Sensational Sunday In Sirocco Beach

Posted on July 16, 2013

Words: Emma Bennett
Images: Nic J.

It is a beautiful, hot day in Ibiza and perfect for a lazy Sunday at Sirocco Beach. We have dropped in on Sirocco many times over the past year, to catch up with Pippi and check out some of the cool, intimate parties that it hosts but today we are meeting with Rocco and his wife Sian to talk about the concept and try some of the delicious menu. The couple arrive, all welcoming smiles and laughter and the first thing we are interested in is the history of the beautiful venue? “We started Sirocco in 2009,” explains Sian. “With 6 weeks to paint and get ready! We based the décor on the colour of this patch of sea that we saw in the Caribbean. Five samples and a lot of painting later we found the colour. The decorators thought I was crazy!” Playa d’en Bossa, as a stretch of sand is home to numerous independent restaurants, beach clubs but despite the close proximity, they don’t view each other as competition, Rocco explains that they are all great friends. “All the owners from other restaurants in Ibiza come here to eat and we all eat at their places,” he says. “Jimmy from Coco, Christian from Nassau, Clodenis etc, we are not competition for each other.” “Jimmy actually had his staff party here,” adds Sian.

Sirocco

Talking with Rocco and Sian, it is quickly apparent that this is a couple that knows their food and so, when it is time to eat, we ask them to order some of their favourite dishes for us to try. First out comes Pucche Lechese from Apulia, fantastic soft bread fused with Mediterranean vegetables that Rocco only used to make at home, but it was so popular with the family that they had to put it on the menu. Then a Burrata – a salad of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese so creamy we have never tasted anything like it – this is definitely a favourite. Next a simple salad of spiced lentils and sliced carrots, which compliments the Burrata perfectly. Shortly after a beautiful salad of bacon drizzled with the sweetest balsamic, parmigano, walnuts and sultanas arrives and finally the freshest scallops that absolutely melt in the mouth signals the end of the first course.

Sirocco

As the Essential team loosens its belts and has a few sips of rose, Sian lets us know that the food is all locally sourced and they try to buy organic as much as possible. Rocco reappears with Calamares a la Romana, which is absolutely delicious and a pasta of tagliatelle served with clams and cherry tomatoes – anything involving seafood at Sirocco is a sure-fire hit. Just as we think we can’t fit in another bite, the grand finale of linguine fruitte de mare ‘al cartoccio’ – the legendary pasta in a bag – appears and suddenly we have all regained our appetites. This dish is one of the tastiest we have eaten on the island and has to be tried to be believed.

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As we sit and chat with our benevolent hosts we are brought refreshing glasses of sparkling rose, Berlucchi 61 Franciacorta. They buy this wine from a friend of theirs who just happens to have popped in for a drink. Within seconds I have been scooped up by Fausto and given a huge hug as we pose for photos. We chill out in the sun listening to the DJ playing a perfect Sunday afternoon soundtrack of old Motown hits and classic hip hop, then the song of the summer, Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ comes on and everyone is singing and dancing. Rocco is laughing loudly at his daughter dancing on the beach with family friends and I feel more like we have come out for lunch with old friends than to review their restaurant. While we wait for dessert we fire a few more questions their way…

What did you do before Sirocco?
I was formerly at Clodenis explains Rocco, Denis was great friend and a huge inspiration in our lives. We miss him so much.

How did you and Rocco meet?
Rocco and I have been friends since the 80s and married for 10 years. I still remember what he was wearing when I first met him!

What is the inspiration for the amazing Sirocco menu?
Sian: Our chef, Fabrizio, used to work for Denis, he is the most amazing chef, he’s so proud of what he does which is beautiful, he is Sirocco as much as we are, he is as important as we are.
Rocco: I’ve known Fabrizio for many years.

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Does Fabrizio have a signature dish?
Rocco/ Sian: Pasta cooked in paper.
Sian: Our food style is Italian, Rocco is from the south of Italy and even for Italians, the south is the best place to go for food. Fabrizio is from Torrino.

What is your vision for Sirocco?
Sian: The thing with Sirocco is that we didn’t want to do a really chic chiringuito we wanted it to be relaxed and rustic, our daughter Tallulah has an absolute ball here. Sirocco is a place that you can stay all day with your family, you can eat whilst the children play on the beach, its all about the experience.

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As we finish our chat, the desserts arrive and they are just as impressive as the main courses. Pannacotta served with a fruit coulis and meringue that dissolves on the tongue, Italian staple Tiramisu and a gorgeous Tarte Tartin served with real vanilla ice cream. At this point we realise that we have been at Sirocco for 5 hours – where has the time gone! With loved ones to get back to we begin to leave, but not before Sian can press into my hand a little tub of real Italian strawberry ice cream from their gelato. As I walk down the road eating it I am still smiling.

DJ Mariano Somoza
Sirocco Beach Ibiza Playlist:

Al Stewart, The Year Of The Cat
Al Green, Lets Stay Together
Marvin Gaye, Mercy Mercy
Chris Rea, Josephine
America, A Horse With No Name
Ottis Redding, Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
Erick Benet & Faith Evans, Georgy Porgy
Soul To Soul, Get A Life
Brand New Heavies, Never Stop
Gaelle, Give It Back

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