Nobu is a restaurant synonymous with quality. Quality interiors, quality food, and quality design. But it isn’t always necessarily associated with relaxed and unpretentious atmospheres. Nobu London, New York, Los Angeles, are all super high-end venues with beautiful people serving stunning food. In Ibiza, though, like with many things, it’s a little different. Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, positioned on Ibiza local’s favourite shores of relaxed Talamanca beach, with its stunning waters and golden sands, is different. This hotel, tucked away from Ibiza’s bustling streets, is a serene and peaceful escape from the island’s glamorous scene. Inside the hotel, is Chambao – Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay’s ultra chill chiringuito beach restaurant.
Like Ibiza’s most luxurious and laid back chiringuito’s, the Spanish term for an open air beach restaurant, Chambao is both premium and peaceful. One can wander in off their yacht in both flip flops and heels, in a relaxed white linen dress or beach shorts – it really doesn’t matter. At Chambao, one is welcome whatever their business. Perfect for long, lazy lunches, languorously taken in the stunning Ibiza sunshine, or romantic early dinners before a night on the town, guests can enjoy Chambao however they want to. Like Nobu is known for, Chambao features the freshest seafood but takes a Spanish twist, much like a true chiringuito in Spain would.
My partner and I arrived to the lovely chiringuito one Thursday afternoon, after sneakily wrapping up work at 3pm and making our way down the Talamanca promenade towards Chambao. Tired and ready for a cold beverage, we were relieved to be able to dress down and enjoy the afternoon without worrying about how we looked, or what people would think about the slight bags under our eyes. Arriving at the poolside restaurant, we smiled at the giggling children by the pool and felt our shoulders relax at the sense of playfulness and fun filling the environment. This definitely felt like no stuffy restaurant, but an outdoor haven of bliss and joy. We made our way with the aid of our lovely server to our elegant, wooden beach-chic table and sat down to enjoy the sea view. With Spanish songs playing in the background, and families all around enjoying their fine food, we took a moment to peruse the menu.
The food at Chambao starts with traditional Spanish nibbles, Mussels, Prawns, Iberian Ham, and Clams, but with a sophisticated Nobu twist. The Mussels were Albarino Mussels, with Japanese Spring Onion, Lime and Chives, whilst the Prawns were Pil-Pil Prawns with Garlic slices, Spicy oil flavoured with paprika, White Wine (Albarino), emulsified with Mallorcan aioli. Of course, Lobster featured in the starters too, with Lobster, Cod, and Asparagus tempura, featuring Citrus mayonnaise, and homemade lemon jam. For starters, there’s Andalusian gazpacho, with pear tomato from the Mediterranean coast with seasonal cucumber and fresh sprouts, Burrata Salad with mozzarella di bufala with variety of tomatoes, Genovese pesto, walnuts strawberries, wild rocket and basil oil, avocado salads, steak tartare, and other deliciousness. Mains include a classic Catch of the Day featuring delicious Spanish fish made in traditional Spanish style, roasted meats like Rack of Lamb, Local Payes Chicken, Iberian Prey with Sobrasada and honey and sauce, Grilled fish, Pastas and Pizzas for the more casual, Paellas of various varieties, and an abundance of sides. There is a lot to choose from.
My partner and I started with the highly recommended Amberjack Ceviche, served with tiger’s milk, lime, kefir, mango, avocado, pickled onion and caviar, Artichoke alla Brace with clouds of idiazabal goat cheese, truffle slices, pink pepper and thyme, and Grilled Octopus with potato foam, emulsified squid ink cream, and paprika flavoured oil.
Having come to Spain after spending two months in Colombia, we were excited to try the Ceviche, a favourite of ours. Delicate, fresh, and flavoursome, it was a beautifully light start to our meal that wet the appetite but satiated our desire for those luscious flavours Nobu is so famous for. We enjoyed this with a glass of Whispering Angel Rose (what else), a delicate rose wine that complemented the sumptuous fish with its citrus flavours beautifully. The Octopus was contrastingly smokey, meaty, and thick, served in a bed of soft potato foam that gave the dish a wonderful creaminess. The paprika gave it that spicy, addictive bite that made us go back for more. A surprising favourite, though, was the Artichoke dish. Rarely going for artichoke dishes given how hard they are to pair with wine, this was an indulgent, rich, and oozing dish of soft artichoke with decadent truffle and lovely herbaceousness from the thyme. Lovely.
For the mains, we decided to try Nobu’s rendition of a paella known as their Blind Paella. Served with monkfish, prawns, mussels and prawn carpaccio, presented as a perfect butterfly style prawn on top of the paella, we weren’t disappointed. Typically a paella can be heavy, oily, and too filling, but Nobu’s was as light as their sushi. Delicate, elegant, and flavoursome, the paella was wonderful. We tried not to eat it all at risk of having no appetite for dinner, but weren’t too successful. We couldn’t stop.
For dessert, in a desperate final bid to save our appetites, we enjoyed a selection of home-made macarons, from coconut to white chocolate and strawberry, just as…palate cleansers. Finished with a few more glasses of that delicious rose, we wrapped up our meal 2 hours later feeling full and relaxed, ready to start our evening by continuing to have more drinks and wandering back through the hotel, this time to the rooftop bar…
Chambao By the Beach
Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay
Camí ses Feixes, 52