Santa Gertrudis is an authentic Spanish village haven in the middle of the island, blessed with beauty and character and more than its fair share of restaurants. The village is compact, you can walk round it in minutes, and there is a real sense of community between those who live and work here as well as a warm welcome to anyone visiting. It has an unusual number of amazing eateries for its size and is a popular tourist destination during the summer, as well as a focal point for locals from all over the island during the winter. It’s home to Essentialibiza HQ so naturally we are biased and believe it to be the best village on the planet! Tonight, we have been invited by our friends at Como to sample their Asian Night as they transport diners from the sleepy Spanish village to exotic Indonesia, courtesy of an exquisite buffet.
Como is one of the stunning venues that pepper the village, a cool restaurant on the side of the road that leads up to the main square. The outside bar offers fresh fruit shakes; the terrace is a great pace to enjoy a meal, meet friends or grab an early morning coffee and watch village life unfold in front of you. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists throughout the season but in the winter, it becomes a hub for artists based all over the island. There is a real creative buzz about the place. Last winter saw Como try out its Asian concept, offering an authentic dining experience from a different country each time. As the hectic summer starts to become a fading memory Como has once again launched its Asian Night and tonight, we’re off to Indonesia.
Having spent a bit of time in Indonesia, between Jakarta and Bali, in the past couple of years, we are excited to see what Menno has managed to concoct. The menu is buffet style so we are basically brought food throughout the night. This is a favourite way of eating for me, I like the thought of no menu, you are given food and you eat it. Brings a real sense of home. Menno has spent a bit of time in Indonesia so he has a unique sense of what the buffet should contain. He does admit, however, that his Indonesian night does have a slight Dutch twist to it, normally the meat would be served cold and only the rice would be piping hot, he has chosen to serve all the food, apart from the vegetables, hot. Lets face it, if there is anyone other than the Indonesians adept at preparing Indonesian food, it’s the Dutch!
First up is the Sate Ayam (chicken satay with peanut sauce) and Gado Gado (vegetables salad with peanut sauce), the first thing I would say is that the flavouring is exactly as I remember from my trips to Indonesia. Authenticity is probably the most important factor when offering themed nights and Como has got this one spot on. The dishes continue to flow, with Ayam Sereh (chicken with lemongrass), Babi Kecap (pork stew in sweet soy sauce), Telor Kerri (egg in curry sauce), Rendang (tender beef stew) and finally Ikan Bomboe Bali (Hake Balinese style). Everything tastes delicious, the meats are tender and melt in your mouth and the flavours are distinctive and give some of the dishes a real kick. The dining experience is fantastic, from the way the food is delivered to the variety of dishes and flavours, we can hardly move after the final course has been devoured.
The food is not the only entertainment on the agenda tonight, however, and as we settle back and come to terms with the amount of food we have just consumed, the band start playing, offering a subtle jazz background that suggests there could be dancing later. Menno joins us for a drink and tells us where the idea for the concept came from…
“The Asian concept is something I did throughout the winter last year and it was very successful. In general Asian food is nice and refreshing and is also something that lends itself to offering nice vegetarian dishes within the Asian kitchen, which is something I like to do in Como, also, Asian food is not something that is readily available around this area, you can’t really get a good Thai curry anywhere here, apart from in Como. We have the knowledge in house and can prepare these dishes in our own kitchen.
We will be taking diners to a different Asian country every fortnight, two weeks ago we were in Japan and tonight, we are in Indonesia, which means a lot of stews and some pre-cooking preparation. Obviously, as I am Dutch, I do have this heritage, this knowledge and this love for the food of Indonesia and that’s why I included it in the Asian Nights. With Indonesian food, you prepare it, leave it for one or two days in the fridge and let the flavours mix and fold into each other and that’s the nice thing about the Indonesian food and something I like to offer at Como. I will be introducing more Asian dishes into the normal Como menu as well.”
NEXT COMO ASIAN EXPERIENCE IS INDIAN VEGETARIAN ON OCTOBER 27 BOOK NOW!
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