On the road up from the careterra toward La Campana, (Avda de Girasoles) is a lovely old house that many years ago used to be a chicken shack; Pollo Andaluz if I remember rightly. Then some years ago it was taken over by a young couple who made a great effort to create an excellent dining venue that was very popular with some of my clients. Sadly, at the end of last year I think it was, they left and the building laid empty and the owners were looking to rent it. It has now been taken over by a well known Chef in the Marbella area, the previous Head Chef, for around 10 years at Ocean Club, Stephane Bruylant. He has teamed up with his son Christopher and together they are planning to put this eatery on the map.

The once charming rustic style of the property has been given a face-lift to coincide with the owner’s style of modern cookery. White, smart design, with effective lighting and modern art, complete the ambience.

The menu reflects Stephane’s years of experience internationally combining some classic dishes from his Belgian/French upbringing with a nod to Asian fusion: Retro with a twist could sum it up.

I like Salmon Tartare, it has long been a favourite and nowadays tends to have a Japanese influence, but Stephane’s is more like an original, in this case served with Guacamole. The Tai Thai Salad had the fusion feeling, mixing lovely fruit like Mango, Pear and Mint with Chives and Red Onion. A bit more spice would have been welcome as would a different lettuce rather than the ubiquitous Iceberg. Other dishes, such as the Carpaccio and Vitello Tomate, a classic Italian dish of thinly sliced veal with a tuna mayonnaise sauce, will both have to wait until a future visit; Or maybe the Snails or Foie Gras, both of which I love.

You don’t see Sole on the menu in many places probably because it is an expensive fish these days, but a good Sole Meunière is a blast to the 60’s and is still a classic. Meat lovers too can be spoilt with the Chateaubriand for two or the Angus Fillet with Foie Gras (Rossini). Now familiar and popular ‘hand cut’ fries accompany the dishes.

Desserts are always a safe bet in the hands of a Belgian Chef, and these are no exception. The most wonderful dessert of all time the gooey Chocolate Fondant or perhaps a classic Crèpes Suzette.

With a plethora of fish, shellfish and meat dishes including a Wagu Beef Burger and Alaskan King Crab, nobody will leave wanting.

The wine list mixes French and Spanish: The Turonia Albariño from Rias Baixas at 25€ is good value as is the Vetus from Toro at 26€. You can of course push the boat out and go for some excellent French, but why when we have such great Spanish wines?

Maumm calls itself a bistro, even though they may say that I think it ranks a quality restaurant. It is not inexpensive, with a three course meal for two, at the top end, including wine, you won’t get much change out of 75€ a head although you can eat for less. There again, the only expensive meal, is a bad one!

Maumm, Nueva Andalucia, is open daily from 1300h to 23.00h except Sundays.

Tel 951 569 310                                                             www.maumm.es