Mauricio Giovanini and his wife Pia Ninci own and run the much praised restaurant Messina in Marbella: Celebrating keeping its Michelin Star as one of only four restaurants in Marbella and maintaining their position as one of the places to dine in our fair town. Diners at this tastefully decorated eatery invariable opt for one of the Menú Deugstación a nine and 12 course tasting menus reflecting the Chef’s style and a ‘doff of the cap’ to his home country as some dishes have an Argentinean influence. At 67€ and 85€ respectively they may not be considered ‘cheap’ but they are good value for money. Even allow the sommelier to arrange your wine flight for you to pair the wines for further enjoyment (27€/38€)
Kala Kalua Beach Bar
San Pedro, Marbella
Kala Kalua is a family run beach bar right on the beach in San Pedro, 10 minutes from Banus. It serves typical Spanish Beach Food of a good quality can be found half way between the Ballerina statue and the river Guadaliza on the San Pedro de Alcantara Paseo Marittima. Parking in any of the many roads that surround the area, mainly 300m. to the west. Their day of rest is Monday and they are open for lunch and dinner.
Paco Jimenez has been making a name for himself since setting up his elegant yet intimate restaurant in the corner of Orange Square on the first floor by the old museum. Classically Spanish trained his menu reflects his heritage but with a modern twist. A plate of top quality Jamón Ibérico Guijuelo sits side by side with the House Foie Gras and a fresh Prawn Cocktail. Fish is one of Paco’s specialities so don’t miss the Turbot with Seafood or the Mini Canelones with Monk Fish and Squid in its own Ink. Meat lovers won’t be disappointed either. Top quality meat makes the Fillet Steak ‘Rossini’ worth trying as is the Medallions of Fillet Steak Stuffed with Basil and Cheese. Finish with the Cheesecake or the Tart Tatin. Only open in the evenings: Closed on Mondays.
Nueva Andalucia, Marbella
Stephane Bruylant (ex Chef at Ocean Club) has teamed up with his son Christopher and together they are planning to put this eatery on the map. Maumm calls itself a bistro, even though they may say that, I think it ranks as 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 of course you can eat for less. There again, the only expensive meal, is a bad one! 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.
Maumm, Nueva Andalucia, is open daily from 1300 h to 23.00 h except Sundays.
Puerto Banus, Marbella
The restaurant is owned by the Blue Bay Gourmet Group, which will mean little to many people, but suffice to say that with Eladio at the front you get the impression that it is his and you are welcome in his eatery.
The menu is ample and will cater for golfers and visitors alike. Whether it be a pizza or a pasta or top quality Galician meat or Wild Sea Bass en Sal you won’t be disappointed neither will vegetarians as the kitchen will always find something interesting: Prices Puerto Banus, but not as heavy as some. But the real draw is Eladio and his team. A consummate professional with a warm welcome from him and his staff makes this a more personal place and is ideal for us residents who rarely but occasionally say, “Shall we go to the Port for lunch?”
Oak Garden and Grill
Nueva Andalucia, Puerto Banus,, Marbella
The wine list is comprehensive and reasonably priced for an eatery of this calibre. The menu itself offers a variety of dishes pertaining to its oak and charcoal grill although there are other fabulous dishes some with a Thai style, influenced perhaps in part by sister restaurant La Sala by the Sea. But make no bones (sic) about this, it’s a steak house. Top quality beef aged and cooked perfectly on the open grill. Despite that, there is even a selection of vegetarian options. We shared a Beef Carpaccio, Parmesan, Sun Dried Tomato and Rocket, a Tuna Tataki with Wasabi and Asian Salad, both of which were excellent. And I loved the Langostine and Sea Bass Ceviche with Mango, Avocado and Tigers Milk which at 17€ I thought was well priced. My friend with an upmarket passion for burgers went for the classic 100% Beef Burger, Bacon, Cheese, Coleslaw and hand cut fries. Strangely I don’t eat a lot of red meat these days but you can’t not have one of their classic steaks when you are there, so I chose the 300 gm Argentinean Rib Eye which proved too much for me but the remnants made an excellent sandwich the next day.
Restaurant La Campana
La Campana, Nueva Andalucia, Marbella
The menu is a mixture of classic dishes with a Swedish style. Recent visits allowed us to taste Prawn Skagen a classic Swedish dish excellently prepared (a nice touch I thought was to keep the onions separate from the mix) and a loin of Gravadlachs. This standard Swedish staple was not your normal thin slices of salmon but a loin, which had been marinated perfectly and served with the wonderful dill mayonnaise so associated with this dish. The Tuna Tartar was also a hit as were the Pan Fried Scallops with Apple (less apple would be to my taste). Surf and Turf: Half Lobster with Fillet Steak doesn’t break the bank at 34.50. In fact the prices across the board are all reasonable. There is a Sea Grill with such offerings as ½ Lobster, Tiger Prawns and a Monkfish and Prawn Skewer. On the Meat Grill you can chooses a plain Fillet Steak (served with a myriad of sauces), Chateaubriand, Lamb Chops and a Veal Entrecôte. Although the menu seems large — and it certainly covers a lot of requirements — it’s well balanced and everyone will find something they like down to Pastas and Risotto. There is a small but adequate selection of desserts from Apple Cake to Banana Split! The Wine Bodega is worth just sitting in. Look around the walls at a huge selection of wines. French, Italian, New World and of course Spanish: and unless you want to push the boat out all the wines are very reasonably priced especially the very drinkable house wines.
The Orange Tree
Plaza General Chinchilla, Marbella Old Town
It may not look much from the outside but its façade is in keeping with the nearby,beautiful Orange Square which is synonymous with Old Marbella and a hub of activity during the summer months. The welcome at the Orange Tree is warm and attentive. the menu which changes frequently to represent the seasons and available produce is comprehensive without being large. Frank, Le Patron, is nearly always around offering help and advice on his food and wine. Listen to him, he will make your dining experience even better. The wine list is well chosen and offers some excellent reasonably priced wines. Don't feel the necessity to choose the house wine, which is good, but venture in and you will find some gems. The food is consistently good and ranks highly in other guides. Their home made bread is worth eating alone. I particularly like the Rack of Lamb which after all is everybody's favourite meat dish — Isn't it? Oh well, it is mine! Best to book. Evenings only.
Urb Benamar, Estepona 10 minutes from Puerto Banus
One of the area’s most popular eateries established for some years now. Only a short drive from Puerto Banus, it’s a quirky place offering a very mixed but interesting menu. A mix of cooking styles, you can choose from, Indian — Madras/Jalfrezi/Korma — Chinese — Beef Wok/King Prawn Wok/ Duck Balls — Spanish — Mexican — Japanese — Classic — You can also get a steak and the ubiquitous Beefburger. Large open and covered terraces where good cocktails are served as well. Friendly staff and a warm welcome
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Thought for the day
- KNOWLEDGE IS KNOWING THAT TOMATO IS A FRUIT
- INTELLIGENCE IS NOT PUTTING IT INTO A FRUIT SALAD.
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