Authentic Charm Meets Modern Cuisine At Can Mussonet

Posted on September 20, 2018

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: La Skimal

For Ibiza visitors in the know, the small village of San Rafael at the heart of the island makes for a great foodie destination off the beaten track. Home to both avant-garde gourmet temples as well as humble traditional restaurants specialising in local cuisine, the mouth-watering choices are plentiful. Those who like to savour authentic Mediterranean dishes in stylish surroundings will find a new favourite in Can Mussonet, the latest addition to San Rafael’s culinary crown.

Opening its doors just over a month ago, our curiosity was sparked when we spotted an array of colourful prickly pear bearing cacti that had appeared on an otherwise unremarkable stonewall. Our attention caught, next we spotted the Can Mussonet logo – a fig leaf – adorning the adjacent white-washed building, followed by an warmly lit terrace. ‘That looks nice,’ we mused, intrigued by the relaxed but undeniably hip vibe of the place.

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Barely a week later, we couldn’t resist any longer and arranged a dinner with friends. Making our way past cosy little tables huddled under trendy straw lamps and through the metal and glass doors, we were instantly wowed by the fusion of authentic Ibicencan design details updated with clean, modern lines. The welcoming team gave us a brief history of the building, which, dating back to 1916, first served as a family home to the Mussonet family before becoming a post office and popular meeting point for the villagers. This year, the great-granddaughter of the original owners, Margarita, and her collaborators have injected new life into this cornerstone of San Rafael society. Exposed stone walls, black and white family photographs and even the original iron post box pay tribute to the over 100-year-old fince’s history.

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Mouths wide open, we entered the outdoor dining space at the back; a romantic garden space complete with ivy-covered walls, a fig tree covered with fairy lights, lantern garlands and a trendy cacti display – bearing the very plants that had made us notice Can Mussonet in the first place. We settled in and were promptly brought a bottle of a light, elegant and ever-so pale Ibicencan wine from the local Can Rich vineyard, the perfect tipple for a balmy late summer’s night.

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On Can Mussonet’s menu, you will find traditional Ibicencan and Mediterranean dishes given a modern twist, family recipes passed down the generations and even a few – surprising but welcome – Indian accents. With the scent of firewood and local herbs teasing our noses, we were more than eager to get started and let our hosts choose for us. The bread basket was a first delight and a hint of how good the food yet to come would be, offering three different types of fluffy loaves – one infused with fragrant rosemary – a bowl filled with green olives and pickles, and an aromatic olive tapenade.

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The starters arrived, and we were not disappointed. A delicate steak tartar topped with a creamy vichyssoise – cold, thick soup made from pureed potatoes, leeks and cream – wowed with a subtle smoky flavour, while a crispy flatbread laden with juicy slices of Iberian pork, creamy ‘ses cabretes’ goat cheese, peach chutney and capers expertly balanced textures and flavours in a show-stopping cuisine execution of a humble traditional plate. A traditional ‘ensalada payesa’ or ‘farmer’s salad’ burst with fresh, local vegetables and tasty slithers of tuna, and we fork-fought over the final slices of a perfectly seared tuna tataki served on a silky bed of pumpkin hummus.

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Next up, the equally impressive main courses. Our feast continued with a roll of Iberian pork ribs that melted in the mouth and was accompanied by a side of smooth potato and horseradish cream completely addictive in flavour. A real showstopper, the stew made with red scorpion fish – a local delicatessen – plump king prawns and razor clams elegantly balanced the flavour of the Balearic Sea, while the vegetable risotto had the perfect crunch and was so tasty it could convert anyone to a meat-free diet. Last, but not least, the beef sirloin was poetry on a plate; the juicy, pink meat accompanied by fragrant pumpkin and basil bulgur and smoked eggplant.

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It would have been positively rude to say no to a dessert, and so of course we didn’t. A drumroll please, as we can announce that we have found what may be the best cheese cake of Ibiza, with our spoon gliding through the golden brown baked top layer and, below, the luxuriously dense body like a hot knife through butter, the iconic tart flavour perfectly accompanied by a scoop of cinnamon ice cream. It was competing for valuable stomach space – there wasn’t much left – with an equally divine chocolate and hazelnut parfait and its sidekick of white chocolate ice cream, which was so delicious we had to forcibly stop ourselves from over-eating. Our overall verdict? Can Mussonet is the perfect place for when you want to strike the balance between local and hip, wow with your insider culinary knowledge and enjoy an atmospheric evening with your nearest and dearest. Needless to say, we will be back!

Further Information & Reservations
t: +34 971 318 709

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