Much like it’s impossible to cook the correct amount of pasta, has anyone ever ordered the right amount of tapas? I mean, of course the ‘right’ amount of tapas is ‘all of it’, but I do try not to over-order because wasting food is A Bad Thing.
I first read about La Bodega Talamanca well over a year ago, on Twitter somewhere I think, and have been wanting to visit this little boho restaurant since then. Ibiza is full of glamorous beach bars and gorgeous fine dining restaurants, but I do favour somewhere a bit more chilled and laid back, which is certainly what La Bodega Talamanca is. The powder blue gates and turquoise walls lead to mismatched chairs, moroccan lanterns and cushions strewn with colourful woven blankets, giving off a distinctly bohemian vibe. As if it couldn’t get more idyllic, the sea is just across the path, and my experience of Talamanca beach was that it’s very quiet and lazy, not the Ibiza I knew on my first visit five years ago. You can get peace in Ibiza, you’ve just got to pick the right place.
Settling in immediately by ordering half a litre of perfect ice cold Spanish sangria (€12.50) I sat down to choose my tapas from the extensive menu, a part of me wishing I was dining with someone so I could order more, but mostly utterly content that this evening was just between me, my book, the view, a lot of sangria and even more tapas. How to choose what to order? Manchego – done, obviously (€7). Chorizo – I’m in Spain, so of course (€6). Got to be a bit of tortilla patatas (€3.50) in there, too (aka ‘Spanish omelette’ – God we know how to class things up don’t we?) The truly painful part was choosing between pan con tomate (€2.50) and pan con aioli (€2.50), because the way the Spanish turn tomatoes on a bit of crusty bread into an art is truly something to behold, but also, aioli until I die. The kind (and probably bored of my dithering) waitress sorted me out by insisting she’d bring me a pot of aioli to go with the pan con tomate instead of me ordering both. After asking how many dishes she would recommend, I reluctantly abandoned about three dishes I had planned but threw in the meatballs for good measure. How often am I in Spain, anyway?
Firstly I need to talk about the manchego. The manchego was of such good quality, and – plot twist – served with walnuts, which was a combination I’d never had before but will absolutely continue to do so. Teamed with the chorizo and pan con tomate the manchego pretty much made my life that evening, it was that good. The tortilla was expertly cooked, not at all dry and falling apart just so. The meatballs I wouldn’t bother with next time – there was nothing at all wrong with them but I gave up prawns for them, you know? An error on my part. The pot of aioli I was served was so big I could barely make a dent in it alongside my other twenty eight dishes – and how I tried. So thick and garlicky – it’s the first thing I want when I land in Spain. This was the perfect first stop in Ibiza and I would absolutely return to La Bodega. The views are wonderful, the restaurant is chilled enough you can stay for hours without bother, the sangria is perfect and the tapas excellent. It’s also great value for Ibiza, where meals can easily add up to €100 a head in other fancier places by the sea. It’s worth noting the restaurant also have an outpost in Ibiza Town which I’d like to try next time – perfect pit stop after exploring those cobbled streets in the sunshine, wouldn’t you say?
La Bodega Talamanca, C/ Ses Figueres S18 Talamanca, 07800 Ibiza, +34971192740
La Bodega Ibiza, C/ Bisbe Torres Mayans 2, 07800 Ibiza +34672494847
Open every day from 6pm until late.