Unicorn Shakes & Guilt-Free Cake: Keto Kitchen Ibiza Leads The Food Revolution

Posted on March 12, 2019

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Pictures by Gabriel Escalofrios.

We all know the age-old adage, ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’, meaning we can’t enjoy two good things at the same time. But, luckily for White Isle residents and visitors alike, Keto Kitchen Ibiza is here to change that! Bringing the increasingly popular ketogenic diet to the vibrant village of Santa Gertrudis, now we can – quite literally – indulge in our favourite treats such as creamy shakes, towering pancake stacks, aromatic curries and lush chocolate cake while nourishing our bodies at the same time.

Opening its doors less than a month ago, Keto Kitchen Ibiza has wasted no time in catching the attention of the island. Run by the savvy and enthusiastic trio of Ellis Den Hartog, Carmel Mirck and Gee Van Donselaar, the stylish eatery is fast creating a base of loyal regulars and sparking the curiosity of those who haven’t eaten ‘keto’ before. Conveniently located just a short stroll from Santa Gertrudis’ bustling church square, the new wellness destination can be reached easily from most corners of the island – and is most definitely worth the journey!

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With most of the Essential Ibiza crew based in ‘the village’ and lured by colourful social media posts of mouth-watering food creations, it didn’t take us long to pop into Keto Kitchen for a pre-season team lunch. Warmly greeted by Carmel, Gee and Ellis, we were momentarily distracted from the healthy appetite we had brought with us by the stunning interiors – a veritable Pinterest dream! Decorated with lush banana plants, vintage light-bulb garlands, colourful cushions, and – an instant eye-catcher – two swings suspended from the ceiling – every corner of the venue is utterly ‘gram-worthy. A pink neon sign adorns the wall, stating, ‘I’m saving my carbs for wine’, which brings us neatly to the concept behind Keto Kitchen.

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For the uninitiated, a ketogenic diet means a high-fat, moderate protein and low-carb nutrition plan that depletes the body’s sugar stores, with benefits listed including increased energy, better brain function, improved sleep and reduced inflammation amongst others. It is credited with being beneficial for those suffering from medical conditions like epilepsy, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, migraines, Alzheimers, obesity and many more. Having been part of the jet-setting music industry themselves, Ellis and Carmel discovered the benefits of ‘eating keto’ after being introduced to it by their peers – and never looked back. Carmel tells us, “In the beginning, I was a little bit rebellious about trying ‘keto’ because cutting out carbs sounded hard, but then I decided to give it a go. Within a week I was in ‘ketosis’ mode and felt like a different person. The mental clarity is amazing, it’s like you have two brains! You’re not tired anymore and you have energy forever, you can concentrate much better and you don’t get cravings – so you can focus on the important stuff instead of being busy with napping and eating!”

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Bringing in Gee, a seasoned gastronomy expert who studied ‘Science of Cooking’ at Harvard University and owns respected catering business 2 Chefs Ibiza, as a consultant to create the menu and fine-tune the Keto Kitchen brand, the dream team is off to a flying start. “You don’t have to eat like a rabbit to be healthy. We want to educate people, and also show that you can follow a ketogenic diet without eating meat, so you will find both vegetarian and vegan options on our menu,” Carmel explains. “A lot of people think that sounds super extreme, but it’s not if you have the right recipes and good produce.” Gee adds, “Sugar is one of the most addictive things in the world and it is in virtually everything. At Keto Kitchen, we only use plant-based sweeteners that don’t affect your blood sugar levels, so it’s very good for diabetics or people who suffer from epilepsy. It has been a little challenging to find the right recipes, but we have put together a lovely menu. I’m very excited about this project.”

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Without further ado, we finally sat down to peruse the menu. Open from Wednesday until Sunday between 10am and 5pm in March, before increasing opening hours from April onwards, you can drop into Keto Kitchen for everything from a mouth-watering breakfast to a light and healthy lunch, potent coffees, tasty juices and smoothies, and indulgent slices of cake. And, as the afore-mentioned pink neon sign declares so beautifully, the eatery also offers a selection of organic and natural wines. We began our keto-friendly lunch with a selection of colourful and creamy smoothies, including the signature Keto Fat Bomb Shake: a chocolaty concoction made with coconut milk, peanut butter and raw cacao; kind of like a healthy Snickers. Mesmerising with its magical shades of blue, the La Vida Es Magica Shake combines coconut cream, blueberries, spirulina and a variety of greens to make a very tasty health bomb. Decorated with oh-so-pretty edible flowers, this one is bound to become an Instagram favourite! As Keto Kitchen is currently working on new flavours to expand the current smoothie, shake and juice menu, we also got to try two delicious mixes that are not available just yet, both tasting like guilt-free desserts in a glass!

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Having massively over-ordered, our table of five could barely keep up as one vibrant and flavoursome plate after the next arrived. The Holy Guacamole came accompanied with moreish parmesan crisps and had a nicely spicy kick, while the warming Soup of the Day – flavour: broccoli – was instantly compared to a hug in a bowl, its tasty leftovers being carried home in a paper coffee cup. A luscious white ball of burrata cheese arrived on an eye-catching bed of differently coloured tomatoes and left us fork-fighting over the last bite, while the Cauliflower Buffalo Wings were just as finger-licking good as the chicken variety thanks to a tasty marinade and aromatic blue cheese dip.

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Fans of superfood bowls will have trouble choosing between the You Had Me At Halloumi and the Big Buddha Bowl, each a delight of colours, textures and flavours. A sharing dish that the seasoned Keto Kitchen visitors in our group insisted we had to order, the Parsnip Chips were utterly addictive thanks to their crispy skin, fluffy inside and accompanying dips – and disappeared in seconds. Veggie classics such as crunchy zucchini spaghetti ‘Bolognese’ and aromatic Keto Kitchen Ratatouille had us exclaiming that ‘if it’s prepared this well, it really doesn’t need meat’, while the Green Veggie Currie, accompanied by cauliflower rice, had us swooning over its rich flavours.

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Now, if we had to single out a favourite plate, the Porcini Risotto probably scored the most outbursts of approval – even from those who don’t usually love this world-famous Italian dish. Replacing rice with cauliflower pearls, the cheese and mushroom flavours intermingling perfectly without being overpowering, this was another Keto Kitchen success that got taken home for later ravishing. To sum up our first keto lunch experience: everything was delicious, the portions are of a very decent size, and even dedicated carnivores will not be left wanting.

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With our bellies ready to burst, on the way out our eyes were caught by the doorstopper-size slices of enticing Double Chocolate Cake, which Gee assured us was ‘completely sugar- and guilt-free’. In fact, Carmel admitted that she has pretty much been eating cake for breakfast every day since opening Keto Kitchen. Guilt-free cake for breakfast? If that isn’t enough to make you head down to Santa Gertrudis for your own taste of ketogenic goodness, STAT, then we don’t know what is!

Further Information & Reservations:
t: +34 637 425 776
w: www.ketokitchenibiza.com
fb: www.facebook.com/ketokitchenibiza

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