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Review: Restaurante Port Balansat

Reputed to be the best fish restaurant on the island but with a menu so broad celiac's, vegetarians etc are catered for, Restaurant Port Balansat was a delight.

Restaurante Port Balansat, situated right on the picturesque beach of Puerto de San Miguel, is not known as the place to go for fish and seafood on Ibiza without good reason.

Miguel, who has owned the restaurant since 1971, took the time to chat with us, filling us in on some interesting background and explaining exactly what it is that makes Restaurante Port Balansat so special.

For a little perspective, it is reputedly the favourite seafood restaurant of a senior member of the British Royal family, and during the summer, it is not unusual for people from Mallorca take the 8.00 a.m. boat to Ibiza specifically to lunch at Restaurante Port Balansat.

OK, so this is pretty impressive stuff, but we wanted to know why. What makes their fish and seafood so good that they are held in such high regard? With a charming nonchalance, Miguel put it down to simply guaranteed freshness, and ensuring as few bones as possible. He then went on to captivate us further by letting us in on the fact that Restaurante Port Balansat was, in fact, the very first restaurant on Ibiza to offer the traditional fish stew "Bullit de Peix" commercially, before other restaurants began to follow suit and it became one of the island's most well-known dishes. According to Miguel, no other version of Bullit de Peix comes anywhere close to Restaurante Port Balansat's…and we are seriously tempted to believe him.

As we chatted, we were served with a platter of cockles, clams and prawns to share, followed by a huge plate of mixed tuna salad, packed with lettuce, onion, tomatoes, sweetcorn, avocado and asparagus.

For the main course, my three friends had ordered seafood Paella, whilst I had been unable to resist San Pedro, a fish I have only recently been introduced to and couldn't wait to try here in Restaurante Port Balansat. As expected, it did not disappoint. I was amazed to see not just one, but three fillets of this deliciously tender and light fish served on a bed of Ibicenco style chips and peppers. I was even more amazed that I ate the lot without feeling uncomfortable and came across only one tiny bone.

It was difficult to persuade my friends to stop eating their Paella for long enough to make a comment and that, in itself spoke volumes as well as the expressions of sheer glee on their faces. Eventually, after much struggling to find the words to do it justice, they agreed that there was something almost indefinable about it. The quality of the seafood and fish was superb, the flavours divine and the rice perfectly fluffy.

But, for us, there were other subtle things that really made Restaurante Port Balansat stand out. For instance, individual citrus towelettes on the table, and the fact that the menu specifies which dishes are suitable for celiacs. There is an impressive attention to detail here, and impeccable service, without being formal or stuffy. Indeed when the waiters found out that it happened to be my birthday that day, one cleverly distracted me while his colleague approached with our desserts…mine complete with birthday candle!

Overall, Restaurante Port Balansat ticked all the boxes; beautiful setting, friendly staff, relaxed and pleasant atmosphere…and food that almost defies description.

I'm already looking forward to returning...hopefully long before my next birthday!

Quick Facts

What Restaurante Port Balansat.

Where Puerto de San Miguel.

Why The best fish and seafood on Ibiza.

Closed Mondays until May.
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from mid-day.
Friday and Saturday evenings.
From the beginning of May, the restaurant will be open every day from mid-day, and evenings.
Closes at the end of November.

Veggie Options Yes

Disabled Access Unfortunately not.

Baby/Toddler friendly Yes. Highchairs are available and changing facilities in the ladies' restroom.

Average spend per head €40 - €45 plus drinks.

Top Tip Check out Miguel's delicious, top quality organic olive oil "Can Miquel Guasch" made in his oil mill on the Santa Eulalia to San Juan road since 2010.

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