Hotel review: Fuerte Miramar (Marbella, Spain)

16 02 2014

Pool at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfod.com

As we shall visit Malaga early May, noticed that have forgotten to post one hotel review from last August.

4-star hotel Fuerte Miramar is located in right on the beachfront and close to the Marbella Old Town. Hotel is beside a pedestrian promenade (Paseo Maritimo) that links up in 5 minutes to the fishing harbour and the marina. You can also walk to Puerto Banus via Paseo Maritimo in 1 1/2 hours if you are sporty. Actually it is a nice way to observe Marbella from the beach side.

Hotel Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com

Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.comFuerte Miramar lobby - reijosfood.com

Note that hotel is open only from March to November.

Hotel has three restaurant areas: Bar Noble, mainly drinks and light lunch. El Olivo, offering buffet-style dishes and breakfast. Beach Club Restaurante Grill that serves a large variety of fish and paellas beside the beach. Beach Club was open only during the lunch time.

Bar Noble at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.comBar Olivo at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.comRestaurant El Olivo - reijosfood.comRestaurant El Olivo - reijosfood.com

Hotel also has The Miramar Spa & Beauty, which is fully-equipped hydrotherapy centre that has sauna, Turkish bath, whirlpool bath and a wide range of treatments such as massages, algae wraps, etc.

There is also small pool available behind the hotel with sportive activities and free pool towels. Pool was quite occupied during the busiest season but one option was to go to the beach opposite of the hotel. Major shortcoming at the beach was that there was no showers.

Pool at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com

Rooms are quite spacious and most of them have a balcony with front and side sea views. All of them are equipped with Wi-Fi, satellite TV, minibar, desk and safe. We had Double Room with sea side view.

Doublre room at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com Sea view at Fuerte Miramar - reijosfood.com

Best of all of staying at Hotel Fuerte Miramar was location; closeness to the Olf Town and by Paseo Maritimo. Hotel is excellent base for culture and shopping purposes. Also spa in the spring and autumn times sounds attractive.

Marbella Old Town - reijosfood.comMarbella Paseo Maritimo - reijosfood.com

When it comes to service e.g. at Bar Noble, there is opportunity to improve. Small pool and simple beach closest to the hotel do not encourage to sunbathing, if you are only looking for that. Fuerte Miramar has bigger sister hotel Fuerte Marbella which fulfills also this requirement. It is more expensive due to spacious pool area and better beach, of course.

However, hotel seemed to be favored by Spanish vacationers which is always a good sign of popularity and loyal customers.

Reviews of some of the restaurants we visited in Marbella, can be found at reijosfood.com (August 2013)

http://www.fuertehoteles.com/en/hotels/fuerte-miramar-marbella/





Restaurant review: Picasso (Puerto Banus, Spain)

25 08 2013

Picasso - reijosfood.com

Best Pizzas and longest queue in Puerto Banus and Marbella! There are also quite fancy boats and cars to be viewed.

Picasso - reijosfood.com

Visited Picasso about 10 years ago, so obvious choise was to refresh the memories. We came just in time, because after we were seated, continuous queue was waiting for free tables. What makes this restaurant most popular in Puerto Banus is excellent price/quality ratio and relaxed athmosphere compared to any other restaurant. Of course you have decided to enjoy pizzas or pasta. Or you might just want to eat biggest ice cream desserts you have ever seen.

Decided to order Pizza Tricolor Tomate natural, mozzarella búfala, jamón ibérico, rúcula y parmesano (in english Diced tomatos, buffalo mozzarella, serrano ham, rocket and parmesan shavings). Quite interesting combination and most suprising observation was that there was no tomato sauce or melted cheese on the pizza. All pizza toppings were placed after baking pizza dough and therefore they were really fresh! Crispy pizza with well chosen combination of toppings made Tricolor one of the best pizza experiences so far.

Pizza Tricolore - reijosfood.com

Pizza Tricolore - reijosfood.com

We had for starters Andalucian Gambas Pil Pil Gambas picantes, aceite de oliva, ajo,vino blanco y chili (in english Spicy prawns in oil, garlic, white wine and chili) which were quite normal staff but this review is focusing on pizza experience.

Recommend to order pizza or pasta, no starters, and leave some room for dessert. As mentioned earlier ice cream portions are huge but it was impossible to try them after Pil Pil starter and pizza.

In most busy vacation time, you have to stand in the queue from 5 up to 60 minutes depending on your arrival time. If you are guided to 2nd floor and are not with children, prepare for some noise and action because there are more families upstairs.

REVIEW: PIZZA 4+/5 – SERVICE 3/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5

And after dinner some photos of fancy boats and cars…

Lady Haya - reijosfood.comLady Haya - reijosfood.comBoat - reijosfood.comBoat - reijosfood.comBoat - reijosfood.comCar - reijosfood.com

http://www.pizzeriapicasso.com/en/index.php





Restaurant review: Garum (Marbella, Spain)

23 08 2013

Garum - reijosfood.com

Finnish chef in Marbella at restaurant Garum on the Paseo Maritimo!

Pleasant surprise which we did not know in advance when making table reservation. One of the waiters recognized our pronunciation and asked if we are from Finland. He mentioned it sounds the same as their chef’s.

Restaurante Garum is decorated with modern style and therefore differs quite a lot from other restaurants on the Paseo Maritimo. It has cross-kitchen with some flavours from Scandinavia and Finland. On lunch time you can order tapas and traditional Spanish food but in the evenings kitchen is more international. There is a small bar terrace in front of the restaurant if you just want to observe by-passers especially during the evening rush-hour.

Dinner started with Greetings from the kitchen. Simple snack but not bad at all.

Garum - reijosfood.com

For starters chose Japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger and wasabi ice cream and Scandinavian style marinated herring served with wheat beer sorbet, lemon aquavit jelly and lingonberry cream.

Spring rolls were excellent and you could really find japanese flavours when diping them in wasabi and soya. If restaurant serves sour or rye bread, herring and lingonberries then there must be Finnish chef behind it. Only questiomark was the sorbet as it was smelted or should it have been frozen?

japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf
japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf
japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf

Garum - reijosfood.comGarum - reijosfood.com

Kitchen served next food melter which was sorbet. The smaller class on the left….right one is Spanish rose.

Garum - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Grilled prawns served with risotto of sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and sauvignon blanc with deep fried leak and Grilled sea bass served with truffle oiled green asparagus, jerusalem artichoke purée and salad of seedlings, herbs and pine seeds

You seldom find grilled that big prawns in Finnish restaurants, they are fried or prepared in oil if available at all. Therefore taste of prawns was scrumptious. Risotto was OK but maybe too much porridge type. Huge portion of sea bass, usually you get two that size of pieces. In overall, portions were generous.

Garum - reijosfood.comGarum - reijosfood.com

For dessert Swan lake Raspberry and cucumber gazpacho with melon relish and limoncello granite.

Brilliant idea to serve gazpacho as a dessert but of course from sweeter ingredients. Cucumber pieces were next to gazpacho class and added interesting flavour. Healthy, well-being dessert.

Garum - reijosfood.com

If you find restaurant with Finnish chef during your holiday outside of Finland, then you are in safe hands. The terrace of Garum was almost full around 10PM, we came as early as 830PM. Of course location is one of the best, but restaurant can not survive long without good food and service. Restaurante Garum has them both.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://garummarbella.com/

Garum - reijosfood.com

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf





Restaurant review: Messina (Marbella, Spain)

16 08 2013

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

When restaurant does not achieve the level they are reaching for…. 😦

Visited Restaurante Messina 2nd time because first experience was quite impressive (see review from last year via link below). Decided to try Menu Messina because 1st time ordered starters, main courses and dessert from a la carte list.

A mistake we should not have made, especially after asking if kitchen could serve one menu without milk products. But waitress took our order anyeay after checking it first from the kitchen if it would be possible.

But, huge mistake from the restaurant concerned 2nd dessert, although our order was accepted. But let’s come back at the end of post and go first through smaller gaps which restaurant trying to reach fine dining level, should really not afford.

Snacks

Layout and looks of snacks were impressive as last time. However, this time restaurant did not serve any greetings from the kitchen which usually starts the dinner. Waitress also explained too quickly how to go through small bites, so we had to partly guess, if we should eat 4th shrimps or marinated fish. So, we asked to get menu list back because it was not left on the table.

When ordering last time starter and main course from a la carte list, we got same type of snacks assortment to start with but it was not one of the a la carte portions. It was before starters.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.comRestaurante Messina - reijosfood.comRestaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

“Sea snail”

This exotic portion had to be eaten with fingers. Sea snail was not our favourite but maybe because it was quite chewy.

But, we wondered if we should go to wash our hands because restaurant did not provide towels to wipe our hands. If you have studied menu and wine list you might want to eat with clean fingers.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Squid sandwich

Again eating with fingers. Open up the packet and you find the sandwich. Would recommend the restaurant to provide those towels. Sandwich itself was delicious.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Sea urchim mi cuit and celery water

One of the best portions of the menu. Celery water did not include any additives and it was poured by waitress on top of the sea urchim.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Tuna “parpatana” with crispy bread and fresh tomato juice

Again delicious portion. Tomato juice was again poured by waitress on top of tuna and it fresh tomatoes tasted good.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Raw “grilled” crayfish and coconut

Crayfish was grilled from one side maybe 5 seconds but as it was fresh, it also tasted excellent. After eating crayfish waitress poured some fish broth in the coconut bowl. After mixing it with spoon, it changed into delicious fish soup. Well designed two-step portion by the chef, who is quite known in the area.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Barbacued red mullet

Portion was OK, but fish was a little bit over cooked and therefore dry.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Grilled sweetbread with yuzu cream

Rare delicacy but composition of sweetbread did not impress. Maybe it was our personal feeling and someone might like it.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Malaga’s baby goat with pumpkin and mini pickled vegetables

Maybe baby goat should be greasy but this time it did not fit after soft sweetbread. Too close to each other.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

But, after finishing so called main courses, one waitress poured 20 cm long, green olive oil trail on the tablecloth while taking oil bowls away. Instead of changing tablecloth she covered the trail with napkin. Easier for the waitress but undesirable for customers.

But, before serving desserts, one waitress put dessert cutleries on the table. Then head waitress removed them, cleaned the table with scraper and put them back. Something had forgotten from the first waitress.

“Spanish French toast” Thai style

Really delicious dessert and other portion was replaced sorbet without milk as was planned.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.comRestaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Yoghurth Chantilly and strawberries

But, then came the disaster! Restaurant had decided not to serve anything to replace the second dessert which included milk products. Waitress did not bother to tell that, just first served the dessert for person without milk product menu and then asked us to share it. She also explained that it does not include milk! We gave dessert back after commenting mistake but restarant served it again, now to me. Asked now what had happened to dessert without milk products. This was the moment restaurant had to tell that nothing was coming. Head waitress asked if she should discuss with the kitchen.

Too late, I said, and asked for check.

But, restaurant first tried to invoice whole value of the menu, but we requested 8€ discount from 78€ menu, which we got after discussion. Picture below is from the dessert we did not eat because milkless second dessert was not served at all.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

But, what was also annoying was the habit to serve champagne Dom Perignon Vintage 2003, we had ordered, every 5 minutes. Our dinner was interrupted continually by waitresses pouring noble drink about 2 cl’s at a time. Two times they almost served male first and 1 time they did so. Small thing but should be obvious for this restaurant to serve ladies first.

Messina tries to be fine dining restaurant. Modern decor, menu and appearance of food portions shows this to be true. But too much trying on the service side without properly trained dining room staff, does not carry.

If you decide to try Messina, order separate portions from a la carte list and do not ask changes for portions. Maybe also best time to visit restaurant is outside of main summer holiday season.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE – 2/5 – OVERALL GRADE 2+/5

http://www.restaurantemessina.com/

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com





Restaurant Review: Messina (Spain)

29 05 2012

Restaurant Messina is ranked 2nd by TripAdvisor customer reviews in Marbella. Messina is quite small with about 30 seats. Made reservation 2 weeks ahead and restaurant called to reconfirm it same day as we dined. All seats were occupied by diners by 9PM, so obviously restaurant is very popular place.

Decor is modern, background music played was soft lounge e.g. like from Hotel Costes albums. Waitering was professional and polite, contents of each portion were described in detail.

Greetings from the kitchen were generous. Smoked Bressaola, Serrano and other stuff in stone “cup”; aroma of smoke was strong when waitress raised cover. Parsley with cheese in sticks with some additional ingredients and “ice cream” in glass cube were brilliant performance by the kitchen.

For starters we ordered Ingredientes de sushi y espuma de arroz – Sushi “de-fusion” with a rice foam and Cecina de Salmon – smoked dried salmon with tomatoes and olive powder. When sushi was brought, thick gray steam raised from small grid after waitress poured ginger liquid on it, amazing! And when soft tuna fish was dipped in rice foam, wasabi and ginger liquid, combination was marvelous. Salmon with add on’s was also enjoyable.

For main courses chose Salmonete con meloso de quinoa – Red mullet with sweet quinoa, shimps and octopus and Corvina de conil – Sea bass/Crocker. Both fishes were properly cooked and accompaniments suited well for them. Octopus under red mullet was crispy and asparagus under Crocker enough crisp also.

For wine we chose Radix rose wine. Almost red but still rose with strong bouquet and flavor. Good choice for wide taste of the world during dinner.

Dessert was Queso y vino – Cheese and wine. Four different types of cheese with 4cl glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry. Cheese and port or sherry are always unbeatable combination; with these cheeses sherry was bulls eye.

Restaurant Messina provides culinaristic and artistic dinner experience one should try if visiting Marbella.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

http://www.restaurantemessina.com/ (Messina website is not up to date when it comes to a la carte list)

http://www.paresbalta.com/default2.asp








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