When Shanti Shakti first opened it`s doors in 2001, there were four hand written menus and not many more dishes to choose from, now, in 2006, things are looking even better. The menu isn`t the biggest in the world, many other restaurants will try to offer the full array of Indian dishes and this usually means a lot of corner cutting, but here the quality shines through. The chef is the same one who helped open the restaurant and his standards are still high, he offers well cooked dishes and the option of asking for something that isn`t on the menu. It`s worth noting that the restaurant closes for 3 weeks every year, to allow the chef to go home and visit his family, no replacement needed and this attitude applies to all the staff, only the most courtious of greetings will be offered.
Shanti Shakti aren`t pandering to the masses with 30 different curries, they are catering for the cognoscenti with an authentic experience and an atmosphere that is every bit as laid back as it is tasty.
Favorite Dish This year a few favourites emerged, the rose petal ice cream is sublime and the chefs own chai (tea) is the perfect way to end your meal.
As usual i didn`t want to leave, Victoria, graceful, eloquent, the perfect hostess made me feel so welcome, as if i were part of a priveliged few, the seekers who had found the grail of Indian cuisine.
This year Cyril & Victoria have been working hard, there have been more then a few changes, the reataurant is now located down by the port in Ibiza town makinf it much easier to find, a Shanti Shakti website will be up and running soon.
A small and welcome addition the cocktail bar is a selection of single malt whiskies.
Favorite Dish There are a few staples that i try each time i visit just to ensure that the quality is always the same, the rose petal ice cream, chai and any of the excellent lamb curries.
Shanti Shakti has played host to many visitors, not just the tourists, the visiting models and photographers who hold fashion shoots on the islands, artists, musicians, businessmen and little old me. The atmosphere is already relaxed and informal, from the low lighting to the soothing music, but now the restaurant has moved to the port area it would be a shame not to mention the small upstairs balcony. If you can tear yourself away from the cocktails downstairs the intimate little balcony that seats only 6 affords great views over the water towards El Divino and the hills beyond, at night it is a great place to be but there is a chance that a ferry may dock on the oppsite side of the road obscuring the view for a while, make the most of it. There are also 2 small tables and some seating outside at street level for those who like to see and be seen at one of the nicest places in Ibiza town.
Favorite Dish Linger over one of the many tender and well spiced curries. If you have a preference, we like some of ours to be extra hot, then the chef will cook to order. On some visits Victoria didnt even offer us a menu, dishes were just placed before us, needless to say they were all great.
A relaxed atmosphere is usualy a metaphor for poor service but not here, lively and friendy staff will make you feel at home ( i felt so at home that i didn`t want to leave) The music is soothing and unobtrusive and the lighting is gentle, just the thing after a hard day on the beach. The restaurant was lit mostly by candles on my last visit and the low light meant a switch to Infra red, hence this rather eerie picture of Victoria.
I have tried every Indian restaurant on Ibiza and have even been invited to meet the chefs at the Curry Festival in Brick Lane, London. I have eaten Indian food all over the world but this is by far the best Indian restaurant i have ever been to. Fortunately Shanti Shakti is tucked away in Ibiza town where the atmosphere is very relaxed and the streets are not full of rowdies.
On our first visit Shanti Shakti had been open for ten days and the chef had been in Ibiza for only two weeks, there were four hand written menus, two in Spanish and two in English and at one point we were the only people there, what a treat to have a place like this all to ourselves.
Greeted by a lovely waitress we were soon introduced to the owners Cyril & Victoria who made us very welcome and seated us in the lounge area, a chill out area on one side with large cushion covered benches where you a are encouraged to lay back and relax. We ate our food there as well, it was only on our second visit with Adrian and Ana that we sat at a table. Victoria turned out to be an old friend of Ana`s so the friendly atmosphere soon deepened even further, and i guarantee it will be the same when you visit. (written 2001)
2006 shanti Shakti re opened in June but wasn't firing on all cylinders, no doubt the move was made just in time to accommodate the summer season but i had heard grave things about the quality of the food and after a small refit when things got quieter it re pened again in early October, this time I got to see for myself - and i wasn't dissapointed. Laid back and inexpensive, you will wonder why all resaurants can`t be like this and as you recline on the cushions remember I was there first and I will be there again.
Favorite Dish My first meal at Shanti Shakti was a sulime Lamb Chapata and a beautifully balanced Rogan Josh, the lamb was cooked on the bone and was superb as was the Rogan Josh in fact the lamb was so good that i had it again when i next visited. The chapatis were the best i have ever tasted, they melted in the mouth, wonderful. The herbs and spices were fresh and contributed wonderfully to the meal, subtle flavours and complex aromas told you that this was a very special meal indeed. ( written 2002 ) Our next visit was as a foursome so we ordered all four main dishes ( the quality of the food benefits greatly from the limited menu allowing the chef to put his best into these dishes ) the lamb was still superb so i ordered it a second time and opted to skip dessert. Our enthusiasm was noted and a few extra dishes were sent from the kitchen just for us, one of which was a fantastic Dahl, full of flavour, the chef was obviously keen to please and please he did, let me say this one more time, the food was superb and the atmosphere relaxed and friendly. What are you waiting for? put it on your list of places to visit, you won`t be dissapointed.In 2006 i had a great tomato & onion salad for starters with a minced lamb pastry and ground chicken rolled in a chapati. Main course was lamb dopiaza, tender and excellent, well spiced as was the rice, moist and flavoursome. I lingered over the mains and avoided the temptation of the cocktail bar downstairs so i could spend time on the tiny veranda that overlooks the harbour. To round off the meal and to compare with previous visits, a few favourites from the past, rose petal ice cream and chai (tea) they were just as I remembered them, superb.Victoria and Cyril deserve your support, they have created a fine place to eat with wonderful and authentic food, fresh, vibrant and a world away from the formulaic Indian restaurants you are used to back home.