Marbella is the Costa del Sol’s most sophisticated resort and the restaurants here cater to the most discerning of diners. With a host of Michelin starred eateries that prepare local ingredients in deliciously inventive ways this town in a must visit for gourmands. Here are my favourites...
Opened in 2000 and Michelin-starred in 2005, El Lago has long been a reference point for Andalusian cuisine. High quality organic produce is the mantra. “Without first rate ingredients, we are nothing” claims Chef Diego del Rio and, adopting the ‘Km 0’ philosophy, he sources ingredients locally and produce is selected to be eaten that day.
The creativity of the food certainly justifies its Michelin star, but add the golf course backdrop, the lake, guaranteed peace and intimacy, and this becomes a clear choice for a spot of romance. The La Hamburguesa de Chivo Lechal Malagueño (Suckling goat burger) is perfect before a round of golf.
Skina, source: www.restauranteskina.com
Skina, a tiny Michelin-starred restaurant with a powerful punch, is tucked away in a cobblestone alley in Marbella’s old town. A bold interior design sets the stage for the modern and creative cuisine of Chefs Hideaki Yoshioka and Jaume Puigdengolas.
The team works with impressive culinary expertise and combine the delicate sensuality of Japanese cooking with traditional Andalusian flavours resulting in food worthy of its Michelin star. Marcos Granda leads the front of house with style and finesse to complete the experience. The tasting tapas is highly recommended.
Set back from the beach, Messina is a clear choice when it comes to dining in Marbella. An Argentinian, Chef Mauricio Giovanni is inspired by his roots and keeps an eye on sustainability. His imagination combined with an Italian culinary background, professional French training and the influence of Spain’s best restaurants results in something absolutely unique.
Indeed, it is this combination that makes Messina an obligatory stop on an Haute Cuisine tour, not just in Marbella but in the whole of Spain. The suckling Malaga Goat, inspired by the Chef’s father’s cooking in Cordoba, Argentina should not be missed.
Dani Garcia, www.facebook.com/DaniGarciaRestaurante
A city guide to Marbella would not be complete without a mention of Marbella’s golden chef, Dani Garcia. Grounded in Andalusian traditions and flavours, his imagination, innovation and contemporary advancements have brought this chef much critical acclaim including two Michelin Stars, three Suns from the Campsa-Repsol Guide and Best Chef of the year by the Gastronomic Guide and Gourmetour touristic.
Renowned for his ability to experiment with the most modern and scientific techniques, Garcia always respects the product’s traditional palate. His professional breakthrough was in 1996 at the Martín Berasategui’s Lasarte restaurant in Guipúzcoa. After training with the Basque chef, Garcia honed his career at several restaurants in the Málaga province. He then opened Calima in 2005.
Nearly ten years on, Dani Garcia has earned a reputation as one of the most notable chefs in Andalusia and is a rising star in the Spanish culinary scene. His restaurant at the Hotel Puente Romano should not be missed.