Fish & seafood, and meat dishes, prepared on the charcoal grill or in the restaurant’s Tandoor ovens
The Puente Romano has a special place in the history of Marbella. Right on the illustrious ‘Golden Mile’, which joins the town with Puerto Banús, this historic hotel has undergone significant remodelling. This iconic resort has been reimagined for a new generation.
Reborn as the ‘Puente Romano Beach Resort Marbella’, the hotel, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, has opened a new chapter in its history as being quite a foodie destination.
Sea Grill – The Restaurant
Set away from the hotel’s main gastronomic courtyard, Plaza Village, Sea Grill occupies a privileged location overlooking the pool and beach.
Design of the bar area and restaurant has been executed by UK interior design firm Andrew Martin. It’s frontline, elevated position offers sweeping views out to the sea, whilst the elegant, pastel décor, high pitched roofs and floor to ceiling concertina glass curtains and windows lets the Mediterranean light be the protagonist.
Even on a rare cloudy day, as was the case on my recent visit, light floods the space.
The tables and chairs are terrace style; informal hard wood with white frames and fine mesh seating – it gives the space a summer feel all year round. With the glass curtains open, inside and outside blend seamlessly.
Each table is set with off-white, woven table mats, pressed white linen napkins, glasses and silverware and a colour accent, with blue water tumblers. The white menu is bordered in pale blue. Together the elements create a subtle, cohesive theme of sunlight and sea.
The executive chef at The Puente Romano Beach Resort is Thomas Stork. Originally from Munich, Germany, Thomas has made Southern Spain his home. In 2013 he was awarded the accolade as the ‘Best Chef in Andalucia’ as part of the Andalucian Gastronomy Awards. His career as a chef has spanned almost 30 years, and has included time at some of the coast’s best known properties, including the Las Dunas Hotel (where his restaurant was awarded a Michelin star) and the Los Monteros Hotel.
Thomas has been with the Puente Romano Beach Resort since 2011. At the Puente Romano he oversees a team that prepares menus for the hotel’s diverse range of restaurants as well as event catering.
The Food & Drink
The clue is in the name. Sea Grill is more than just a beach restaurant. It offers an imaginative menu that combines not only fish and seafood, but also meat dishes, prepared on the charcoal grill or in the restaurant’s Tandoor ovens.
My lunch was an opportunity to try some seafood as well as a dish from the Tandoor ovens.
The meal started with a selection of Moroccan salads, simply presented in small white dishes, and served with breads and gourmet extra virgin olive oil. The selection included roasted pepper salad, beetroot salad with cumin, aubergine salad, spicy mango, cauliflower salad, lentils, and also fried courgettes.
The next dish was steamed mussels (‘Mejillones al vapor’) served on a hot griddle. The mussels were plump, juicy, and almost buttery and flavoured with wine and sherry and garnished with slices of lime, which looked beautiful against the dark shells. The dish was served with small toasts and melted clarified butter.
Throughout the meal I was drinking a white verdejo, from Rueda, by Finca La Colina – an intense, aromatic and fruity white that worked beautifully with the mussels and the following seafood course.
I also wanted to try something from the Tandoor ovens and the choice was unanimous, the ‘chicken lollipops’. These tasty, juicy chicken pieces (meaty parts of the wing I think) took on a rich dimension of flavour and texture thanks to the spicy Asian Tandoori style marinade and the dry oven cooking technique. It made for an enjoyable sharing dish.
The final plate was a huge selection of fish and seafood! Small ‘bogavante’ lobster, giant prawns, salmon and sea bass – all cooked to perfection and served at the table with roasted vegetables by one of the restaurant’s experienced staff members.
The lobster was firm and juicy, and the giant prawn was a delight – and the grilled salmon and sea bass had an excellent texture and fresh, delicate flavours. This is certainly a good place to try fish and seafood in Marbella (both regional and imported).
Although Sea Grill most definitely represents the new face of the Puente Romano Beach Resort, I think the hotel has endeavoured to keep its original heart and soul. At the end of the day, this is one of Spain’s historic hotels, like a small Andalusian village by the sea. It has been welcoming back families for generations. Guests clearly enjoy the familiarity of the place, and meeting the staff again, year after year. I saw that in the restaurant where some guests were chatting with a mature waiter – they must have known each other over a number of visits.
We finished our lunch with a shared pudding – homemade mini ‘doughnuts’ with coconut ice-cream with a selection of toppings including pistachios, chocolate sauce, chocolate vermicelli and coconut. Thomas told me they make all the ice-cream at the hotel fresh each day.
Puente Romano Beach Resort, Marbella
T: +34 952 820 900