At Temakinho in Ibiza, Zoe Perrett discovers why seafood-centric Japanese-Brazilian cuisine is so popular amongst Marina Botafach’s body-beautiful
With its bright riot of colours, twinkly lights, and a pink neon sign announcing its name, Temakinho clearly catches the eye of the yacht lot – many who’ve disembarked from the impressive boats that populate Marina Botafach for a Friday night feast at the Jabrazilian venue.
‘Jabrazilian?’, you ask. I’m not sure it’s the official term for Japanese-Brazilian fusion food, but it’s certainly a few syllables less of a mouthful. The latter country is home to the world’s second-largest Japanese population, giving natural rise to that crossover cuisine: a product of migration and cultural integration, not a flight of fancy.
Ibiza is all over a bit of funky fusion right now, and the island’s wealthiest, healthiest dwellers seem to have a sort of Pavlovian response to the word ‘sushi’. So it stands to reason that Temakinho is so popular – especially given its plum location amongst Marina Botafach’s chi-chi collection of eateries and boutiques.
The venue is the first Ibizan outpost of a brand that’s already well-established in Milan, Rome and London. Seafood-led and committed to sustainability, Temakinho was the first restaurant chain to be awarded ‘Friend of the Sea’ certification – a fact we toast to over caipirinhas that, in keeping with the theme, can also be made with sake instead of cachaca.
Having become accustomed to eating at least half-a-dozen Spanish croquettas a day, we immediately gravitate towards the bolinhas de bacalau – those snacks’ salt cod-based Brazilian incarnation, bound with mashed potato rather than bechamel. We also tuck into ‘tacos de floripa’, composed of diminutive, scoop-shaped cassava chips each topped with a different morsel of seafood.
If you’re not a fan of fish, Temakinho has little to offer you. If you are, take your pick from an extensive list of tartares, tiraditos, pokes, ceviches and sushi; the latter offered both as rolls and temaki.
We opt for the former, and pick from a list which includes such curios as a Mexican-inspired number in which each piece is crowned with a tortilla chip. ‘Rio’ features the highly unlikely combination of breaded salmon, avocado, sweet and sour sauce, cream cheese and banana (yes, banana) – and it’s weirdly wonderful.
Aside from sushi rice and the occasional bit of breading, Temakinho’s menu is light on the stodge; clearly a key draw for the beach-body-ready who occupy the tables around us. However, after a couple of cocktails, even the most slender amongst their number seem unable to resist the allure of what closely resemble tiny pies.
This dish, we learn, is a top-seller called the Croquete. We order the deep-fried, pastry-wrapped, cream cheese-filled salmon roll, swiftly top up our calorie count, and further dash any hopes of ending up anywhere near as svelte as our fellow diners – especially once we’ve dunked a few breaded prawns into spicy banana ketchup.
Fancy-looking rolls fly out of the kitchen consistently, but we’re yet to see a dessert. Although sorely tempted to be the pioneers, we have a suspicion that we should perhaps take a leaf out of our fellow diners’ book and quit before we develop any more rolls of our very own. Resolved, we slip a tip our waiter Artur’s way and depart, leaving the Beautiful of Botafoch to their Friday night frolics.
Where to find it: Marina Botafoch, local 113, 07800 Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
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