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Review: A taste of the real Mexico at Gave Mx

Authentic Mexican food and drink on Ibiza


Gave Mx is one of those restaurants that gives you a warm glow as you arrive with its modern and Mexican-styled exterior and contemporary music from that country. When the owners of the restaurant, husband and wife team, Rogelio and Yaiza came to Ibiza three years ago, they decided to create a restaurant far from the Tex Mex style, that would represent the richness and variety of Mexican cuisine - and so this cool eatery was born.

Since opening in Ibiza Town, Gave Mx has proved a hit with locals and tourists throughout the year, seduced by its tranquil setting, pretty outside terrace and the fact that it's in a quiet zone near a kids' playing area. There's a big influence of the food from the Mexican city of Puebla, where Rogelio worked as a chef for a good time, as well as dishes from all over Mexico. Here you will have a culinary tour without having to move too much.

Test your chilli level

Mexican food is all about layers and features spices like clove, cumin and cinnamon, chillies of all heat types (they don't all blow your head off), garlic, onions and the indispensable lime. Coming here, you'll want to order a few dishes and place them on the table to share, so you get a broader range of those taste experiences. There's a cute test tube rack of four different salsas to flavour your dishes, from the mildly spicy tomatillo with serrano chilli to the punchy and fiery habanero which unless you have a stomach of steel, should be eaten in small amounts.

It's worth trying one of their Margaritas, which come in many flavours and sizes. We got the 1.5 litre size (you can get 3 litres too) served in a massive coupe-style cocktail glass with lots of straws for all to share. It made for quite the talking point. The quality of the Margarita was excellent - no slush puppie style, cheap tasting drink here - just a knockout drink. Tequila fans can also be assured that they can choose from a great selection of shots to sip on and it's also worth noting that drinks prices in general are very reasonable here.

Pretty in pink

We ordered the ‘Costra', a dish I hadn't heard of before, which comprises a sheet of cheese stuffed with (for us) ‘al pastor' marinated and cooked pork with pineapple - heaven on a plate. 'Cochinitos Pibil' is one of their most popular dishes and so it proved with us. These are small corn tortillas topped with shredded pork, which takes on a reddish hue thanks to being cooked with achiote, a bright red spice blend, topped with pink pickled onion pieces. It's a dish to take home to meet the parents, and what flavour! More cheese with the 'Queso Fundido' topped with mushrooms and another winner. This one's a bit like a fondue in a mini pot and had everyone licking their lips.

Chocolate and chilli

A great dish that might have you divided is the enmolada one. This is made with that classic sauce from Mexico, the mole (pronounced 'mollay'), a blend of chillies, dried fruits, seeds, tomatoes and chocolate, here poured over shredded chicken filled corn tortillas. It's hard to find a home made mole as good as this in many places that aren't Mexico, but here in Ibiza, you have it. Finally, and on the insistence of my colleague, we had the 'Choriqueso': skirt steak pieces with chorizo and cheese, served with tacos and deeply yummy. In fact every starter and main dish we tried was a flavour sensation.

All that ends well

To end our meal, we got stuck into the desserts with a trio of all of them. The hugely popular 'Mostachón' is a delicious vanilla cream with a walnut and cookie base. Then some caramel crepes with more walnuts and vanilla ice cream and finally a delicious chocolate fondant. Hard to say which was best - we suggest you go for all three like we did.

If you want a slice of real authentic Mexican food, Gave MX is your ideal dining destination. The location is quiet, the service excellent, the experience exceptional and the food as you have read is amazing. What are you waiting for?

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Quick Facts

What? Gave MX

Where? Avinguda Abel Matutes Juan, 21.

When? Open every day from 19.00 h to 23.30 h and also from 13.30 h to 16.30 h Saturdays and Sundays. Note: the restaurant is closed for six weeks from late December

Why? You get a tour round some of Mexico's best food. Made authentically with love and panache

Average spend per head? €28 for starter, main course, dessert and a glass of house wine

Veggie Options? Quite a few dishes are vegetarian and they can also make veggie version of other dishes on the menu, so make sure you ask

Disabled Facilities? Yes, plus there's ramp access into the restaurant

Top tips Try the €25 tasting menu to try a wide selection of their delicious dishes, plus a dessert and margarita all included in the price

WORDS | Julian Heathcote PHOTOGRAPHY | Peter Young

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