In today’s over-hyped, extroverted world, it’s all too easy to overlook the simple things. Bombarded by noise, images and words, we submit to the daily onslaught, swept away in a tidal wave of stimulus that conversely numbs the senses. But, as is the case with all dominant social behaviour, there’s often an alternative bubbling beneath the surface, waiting for the opportune moment to pop up and offer something different. This theory can be applied to Can Mimosa Ibiza, an Ibiza restaurant where candour is favoured over complication – it’s the antidote to brash, overbearing dining; a place where pretentiousness is cast aside.
Located on a tranquil side street in the charming village of Santa Gertrudis, where a strong sense of community exudes from its core, Can Mimosa Ibiza is set within a beautiful 200-year old, traditional finca. From the outside, its romantic, vine-clad and intriguing fairy-lit entrance gives little clue to the magic that lies through the gate – a laid-back eatery designed to relax and satiate. The bulk of the dining takes place on the leafy outdoor terrace that’s framed by cacti and adorned with parasols, while the stylish and spacious interior hints at things to come in the winter. There’s a constant buzz of chatter, plus the tinkle of children’s laughter coming from the rustic wooden playground, and a faint waft of barbecued charcoal floating on the breeze – it’s an assuming but picturesque Ibiza restaurant scene.
“We’re doing something very different at Can Mimosa Ibiza,” muses owner and founder, Pedro Cervero. “I’m not saying we’re reinventing anything, but what we’ve done here is something very close to our hearts.” An Ibiza resident since 2009, Pedro has been coming to Ibiza for over two decades, and it’s those easy-going, bygone days that he looked to for inspiration when he decided to open his much longed-for Ibiza restaurant, alongside his partner, Holly Rees Thomas – who was born to Welsh parents in San Miguel, just three kilometres from the restaurant site and knows every nook, cranny and person in Ibiza – and renowned head chef, Tim Payne. “You could say that it’s a reaction to what’s happening in Ibiza at the moment,” Pedro explains. “What we’re trying to create is what we all fell in love with 20 years ago. Holly longs for the old Ibiza even more than us, as she has lived here all her life.”
Nostalgia aside, Ibiza back then was an altogether different place, which many look back on fondly. “It was more simple then,” Pedro says. “Ibiza restaurants were value for money, local customs were adhered to and everyone was treated the same.” This ethos is channeled at Can Mimosa Ibiza, where the primary aim is to serve local, fresh produce at reasonable prices to a community of locals who can return time and time again – though of course, holidaymakers who stumble off the main plaza of the village will also be welcomed with open arms. Opening for dinner at the family friendly hour of 7pm makes Can Mimosa Ibiza ideal for parents with kids of all ages, while the 1am close time means the Ibiza night owls can kick-start their island nights in the garden or at the bar. “We extend a heartfelt welcome to everyone,” Pedro says. “We want to get to know all of our clients by name.”
No stranger to successful openings, Pedro’s past experience in Ibiza has seen him consult at legendary island venues including Aura, Es Vive, and Sands, not to mention a slew of international projects that took him to Tulum, the Pyrenees, and London, where he met Can Mimosa Ibiza’s genius in the kitchen, Tim Payne. An ex-student of Marco Pierre White, Tim has been head chef in two and three Michelin starred kitchens over the course of his career but at this Ibiza restaurant, he’s stripping things back to basics, letting the ingredients do the talking. “We don’t use any tricky techniques,” explains Pedro. “It’s just good, honest food presented simply.”
Indeed, there’s a palpable dedication to using local produce at Can Mimosa Ibiza – just browse the flourishing onsite organic garden for proof of that. But vitally, Tim works alongside nearby farmers to ensure everything is as fresh as possible. This means the menu changes every few weeks, and based on what’s available, he’s free to let his creative juices flow. “Tim has such incredible experience that when a local supplier offers him something, he takes it and creates something amazing that day,” says Pedro. “I don’t ever have to worry about the kitchen.” From the finest cuts of beef sourced from mainland Spain to the juiciest local free-range chicken and lamb, freshly caught fish and hearty red prawns, there’s something to suit all taste-buds at Can Mimosa Ibiza – yes, vegans and vegetarians too!
With the hearty, delicious food taken care of, Pedro and Holly are free to concern themselves with the other elements that make Can Mimosa Ibiza stand out from the crowd. “Hospitality is about humility,” Pedro explains. “We want to be informal and genuine – it’s important to us that everyone feels at home.” There’s a strong sense of this everywhere you look – whether it’s at large tables enjoying fresh cuts from the barbecue on a balmy night, or friends propping up the tapas bar tucking into cold beers and anchovies – there’s an undeniable sense of connection. Pedro strongly attributes this to Holly’s heritage. “Holly is the one bringing in all the locals, the people she grew up with and her friends,” he says. “The amount of old payesas who come in to congratulate her for opening the restaurant far exceeds all the friends of Tim and myself combined!”
The overall intention at Can Mimosa Ibiza is to give something back to the community, weaving in some of the island’s quintessential heritage in the process. “We’re geared towards locals because we’re serving people like ourselves,” Pedro says. “This is a way of life for us, not a job.” That’s why you’ll find him in the restaurant every day of the week, including Sundays, when the restaurant opens for lunch, serving up reviving Bloody Marys, additional barbecued treats and acoustic tunes from Paul Powell to sound-track the occasion. In full flow, it’s like a scene conjured from Pedro’s imagination. “I’d like to celebrate my 65th birthday here,” he says. “Only we hope our kids are running the place by then!” He’s got the vision of a man who knows – in the end, the simple things are all that matter.