There is something magical about that hour between the sun setting and day turning into night. The air is still and there’s that feeling that anything can happen. Add to that equation the full moon and put yourself at the front of one of the islands coolest beach clubs, where the view is spectacular, and you have the start of a night to remember. Essentialibiza has been invited down to Nassau Beach on Playa D’en Bossa to sample its menu for 2012 and the day after the full moon celebration, we are blessed to still have an amazing view as the moon lights up the deserted beach in front of us.
Nassau is the picture of elegance, during the day it is a bustling beach club, vibrant both in and out of the restaurant as people relax on luxurious loungers, waited on by professional, friendly staff while others enjoy some lunch on the terrace or a delicious cocktail on one of the big couches looking out over the beach. At night, the atmosphere is much calmer, there is no one running in and out of the restaurant, the beach is deserted, making way for diners to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and some of the finest food on the island. Nassau offers two dining experiences, the fine dining of the main restaurant where the Chef is inspired by the Cocina Autor movement and practises molecular gastronomy, mixing science with his culinary practise resulting in unconventional but delicious flavours and delivering a meal you will not forget in a hurry. Alternatively there is the Tepanyaki Lounge, where a fusion of Ibizencan/ Mediterranean and Asian cuisine can be sampled. You can of course mix and match, ordering from both menus. Whatever gets your juices flowing!
We opt to go between menus and for starters choose, noodles with vegetables and chicken, miso soup with mini Japanese mushrooms and clams, fresh white asparagus with romescu mayonnaise and quinoa seeds and marinated tuna with micro vegetables, Japanese citric and soy. The presentation of the dishes is stunning, almost too good to eat but after an appropriate couple of seconds to admire them, we tuck in. They taste every bit as good as they look. The molecular gastronomy that the chef adopts in the kitchen shows total respect to the freshness and identity of the products used, resulting in maximum flavour release and giving the menu a unique personal touch that is evident in the taste.
For our main courses we once again have a foot in both menus, chicken tereyaki and rice from the Tepenyaki and from the main menu, chicken stuffed with lobster emulsion and prawns, served on a fine pea puree, Black Angus sirloin steak with ox sauce and vegetables and Provencale lamb with cream of sweet potato. While we wait we enjoy a bottle of Bruno from the extensive wine list. The restaurant is beginning to fill up now, we still can’t get on board with starting a meal at eleven o’clock at night but it does make for a great atmosphere in Nassau as the tables around us become occupied and the buzz of conversation starts. When the food arrives there is the pause for thought once again before silence descends on the table and everyone goes about their main course. My chicken on pea puree is delicious, tender, well cooked and bursting with flavour. General consensus is the same around the table, the chef certainly knows what he is doing mixing science in the kitchen.
As we deliberate on dessert the final table on the terrace fills up, with former world number one tennis star Marat Saffin and guests, the nice thing about Nassau is that no one bats an eyelid, celebrities and sports stars are not uncommon in the restaurant and they are not treated any differently from other Nassau customers, everyone is a VIP. To finish off this amazing meal we choose a selection of desserts, the thinking being that we will all try a little of each, the actuality, when they arrive, is something completely different. Strawberries with cream and a chocolate sauce, crunchi of chocolate and nuts with biological mango sorbet, cooked fruit salad with flamed foam of crème brulee and poppy cake, candied pumpkin, coconut foam with a tangerine cream and coffee sauce are all devoured individually with no tie to look to anyone else’s plate! As with the courses that precede the desserts, the presentation is exquisite as is the flavour.
The moon has changed colour a couple of times during the meal and is now high in the sky as we enjoy coffees and a chupito before heading home. It’s no puzzle why Nassau remains one of the most popular spots on the island, the attention to detail and the quality of the experience is second to none.
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