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A lunch to savour at Sands, in Playa D’en Bossa, Ibiza

New to Sands this year, are two key ingredients that are making waves on the shores of Playa D’en Bossa. Chef Tim Payne former Head Chef by way of Paradise, Kensal Green, London, has recently taken charge of the kitchen at Sands and front of house his ex-Paradise colleague Pedro Cervero has also joined as Restaurant Manager.  Ibizagastro recently had the pleasure of meeting both team members and finding out what lies in store for diners this year at Sands.

The location of Sands is bordering on idyllic, after a stroll along Playa D’en Bossa beach, it is to be found next to the imposing Ushuaia Towers but is a world away from what you may come to expect in such a spot. The atmosphere is modern but relaxed and the welcome from the staff both pleasant and friendly, the view from the inside leads your eyes across the beach and the array of white washed beds and loungers – Sands is clearly a venue where hours, if not days, could  easily slip by.

Head Chef, Tim Payne, kindly spent some time with us, explaining his menu’s, ingredients and what it’s now like working in Ibiza.  Tim was instantly recognisable to us from his work as Marco Pierre Whites protégé and his appearances in TV’s Hells’ Kitchen and we were aware that his love of food extended to a great love of Ibiza – having spent time here for countless years prior to this.  As he guided us through his most recent menu, it was apparent that there is an attention to detail that goes into all the dishes and seemingly simple but logistically difficult ideals, such as sourcing as many ingredients as possible locally from Ibiza are painstakingly adhered to wherever possible. The Mozzarella is handmade locally , the Olives marinated on site and even the bread for the burgers has been made to a brioche recipe to take into account the climate of Ibiza, which often leads to that dry crumbly bread we are all only to familiar with here in Ibiza. Tim also explained to us that the menu itself was governed by the availability of the local produce and that changes to the menu are made regularly, to ensure that the dishes offered are utilising the great local ingredients.

For what turned into an almost breathtaking lunch, we first sampled a fresh gazpacho, made with Ibicencan tomatoes and a plate of Tuna Sashimi (a real delight for us Sushi lovers), made with Yellow Fin Tuna and presented with a ginger and lime dip . This accompaniment was a perfect complement  to the sashimi  and was a welcome change from  the wasabi, more commonly used alongside such dishes. We also tasted the Mozzarella starter and crispy shredded duck salad with sesame seeds, the duck is instantly worthy of a mention and a great follow on from the flavours of the Sushi.  The creamy Mozzarella melted in the mouth and was complemented by the fresh tomatoes from the island.

The show was however to be stolen away from the starters, by the main courses. Annie with her Burger, cooked slightly rare as requested, served with crispy but sumptuously fluffy chips made from locally sourced potatoes and I with pan fried Sea Bass served with seasonal citrus fruits. I’ll often explain to people how dining can be an emotional experience and this was certainly the case upon seeing the presentation of the Sea Bass – a dish that displays itself as a holiday on a plate, bringing a real smile to our faces and a great sense of summer adventure .  The sweet part brioche bun partnered the smoky barbeque sauce within the burger perfectly and when accompanied by the cheese, bacon and succulent beef changed from a partnership to a marriage of flavours.

Sadly every meal has to come to an end and as such we prolonged our inevitable departure with a plate to share of the freshly made Churros with a rich chocolate sauce and sipped our chilled, fruity Sauvignon Blanc , whilst discussing our meal and of course when we’ll be heading back. Whisper it quietly – or I’ll not be allowed back on the Spanish mainland - but the Churros are quite possibly the best we’ve tasted!

In summary our thoughts of Sands are of a professional restaurant, in an informal yet stylish location and of a meal that is befitting of the excellent reputations of both Head Chef and Restaurant Manager.  In a resort that has a handful of quality dining experiences, Sands stands out in a class of its own and is surely worthy of note. With a menu that will change throughout the season, we will certainly be heading back this year to  see  what’s new and may well see a few hours slip by in the process!

Dan Power

Sands Beach Bar , Playa d'en Bossa , S/N - Hotel Fiesta Don Toni , Ibiza

Tel - +349 71396849