Ibiza restaurants: Open Kitchen – Room 39 at Pikes
Since its inception back in the late 1970s, the ethos of legendary Ibiza hotel Pikes has always been come one, come all. Everyone is welcome, and invited to bring their best ideas, banter, behaviour, skills and talents to the table, making the iconic hotel a melting pot of creativity and style. In 2017, the hotel’s in-house restaurant Room 39 takes this idea to the next level, with the introduction of Pikes Open Kitchen – an all-new concept where head chef Lee Milne steps away from his post for a night (after all, chefs need their beauty sleep) and a guest chef is invited to take over.
“The idea is that we can open up our kitchen and become a platform to showcase new ideas in food,” explains Pikes Food and Beverage Manager Steve Hughes. “A big part of the Pikes ‘personality’ has always been collaborating on ideas with other people, and by default with Pikes Open Kitchen, our own menu will grow. It means we’re not limited to just one type of food – it’s about making food people will enjoy.” He cites the UK’s ever-evolving culture of gastronomy as inspiration, in addition to working with the island’s limited seasonal produce, while Milne sees Pike Open Kitchen as the chance to learn new things from outside influencers.
The revolving roster of pop-up events throughout the season is guaranteed to get any Ibiza foodie’s mouth-watering in anticipation. The very first event was hosted at the end of June – a sell-out edition of the Music Supper Club concept – and set the bar high for the months ahead. The feel-good event took guests on a global spice trail, presenting fiery dishes from India, Pakistan, Jamaica and the West Indies, all the while raising funds and awareness for the homeless in Ibiza.
The brainchild of local healer and ‘earth mama’ Selina Ingram, who tirelessly cares for the homeless, the event saw locals and visitors taste buds tantalised by the three-course meal, followed by a fun night out in the much-loved establishment, all happy in the knowledge that 25-percent of the profits would be donated to charity. Two more Music Supper Clubs are in the calendar at Pikes this summer, taking place on July 27 and September 7, 2017. White Ibiza blogger Miss W did her bit by feasting for a good cause at the debut event – to read more about the overall experience, click here to read her latest post.
Depending on where you live, street food is either a major part of your daily life, or a trend that’s taking your local city by storm, however here in Ibiza the street food craze hasn’t quite taken off yet due to local regulations for food trucks and lack of appropriate venues. Enter Vietvan at Pikes on September 21, 2017 – bringing authentic, fresh and fabulous Vietnamese flavours to the Balearics for one night only. Founders of Vietvan, Nick and Tracy, first discovered their passion for Vietnamese cuisine while travelling and after being trained firsthand by street food vendors, they returned to London ready to unleash their newfound skills on the city.
It wasn’t long before they’d established themselves as successful private caterers, regulars on the London market scene and collaborating with brands such as London Fashion Week, Kate Moss Agency and Boxpark among others on private events. It made sense for the duo to work with Pikes when they were searching for an Ibiza venue – the edgy and stylish brand along with its cool clientele ticking all the right boxes. Expect a traditional menu including caramelised chicken, lemongrass pork and chilli and pepper tofu, with all fillings served in the classic Vietnamese banh mi style (in a baguette) or with salad and topped with the freshest, zingiest Vietnamese garnishes.
After a successful string of pop-up events under his ‘Meatopia’ banner in 2016, chef Richard Turner of Hawksmoor fame returns to Pikes in 2017 for even more meaty marvelousness. A bespoke barbecue in the fairytale gardens of Pikes, Turner creates delicious rubs, smokes and marinades and dedicates hours and hours to grilling meat to perfection. It’s a little bit medieval, a whole lotta rock and roll. Just remember his mantra: Eat meat. Sleep. Repeat. You can read more about the events last year here – just be warned. The pictures may make you accidentally drool on your screen.
Local chefs too, have been invited to take part in the Pikes Open Kitchen concept, with the first being much-loved island resident Anne Sijmonsbergen – author of The Eivissa Cookbook and known by the nickname ‘Organic Annie’. Passionate about promoting farm-to-table produce and preserving island culinary trends and traditions, you can expect healthy, flavour-filled plates showcasing the very best ingredients plucked directly from island sea and soil. Dates currently to be confirmed for Turner and Sijmonsbergen’s pop-ups – keep your eyes on the weekly White Ibiza calendar for news of when to reserve your table.
In true Pikes style, each pop-up event will be accompanied by a host of Ibiza entertainment, classic Pikes hijinks and sound-tracked by the who’s who of DJ talent. There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ night at Pikes – each and every night hosts a completely unique adventure, fuelled by the personality and tastes of guests alongside the hosts and regulars.
Of course, if you don’t happen to be in Ibiza for any of the above pop-up events, Room 39 is also open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The come one, come all ethos is preserved to this day. Whether you’re loading up with a full English breakfast and a Bloody Mary before hitting the beach, tucking into some poolside tapas dishes in the afternoon, sitting down to dine family style by night or indulging in the island’s undisputed, finest Sunday roast, diners are always welcomed into the Pikes fold as if they were old family friends. As Hughes succinctly puts it: “There’s a reason to come back every week!”