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Food review: El Olivo Mío, Ibiza Town

A charmingly atmospheric restaurant with very pretty and mouth-watering dishes.

Vital statistics

Why go? Amazingly atmospheric location with distinct gypsy-influenced style

What kind of food is it? A creative Mediterranean menu replete with super-fresh products and excellent presentation

Who is it for? Anyone who wants an authentic Ibiza experience married with some great dishes

Can anyone go? There's a mix of pastas, risottos, meat and fish, with gluten-free options, including all the pasta dishes plus many vegetarian dishes are available

Best table? Any outside table is a great one really


The venue

On entering the walled citadel of Dalt Vila, via the main rampart from the old market square in Ibiza Town, you come immediately to a buzzing cobblestone square that's lined with restaurants and where you will find, in hues of vermillion and white, El Olivo Mío. It's a place that looks traditionally Mediterannean, though with a passionate twist. Apart from that, you get a high class restaurant without any of the pretentiousness you might normally associate with one. It's raw, vital and it's living and breathing.

Since taking over for 2019, new owner, Rita has put a definite feminine stamp on the place with themes of Spain throughout, namely flamenco and its gypsy heritage. You will spot items such as the guitar hanging inside, polka dot cushions and the colour red all over, items with strong flamenco ties. There are gypsy-style hand painted chairs and napkins embroidered with roses too and art is all around you. Look out too for the little painted signs or the version of Frida Kahlo's self portrait announcing the name of the restaurant outside. Here, you even get regular art exhibitions, so if you go back you might see changing scenery on the walls.

The ambience

As well as the great food, more of which later, you come here for the atmosphere. Street dancers perform, musicians play and singers sing in the adjacent square. We enjoyed an amazing capoeira display, just steps from our table. It was electrifying. If you like people watching, then do come here to see the many faces going about their evening business. It's a hive of activity and an Ibiza holiday experience that everyone should try and we'd recommend doing that here at El Olivo Mío: its perfect location enables one to see all that is going on. It's catnip for the curious.

Service is swift and professional and at no point were we left wondering where our next glass of wine was, when the next plates were coming or indeed anything. We were seduced by food as much as the atmosphere in this lovely restaurant that sits in the millennia-old city of Ibiza.

The food

Tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside - the grilled octopus

Here, you get a menu that's best described as creative Mediterannean, firmly rooted in Spain with some international flavours, that gives it its own uniqueness. The problem you will have here is that everything sounds great, so you may have a hard time choosing. If so ask one of the waiters; they know the menu intimately.

Starting off with a trio of the primeros, or starters, we waited until several very pretty dishes started to arrive and were put down on the table. Grilled octopus was the right side of tender, though with a crunchy, charcoal flavour on the outside. It's served with home-made pickles, sprigs of dill and an addictive sweet smoked paprika alioli that's just the bomb, predictably, it all lasted very little time on the plate.

Smokey teasure: sardines with smoked sardines ajoblanco sauce

Some stuffed courgette flowers had a really lovely and creamy taste mixing ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan, a plate everyone will want to try, so be warned. Our final starter was smoked sardines with an almond and garlic ajoblanco sauce, with pieces of watermelon and skinned yellow tomatoes, providing lots of freshness as a balance to the smokey fish fillets. Another dish gone very quickly.

Moving to our mains, we chose a slow-roasted lamb leg that came atop a Jerusalem artichoke puree, that was succelence supreme, with a lovely dark gravy adding that all important umami flavour. Next up, an asparagus and artichoke risotto, full to the brim of flavour, topped with crispy onion and little dabs of white creamy sauce and comes highly recommended from us. It's not a dish I would normally pick as often, a risotto, can be cloying and there's often way too much portion wise. Here, the balance of flavours and the quantity are just right.

Leg of lamb with Jerusalem artichoke puree

To complete our mains, we had pieces of red tuna steak, again glowing with the distinct freshness that this place aims at. It came with a lovely mix of slow-cooked vegetables and that gorgeous Teriyaki sauce that adds so much taste.

And so it was on to desserts and what a selection we had. Too good to miss out on, loaded with calories, but hell, you're worth it. A towering pavlova with mixed berries and a strawberry sauce was one mountain we wanted to conquer as soon as it arrived: voluptuous, sweet and gorgeous.

The towering pavlova

The “french toast” - not the breakfast version - was soft and caramelised on the outside with a delicious fresh vanilla ice, my personal favourite. The piece de resistance in showstopping sweets, was the chocolate coulant, that oozed out its molten middle as if it were a mini cacao volcano. If you want the definition of sheer indulgence then this dark beauty is it.

Pure decadance with our chocolate coulant

For the purposes of the review, we just had to finish off every last bite and so it was. We do recommend you try El Olivo Mío at least once. As a total experience, it's an enchanting proposition.

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