When I visited: August 2017
Location: Marbella, in Marbella Club Hotel
Team: Juan Galvez (Head Chef)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not in the Guide
What to wear: Men – shirt and nice trousers and shoes; women – smart dress or smart trousers / skirt and top
Ambience: Formal, romantic
Course of the meal: Lemon and almond cake
If I could change one thing: Better advice on side dishes
Marbella Club seems to be the go-to hotel for the wealthy; on our way up through the meandering hill of the hotel complex (attempting to find the restaurant, which was not very well signposted for those entering from the beach) we saw an amazing array of fancy cars as well as every amenity you might want from a hotel (pools, kids’ clubs, spas, gyms …). For drinks, the Summer Terrace bar is good for a fancy cocktail and some free snacks; for food, The Grill is the place to go.
After enjoying drinks at the bar, we wandered through to the poolside restaurant, which was already buzzing with (mostly English-speaking) guests. We tried glasses of Krug champagne to start – these were tasty and dry, but I still think Taittinger is better (and a whole lot cheaper). The sommelier helped us choose a bottle of red Rioja to accompany the food (which was kept in a basket on the table).
Our starters were the butterfish tiradito with wakame salad, which was pretty big and well-balanced, and the double consommé (black truffle and beef). For mains, we selected the chargrilled chicken (which came with creamed spinach, one potato and a tomato) and the lamb (with mint sauce, mini potatoes and creamed spinach). When ordering, we also chose sides of broccoli and steamed spinach – the waiter really should have told us our mains came with spinach already to save us ordering even more! However, the mains were very well-cooked and tasty.
Dessert was a high point – my lemon and almond cake was more like a cheesecake (with raspberries, and a gooey texture) and my partner Owl’s dulce de leche panna cotta with raspberry sponge cake pieces avoided the trap of being too sweet and was prepared in a way that allowed all the flavours to come through. Strangely, we were given petits fours at the same time as dessert – long orange jelly sticks, nutty pieces, lemon jelly cubes and almond chocolate pieces. Afterwards, we had our usual green teas. There was the above-mentioned side order snafu and the weird choice of giving us petits fours at the same time as desserts, but other than that the service was attentive throughout.
Like Soleo, the food at The Grill is good but you are really paying for the setting. The views are beautiful and romantic, with a garden illuminated by candles and lights everywhere, unusual trees and a pool. You can linger over your food and drink and have a really lovely evening in this restaurant.