Monday, June 1, 2009

Ibiza Legends: Bigotes

In Ibiza's 'urban legend' league table the myth of Es Vedra's magnetic space goats is undoubtedly the island's numero uno fable. Second on points difference is the one about the King of Spain being turned away from Bigotes restaurant in Cala Mastella because he didn't have a reservation.

Is it true? No idea. But I went to Bigotes last week (just after it had been featured in The Times) to see what all the fuss was about.

Where is it? It occupies a small cove off Cala Mastella and has its own parking which is signposted if you arrive via Cala Boix, you can also park on the Cala Mastella parking area and walk from the over the rocks by the sea.

What to do? To make a reservation you have to turn up in person and leave a deposit.

What's it like? You dine under a canopy as the sea laps gently around the little llaut (fishing boat) anchored to good effect nearby. Tables are laid for 5 to 6 people so if you're a couple you'll find yourselves sharing with others like you.

When is it open? Lunch is served daily in the summer season at 14.30 hours and lunchers are asked to be there for 14.00 hours.

What's the food? It's 'Bullit de Peix.' Everything comes from one large pot in which a giant fish stew with potatoes and saffron is made. This is the first course. While you're eating this, the chef adds rice to the remaining fish stock in the pot to make a delicious rice dish which is served as a second course. Desserts (if you really need one) are standard ice creams but worth trying is Cafe Caleta, a pungent mix of alcohol, coffee, and something else.

What's the cost? The Bullit de Peix will set you back €20 per person, wine, water, desserts are all extra, so allow around €30 to €35 for a long, languorous afternoon with views over the Med.

Is it worth it? Yes, it's one of those unforgettable tourist experiences that makes you think you've done something 'special' on your holiday.

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