Welcome to the first edition of Sushi Club: A new interview series that sees Tribe Magazine’s founder and editor Liv in conversation with some of the fascinating creatives and artists that frequent Ibiza – while checking out the many fantastic Asian restaurants the island has to offer.
Nothing quite loosens the tongue like a sip of Sake, after all!
It’s no secret that the White Isle is home to some world class gastronomy destinations, and in the Sushi Club we will review Ibiza’s top Japanese and Asian eateries with fellow sushi fiends from all over the world.
Bonding over a shared love of this delectable style of cuisine, we find out more about our guests while uncovering Ibiza’s best sushi restaurants.
For the very first in the series, we are opening the Sushi Club in style over a dinner at the cool and cosmopolitan IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar IBIZA with gypset jewellery designer Deborah Menta, of Luna Menta Jewellery.
Sitting on the cusp of the entrance to Marina Botafoch and Ibiza Town’s glamorous yacht harbour, and with some of the island’s superclubs on its doorstep, IZAKAYA Ibiza is an urban oasis that offers modern Japanese cuisine with South American influences and expertly mixed cocktails, to be enjoyed by the glittering emerald pool surrounded by outdoor cabanas and lush, tropical foliage.
Part of the renowned THE ENTOURAGE GROUP, which was founded by Amsterdam-based hospitality entrepreneur Yossi Eliyahoo, the Balearic outpost of this enticing concept opened its doors in Ibiza within the walls of the Sir Joan Hotel in 2017 – and has remained an enduring favourite amongst islanders and island visitors alike.
With a vast library of international fine wines, a cool stainless steel 360-degree bar that takes pride of place in the centre of the venue, a show kitchen and live DJ sets, it’s the perfect spot to begin your nocturnal adventures with artisanal cocktail creations, small sharing dishes, exotic sushi rolls, specialties from the Robata grill, and a rare selection of high-end Sake rice wines.
Reviewing the dining experience tonight are Sushi Club members:
Deborah Menta, jewellery designer and founder of Luna Menta Jewellery
A seasoned world traveller and sushi connoisseur, Debbie has sampled Japanese cuisine at some of the globe’s most renowned gastronomy destinations.
Olivia Ebeling, founder and editor of Tribe Magazine
A long-time sushi lover who has reviewed many of Ibiza’s top restaurants since her arrival on the island in 2016, Liv loves a mix of fine dining and lowkey charm. Always looking to learn more about her favourite cuisine!
Isabel Flores, the artist behind La Skimal Photography and Sushi Club photographer
Born and bred in Ibiza, Isa has photographed the island’s finest eateries for over 15 years, but is relatively new to raw dishes. She is still discovering what she likes and doesn’t like when it comes to the more exotic creations.
And without further ado… let’s open the Sushi Club!
Welcome, Debbie, we are so happy for you to be our first guest!
Debbie: And I’m so excited to be here! I mean… cocktails, sushi and such a fabulous location… what’s not to love?
We thought IZAKAYA Ibiza would be a great fit for you. First impressions?
Debbie: I love it! It’s so stylish and it really fits the vibe of my brand. It’s contemporary and chic, and I love the colour of the pool. I’m obsessed with the tiles, it reminds me of a very chic mermaid!
You’re having the Lycheeshu cocktail with Grey Goose vodka, lychee liqueur, yuzu & lime, one of the restaurant’s signature creations. What do we think?
Debbie: It’s delicious! And it’s nice to try something that you don’t see on every cocktail menu.
Liv: Agreed. I’m having the Purple Rain, with Patron Silver Tequila, hibiscus,italicus, chipotle and lime – an unusual combination, but it works perfectly.
After visiting the islands for many years, you finally made the move to Ibiza in December 2022. How are you settling into island life?
Debbie: I’m absolutely loving it! Although I’ve been coming here for nearly 30 years, actually living here is completely different. You really feel like you belong to Ibiza. So I’m a proper islander now and I love discovering things that even after 30 years I never had a clue about.
What’s your favourite thing about living here?
Debbie: We are so lucky because where my husband and I live is truly in the ‘campo’, so we are surrounded by nature and wildlife and it is so peaceful and quiet. There is so much inspiration for me here with all the amazing colours of the island, always changing with the seasons. The light is also insanely amazing, a great inspiration for anyone creative.
Speaking of inspiration, your Studio 54 collection is a perfect fit for Ibiza and its IT girls!
Debbie: Yes, this is my latest collection and I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to launch it than Ibiza. It was inspired by the legendary club in New York and Ibiza is so famous for its nightlife. The collection contains a selection of earrings and pendants in different types of gold and different lengths, it’s really fluid and it moves beautifully.
Liv: I love the organic shapes. And it looks great on sunkissed skin…
Debbie: Absolutely. The Studio 54 line comes in 18 karat gold, as well as yellow, white and rose gold, so there is one for every skin type. You can have the pendants either on a chain, at any length you like, or on handmade Japanese cord. And in the fall I’m going to have some of the designs made with coloured diamonds.
Where are your favourite places to party in Ibiza – do tell!
Debbie: Well, I do love a bit of Flower Power. I have always loved it at Pacha – just around the corner from IZAKAYA – but I would also really love to check it out at Cova Santa. I have never been there, so that’s definitely one for the diary! And Glitterbox at Hï Ibiza is always super-duper fun. But to be honest, I’ve been going out more to all the incredible restaurants on the island recently…
You have been to the IZAKAYA restaurant in Amsterdam, do you remember having any stand-out favourites?
Debbie: To be honest, everything was super delicious, so I’m looking forward to tonight!
Liv: I might have mentioned to you my addiction to their Crispy Rice with spicy tuna tartare – it’s like crack to me!
Isa: What I always remember when I think of IZAKAYA is the Corn Tempura with the delicious sauce – I know it’s not sushi, but that is the first thing that comes to my mind!
Debbie, when was the first time you tried sushi?
Debbie: I think it was in New York, but we’re going way back… I was in my 20s. That was where I first fell in love with sushi, and sushi fusion.
Liv: How fabulous. You’re going to laugh, and I probably shouldn’t mention this here… but my first sushi experience was much less glamorous. When I was in my early 20s and living in England I read a book called Sushi For Beginners – and I was so curious to try it, I bought a small box from a UK supermarket that shall not be named. Spoiler alert: it was not great back then, and I’m surprised I ever tried sushi again to be honest!
So out of the starters, which are your favourites?
Debbie: The sashimi selection is delicious, but I really love the tacos with Seabream ceviche – it’s a different take on one of my favourite classic dishes.
Liv: My favourite is OBVI the Crispy Rice squares with spicy tuna tartare, BUT I also love the Corn Tempura. Great choices for sharing!
Isa: For me it’s also the tacos with seabream ceviche. Ceviche is what first got me into raw fish, and this is amazing with the different textures.
Debbie, as we are talking about seafood and fish, we couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous fish charms on your beautiful bracelet…
Debbie: Oh thank you! I have been collecting vintage charms for many, many years, and here I have a gold shark, and another gorgeous fish. This piece is called the Ocean Wave bracelet and it is one of my absolute favourites out of all my collections. It is part of the Posidonia collection, which is inspired by the Balearic Islands and the seagrass that protects the marine life in this region.
I hand-selected the pearls from my preferred pearl farm in Tahiti. This aubergine colour is really typical of that area of Polynesia, but you also get some gorgeous blue, grey and peacock shades. And these particular charms took me two years to collect. But what’s really special is that it has some ancient Phoenician beads, so another strong link to Ibiza…
Isa: You have a lot of different histories here!
Debbie: Yes, I love working with preloved elements to keep my collections as sustainable as can be, and with vintage pieces I always wonder who had these charms on their bracelets before. Some of them are from the 1930s, some from the 1960s and 1970s – but nothing ‘newer’ than that.
For the main courses, we are having a salmon, avocado & asparagus roll, a crispy soft shell crab roll and a lobster and mango uramaki roll with creamy wasabi…
Debbie: It looks as pretty as a picture, totally enticing. And the combination of lobster and mango is an absolute dream! Fun fact: did you know that mango is actually the world’s most consumed fruit? It is number one…
Liv: Really? That’s surprising!
Debbie: Yes, there’s three mangoes to every banana eaten… So there’s a top fact. Also, soft shell crab is one of my desert island foods.
Liv: Do you think if you had to catch one yourself, you could manage?
Debbie: I think if I was hungry enough I would…
Liv: Now, please clear this up for me: Should I eat the legs of the soft shell crab or leave it? I never know…
Debbie: Well, in my circle of friends I am known as the ‘seafood surgeon’. I don’t mind getting down and dirty with a plate of shellfish, and I usually help everyone to dismantle their crabs and lobsters. But the clue is in the name, here, Liv: the shell is soft, so you can eat it!
What other collections have you got coming out, Debbie?
Debbie: We are in full swing with a solar flower agate line that everybody who has seen it absolutely loves, and that will be available as a bead necklace and pendants. And then I know that you are, of course, a really big fan of the moon collection, and we have a new version of the “Luna” pendant with diamonds. I have also had it made in my signature Pantone 333 Luna Menta colour, which I’m really excited about because it pops! And then we have some maritime pieces like the seahorse and the compass, so it’s all inspired by nature and the sea.
Liv: As a fellow moon obsessive, I have to ask when did you first feel a connection to our beautiful silver planet?
Debbie: From when I was a young child, I always used to look at the moon outside in the garden or from my bedroom window. And then as I got older, I really started to feel its significance and the pull of it. Well, my husband can’t sleep at all around this time of the month. But my love of the moon is also why I called one of my dogs “Luna”.
Our meal has sadly come to an end with these delicious yuzu & red velvet madeleines, served with white chocolate chantilly and fruit marmalade. So what are everyone’s favourite things about dinner at IZAKAYA Ibiza?
Debbie: I have to say, the Corn Tempura, the ceviche tacos and the soft shell crab roll. I would love to come back with my husband.
Liv: Well, they also do a takeaway box with an amazing selection of sushi. And we have to come on another girls night! My favourites, as always, were the Crispy Rice with spicy tuna tartare, and the lobster and mango roll. And I think the Madeleine dessert is perfect for sharing, not too heavy before you head out into the night… the Chantilly cream is like a silky cloud of vanilla mousse!
Another thing that I have always loved about IZAKAYA Ibiza is that the service is really on point, but not overbearing. Everybody is super on it, but they are also level with you – not overly formal or stuffy. A big shout out to Francisco, the manager, his team, and our lovely waiter from tonight, Asan!
Isa: For me it was also the Corn Tempura, and the ceviche tacos.
Debbie: We did well!
IZAKAYA Ibiza is located in the Sir Joan Hotel on Passeig Joan Carles I, 07800 Eivissa. For further information and to book call +34 871 182 526 or visit www.izakaya-restaurant.com. For all the latest updates, follow @izakaya_official.
To see the full Luna Menta Jewellery range including the Studio 54 collection visit www.lunamenta.com and follow @lunamentajewellery.