after all).

The picture menu in their multi-page pamphlet may have lured me to the restaurant, but the turnout on the table didn't quite measure up. The "Green Ebi Fry" roll (with shrimp tempura, avocado and cucumber) would have tasted much plainer had it not been for its outer coating of dill and green onions, but that didn't mean the roll was enhanced by the green stuff.

"Dill doesn't really go with fried shrimp," my travel companion stated, and she was right. Nor did it go with the cigarette smoke billowing over from the next table, helped by the wind since we were dining al fresco in Europe.

The Big Egg Chicken Katsu Roll we ordered came sheathed in a thin wrap of omelet (which I at first thought was yellow soy paper) and drizzled with what seemed like eel sauce and a spicy aioli. It looked nothing like the photo, and although it wasn't bad that they had substituted cream cheese for red bell peppers, it was just too much sweetness on too bland a base, although the crunchy chicken inside made the roll less gooey. This maki cost nearly 12 Euros, but we figured it was worth trying.

The "Red Slim Prawn Spicy" Roll (about 10 Euros) might have been better without the same sauces that were used on the Chicken Katsu Roll, but it really resembled more of a Vietnamese-style spring roll, since the wrap was neither seaweed nor soy paper (nor omelet), but translucent rice paper.

Finally, just to be funny, I ordered the nutella maki for dessert. Covered in coconut bits and chocolate sauce, it was hard to tell whether there really was any nutella at all in its center. But this may just be the best maki they serve.

B. For's service and hours here are very European: slow and relaxed; the place doesn't even open for dinner until 9 p.m. The water you ask for turns out to be expensive glass-bottled Evian.

b.for by Planet Sushi
Avenida 8 de Agosto
Edificios Los Girasoles 2
S/N 1 07800 Ibiza - Islas Baleares
+34 971 316 797

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