Ibiza restaurants: Casa Maca – An oasis of authenticity
Casa Maca is the brand new boutique hotel and restaurant set up by the unstoppable Mambo Group – just minutes from Ibiza town, atop a lush green hill with incredible views directly across to the iconic skyline of Dalt Vila. Owners Christian and Alan Anadon (aka Mambo Brothers) are the brains behind the project, the concept stemming from their desire to showcase the beautiful authenticity of the island they were brought up on. Their collective excitement at the opportunity to build a haven for local produce from scratch is palpable.
The Casa Maca menu is steeped in Mediterranean traditions, executed with the technical talents of a very accomplished head chef, and yet a laid-back approach to dining does away with any stuffy, formalities. There is an emphasis on healthy combinations and cooking methods that match the mood of the island and the heat of summer, and with this in mind, food can also be served by the pool. The sweeping views from the lovely shaded terrace and pool deck are fantastic from sunrise through to the glorious blue-skied day, during the colourful sunset and all through the night, as the lights of the old town twinkle alongside the stars and moon. A truly divine location for to enjoy the fruits of the island.
Naturally, it all starts with breakfast. Eggs Benedict, Açai bowls, yoghurt bowls, toasties and fresh fruits by the pool are not a bad way to start the day. Lunch continues on the terrace or in the cool of the dining room with delights such as snapper tiradito and what could become known as the best hamburger on the island. Dinner under the stars might feature roast chicken, sirloin steak, turbot with seasonal vegetables or a shrimp and calamari rice.
One of the current menu favourites is the tender grilled octopus served with a fennel cream and asparagus air and the creamy Burratina with papaya compote, pesto and roasted tomatoes – different to the typical squid dishes seen on the island. Other standouts include a rich salmorejo, smoked sardines, king crab rolls, poke and Buddha bowls – the selection of deliciously fresh dishes goes on.
The Anadons are proud of what the team has achieved in a short time and very excited about the future. There are plans for vast vegetable gardens and possibly even goats to make Casa Maca goat cheese. There are already beehives in place and everyone onsite is chomping at the bit to harvest the first of the Casa Maca honey. The concept was to bring things back to the earth and create an authentic Ibiza, and with so many hectares to work with and a lot of ideas, there’s no doubt the Mambo Group can make this happen.
The Anadons have appointed the renowned David Reartes as executive chef to help bring their gastronomic vision to life, while day to day operations are taken care of by Columbian-born Alvaro Ospina – who completed his culinary education in his homeland before relocating to Europe on an odyssey of internships and jobs within the hallowed world of the Michelin star restaurant. Starting out with Martin Berasategui at his eponymous three Michelin star restaurant in the Basque Country, his journey took him to the most coveted restaurants across Spain.
“I have a very technical background from working in high-end Michelin restaurants,” he says. “But more than anything, it’s about high-quality produce as well as good technique.” This relaxed nature belies a fierce ambition to acquire the best skills of his trade. He may be young but his passion, ideas, stamina and integrity mean the owners have complete trust in him, knowing he understands their philosophy and how they want things to unfold at Casa Maca.
Obsessed with using quality produce, the ultimate dream is to never use anything that’s been in a refrigerated truck at Casa Maca. “A tomato taken from the garden and brought to the table is nothing like one that has been picked too early and put in a fridge,” explains Reartes. The desire to create a healthy menu also comes from a passion for quality – it’s more about consciousness, from the vegetables used to the ‘healthy meat’ (free-range, fed and cared for well) sourced. It’s all about providence, excellent quality and cruelty-free produce.
There is something very egalitarian about the vibe at Casa Maca. An easy friendliness seeps through every corner of the ancient farmhouse, which comes from the pure love the whole company has for their work and their island. Ultimately, Casa Maca is for everyone who wishes to experience something truly local on the island – an oasis of authenticity and a burgeoning gastronomic destination.
The Casa Maca concept continues to expand and August 8, 2018 sees the Mambo Group unveil an extension of the project: an all-new grill restaurant and hipster Airstream bar located in the lower garden area. While the new concept will be open nightly throughout the summer, the opening date is indeed one that is close to the hearts of Ibiza dwellers, as it’s the annual night of St Ciriac which sees an incredible fireworks display taking place over Dalt Vila. Casa Maca’s premium location means uninterrupted views of the show (think Sydney Harbour on an Ibiza scale), complete with live music by Jodie Kean and your chance to be the first to sample the fine fare coming straight off the new sizzling grill, Casa Maca style…