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Sublimotion, Ibiza: inside the world’s most expensive restaurant


By  (The Telegraph)

What does £1,200 – the price, per person of dinner at Sublimotion, Ibiza – buy you? Self-mixing cocktails, vivid 360-degree projections, and a pillow of nitrogenised olive oil. Teresa Machan gets a taster

I’d waited a while to see my name in lights and there it was, emblazoned in neon on a 12-seater dining table. Knowing where to sit would in fact prove to be the only certainty in one of the most bizarre dining experiences I’ve ever had.

Most of the buzz surrounding Sublimotion, the new Ibiza restaurant of Paco Roncero, the double Michelin-starred chef, is about the price tag. Ibiza is no stranger to excess and experimentation, but the €1,500 (£1,198) per head cost has really raised eyebrows.

No confusion over where to sit

When pressed, Roncero wouldn’t confirm that his brave exercise in theatrical dining is also the world’s most expensive. What he did claim, however, is that Sublimotion is the “cheapest life-changing experience anyone can have.”

“You can’t put a price on 27 staff serving 12 diners the best ingredients in a spectacular way,” he added. Well, yes, you can and have.


Vivid 360-degree projections are used

From an unmarked door on a street next to the new Hard Rock Hotel we were ushered into what resembled a store room and then, following a brief preamble, into a disco lift that rocked to the sound of the Ramones’Hey Ho, Let’s Go!

The lift decanted us into a high-ceilinged, windowless oblong room – empty but for a single neon-lit communal table.

The table, which serves as a canvas for light installation, has now become the conduit for a galaxy. A woman’s dulcet tones told us we were here to celebrate “magical achievement, of a meeting in time and space”.

“Place your hands on the circles and join in a halo of energy to close the circle,” she instructed as a trail of white light darted around the table, coming to a stop at my seat neighbour.

Cue Miss Dulcet: “What’s wrong? Does somebody not believe?”

One of the creations at Sublimotion

Either my neighbour James is a non-believer or I have inadvertently broken the magic circle by holding my iPad instead of placing my hands on the halo of energy. No matter. “Come on, concentrate. Very good, there you are. Here your voyage begins.”

What followed was pure theatre – an immersive dining experience of spinning “plates” (a CD) that appeared to float in mid air, vivid 360-degree projections, a book that opened to a talking head (Paco, asking us to “relax and let ourselves be carried away”) and, a personal favourite, a bloody Mary that mixed itself, poltergeist style.

“Shake it with your mind,” instructed a waiter, and the container into which we’d poured three liquids from test tubes began to vibrate.

Roncero describes himself as a dreamer; I suspect he has been watching too much Game of Thrones.

Sublimotion is “food for the Facebook generation”

Our 30-minute taster session was a mere amuse bouche for what will be a two and a half hour gastronomical show that might include balloons filled with chocolate cake (but not really) painting your own dessert, dining in an orchard where everything from the floor to the soil is edible, or a nibble in the North Pole.

If nothing else Sublimotion is a marriage of food and technology – temperature, scents, projections and ultimately, trickery of the mind and palate. Every surface, from the walls to the table, can be projected on to, and waiting staff are technicians, musicians and illusionists.

And what about the food?! It is deconstructed within an inch of its life, molecularised, morphed by spherification and – of course – blasted by liquid hydrogen. We taste a pillow of nitrogenised (at -196 degrees C) olive oil, pegged to a miniature washing line and a liquid cheese so rich that, naturally, only a glass of Laurent Perrier can cut through. The white-chocolate foie gras doughnut is surprisngly moreish.

Expect liquid nitrogen galore

But the highlight for me was the aforementioned bloody Mary we each concocted from three test tubes of liquid. Roncero talks about Spain having the best raw ingredients in the world – the proof for me is in the purest hit of the tomato-infused drink I have ever tasted. Thin and brackish in appearance, the essence of tomato juice explodes in my mouth as if ripened by a thousand Mediterranean suns.

As the waitress swooped in to replace it with Champagne I covered it with my hand. An unscripted tweak to the highly choreographed running order, but I intended to savour every sip.

So, is it worth the price? If you have ever enjoyed a simple, rustic yet unforgettable meal anywhere that serves up the freshest, local ingredients with love you’ll know the answer. But punters with silly money abound. That night Sublimotion would play host to competitors from the rally of the rich and famous – Gumball 3000. The entry fee for the event was £40,000 per vehicle.

You can bet they weren’t fighting over the bill.

Paco Roncero, the double Michelin-starred chef

What’s new in Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca

From cocktails and late-night DJ sets to beach yoga and wild swimming, here’s what’s happening in Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza & Formentera this summer

Cala En Turqueta. Menorca. Balearic Islands. Spain


If you’re in Menorca this weekend, head to Mahón to watch the inauguralMenorca Maxi (until 25 May), a superyacht regatta featuring top sailors including America’s Cup winners, round-the-world veterans and Olympic medalists. Or try it yourself – Menorca Cruising runs sailing coursesfrom Mahón harbour (from £240 for two days). If you’re more of a landlubber, have a go at horse-riding along the beach. Menorca Horse Riding offers rides along the Cami de Cavalls coastal path to a tiny “secret beach”, Cala Rafalet, among other coastal excursions. New this year are dressage lessons on a Menorcan fiesta stallion (from €15).

Formentera Yoga runs yoga and meditation retreats at a beach house on Playa de Migjorn. You meditate on the sand, and do yoga on a seafront deck (from €960 for five days). Recently built Hotel Es Marès has the swishest spa in Formentera, but for a free beauty treatment, take a boat from La Savina to the private island of s’Espalmador and bathe in its sulphurous mud pools. Platja de S’Alga is the island’s best beach, and popular with naturists ( Back on Formentera, family-run beach hotel Hostal La Savina has live music, food and drinks every Saturday at sunset throughout the summer.

The Healthy Holiday Company runs tailormade trail-running trips toMallorca, from £895 for four nights. You can opt for runs along the beach or through the Tramuntana mountains. One route along the peninsula between Pollensa and Alcúdia reaches secluded coves only accessible by foot or boat. Or try a swimming holiday – SwimTrek offers an introduction to open-water swimming in Mallorca, from £790 for seven days, staying at a beach hotel in Colónia St Jordi. Either side of town are some of Mallorca’s best beaches: Ets Estanys, Es Trenc, Es Dolç and Es Carbó. You’ll practise in these bays before swimming out to Na Moltona, an island reef in Es Carbó bay.

Amante Beach Club, on a cliff above Sol D’en Serra bay in Ibiza, is launching midnight movie nights (€20 a head) this summer. Audiences will sit on giant beanbags overlooking the beach, sipping cocktails and watching hits such as Gravity and Blue Jasmine on a big screen set against floodlit rocks.

Eat & drink

Beso Beach, FormenteraBeso Beach, Formentera

At more than £300 a night, the Jumeirah Port Soller hotel in Mallorca is beyond most budgets. However, it is worth saving up for lunch there on a special occasion. The hotel has launched a Taste of Mallorca menu (€160pp), focusing on a different local fruit or herb each month: May is lemons, for example. The package includes an hour-long treatment using oils and extracts from that month’s ingredient, followed by a specially created tasting menu at the seaview restaurant.

The restaurant at Torralbenc, a boutique hotel recently converted from a 19th-century farm in Menorca, is overseen by Michelin-starred chef Paco Morales. Now, for €30 a head, the hotel offers beach picnics: guests take a rug and a basket full of gazpacho, cheeses, meats, salads and cava, down to the beach at nearby Cala’n Porter. Ibizan agroturismoAtzaró has just opened a beach restaurant at Cala Nova, with a casual bar and barbecue, and a more formal restaurant serving modern Spanish food, such as sautéed squid with mayonnaise foam. The restaurant has views of Tagomago island, five minutes away by boat, which also has a swanky new beach bar ( For cutting-edge cocktails, head to Experimental Beach at Cap des Falco. The drinks are designed by the Experimental Cocktail Club, which has bars in London, Paris and New York. Concoctions such as a Spritz Me Up (Aperol, vermouth, lime, grapefruit and coconut water) are served singly (€12) or in a giant conch to share (€50).

Formentera has a more laid-back beach scene. One recent addition isBeso Beach, which serves seafood sharing dishes for two, plus plenty of mojitos, at a beach hut and bar on Playa de Cavall d’en Borràs.


View across bay to the castle, Spain, Mediterranean, EuropeCabrera Island. Photograph: Alamy

For the first time this summer, people can stay overnight on Cabrera an uninhabited island and national park off the south coast of Mallorca. The old army barracks has been turned into a 12-room hotel (doubles from €50 a night). Get there by boat from Colònia de Sant Jordi or Porto Petro. In Formentera, Es Pas is a recently restored 200-year-old finca with eight bedrooms (from €120 a night), a few minutes’ walk from the beaches of Es Calo and Migjorn.

Contrasting with these peaceful retreats are two new openings in Ibiza aimed squarely at the party crowd. Ocean Beach (B&B doubles from €93), a celebrity hangout in San Antonio, has just opened a four-star hotel next door to the beach club. Also in Ibiza, the new Hard Rock Hotel on Playa d’en Bossa is the five-star chain’s first branch in Europe (doubles from £195).

Source : The Guardian home

Ibiza Winter Restaurants – La Petite Belgique, Marina Botafoch


For our last restaurant review of 2013, and being in fine festive fettle, Ibiza Spotlight’s Editor in Chief, Cat Milton, and I had invited two guests along to join us…and what a great decision that turned out to be; we were just about to discover that La Petite Belgique is not something you would ever want to keep to yourself. It is most definitely an experience to be enjoyed and shared with friends. Preferably lots of them.

Located in Marina Botafoch, next door to Bubbles and opposite Heaven, brothers Maarten and Niels, along with Belgian Master Chef, Leon, opened La Petite Belgique only one month ago, but already in terms of experience, expertise and quality, it is quickly earning a reputation for effortlessly sitting up there with the best of them. In fact, at one point during our meal, Cat commented that there are a couple of so-called five-star restaurants on the island who could learn a great deal from La Petite Belgique…and as Editor in Chief of Ibiza’s largest website, she knows a thing or two about good restaurants.

From the offset, it was clear that we were in the hands of maestros, and the four of us were very happy to accept Maarten’s recommendations for each of our starters and main courses. All personal tastes and dietary requirements were taken into account, and we went to relax outside, enjoying soft, fresh bread rolls with (somewhat unusually for Ibiza) butter, good quality wine and dark, smooth Danish beer.

So far, so good. Then the starters arrived…and at this point, I beg forgiveness, dear readers, as I struggle to find the words to do justice to La Petite Belgique’s stunning cuisine. The presentation of all of our meals was nothing short of spectacular, in fact, we all agreed that my starter of vegetable carpaccio was the most beautiful dish any of us had ever seen. Ever. And I can assure you that it tasted every bit as good as it looked. My friends soon overcame their envy as they tucked into prawn tempura, shrimp croquettes and beef teriyaki with enthusiasm as big as the smiles on their faces.

Our main courses were equally as imaginatively presented and faultlessly cooked. Ratatouille with fresh cod topped with chilli, a delicious selection of salmon, rack of lamb and sirloin steak with foie gras, all freshly prepared, the vegetables locally sourced in Ibiza, and everything served with aplomb.

The two desserts we shared were just sweet enough and just light enough to round our meal off perfectly, and even the coffee was outstanding…good and strong, and served with a glass of cream-topped Baileys and a little Belgian chocolate.

We were delighted that Maarten, Niels and Leon all took the time to join us for coffee and liquors, clearly interested in our feedback which was, of course, nothing but positive. They have, quite simply, got it just right.

As we finally left La Petite Belgique (with a great deal of reluctance, it has to be said) we were all in agreement…this was not just a meal, it was entire sensory experience, and one we cannot recommend highly enough.

Quick Facts

What? La Petite Belgique

Where? Marina Botafoch

Why? We can’t think of one good reason why not.

When? Every day except Mondays 12.00 – 16.00 and 19.00 until late.
Reservations recommended on 695 499 253 or 616 44 466
La Petite Belgique will be closed from 20 – 27 January 2014.

Average Price Per Head? €40 – €50 for three courses and wine.Also available is a set menu del dia at €22 per head for three courses, €16 for starter and main course, and €14 for main course and dessert.

Veggie Options? If not on the menu, Leon will be happy to accommodate.

Disabled Access? Not as yet.

Top Tips? Go, try it, tell everyone, then go back again!

Source : Ibiza Spotlight

By Jinny Throup

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