It’s been some time since I had eaten Chef Steven Saunders’ food. Mainly because he has been in England since leaving his Little Geranium in La Cala a few years ago, but he is back — and with a vengeance. He has joined forces with celebrity restaurateur Elliot Wright at his famous Olivia’s restaurant in La Cala de Mijas. Olivia’s has long been known for its beautiful setting and sumptuous surroundings as well as its first class entertainment. Chef Steven launched his new menu earlier in the month with a special evening for the public and some special guests. The menu is packed full of Steven’s well loved dishes as well as some new ones.

The classic Scallops in Puff Pastry with Leeks and Truffle is there and as good as ever. The Thai Crispy Duck Salad, perfectly cooked punchy flavours and crispy noodles. Other signature dishes include Chef’s Prawn Tempura with angel hair filo, wasabi, sushi ginger and ponzu sauce or try the amazing Tempura Soft Shell Crab with an oriental dressing, sushi ginger, coriander salad and lime mayo. For decadence try the Salmon and Lobster Ravioli with field mushrooms, spinach, parmesan and truffle oil. Main courses are where the team come together with colour, presentation and flavour.

Whether its Steven’s Oxtail with truffled mash, crispy onions in a rich red wine jus or a slow cooked Duck Breast with a Duck Bon Bon, orange, redcurrants and fondant potato, you will be suitably impressed. The star of my show however was the Wild Venison from Toledo with creamy celeriac mash, brussel tops, field mushrooms and blueberry juice. I normally choose Lamb but on this occasion had to go for the Venison, then saw my friend’s lamb, maybe next time.

Blasts from the pasts included a classic and rarely seen Surf and Turf, half a lobster and Galician Beef Fillet Steak  or stir the memories and the taste buds with one of the 70s’ favourites, Lobster Thermidor with a rocket and parmesan salad.

There are plenty of Pasta dishes, Vegetarian options, a good selection of meat from the charcoal as well as fresh fish dishes to choose from.

If you have room and desserts are your bag, then there are some interesting ones to choose from. If it had of been a lunch I would have to go for the Apple Crumble with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce but for after dinner, try the innovative Snickers Style Chocolate and Peanut Mousse with a caramel and peanut crisp. The ladies chose the Trio of Chocolate Mousse and a simple Trio of Sorbets.

Wine wise you could spend upwards of 400€ for a Vega Sicilia or 20€ for a perfectly acceptable Verdejo from Somontano. The choice is there and plenty of it.

In fact it’s very good value for money: Great music, not too loud, attentive service and great food. Monday to Saturday a lunch menu is available with two course at 21.95€ or three for 25.95€ then of course there is their hugely popular Sunday Lunch at only 29.95€.

Christmas and New Year festivities are well catered for and information and all booking and enquiries on 952 494 935