Spanish Restaurants in Marbella: Restaurante Calima

Restaurante Calima - Marbella

The Restaurante Calima is one of the most famous Spanish restaurants in Marbella, and also one of the most decorated. This restaurant takes Spanish fine dining to the next level and is the showcase for the vanguard cuisine of the head chef, Dani García.

The Restaurant

Calima

The Restaurante Calima can be found in the city of Marbella, right next to the Mediterranean coast and is run by the head chef, Dani García. It is a temple to both 'haute cuisine' and culinary creativity; more like an experimental laboratory than a Spanish restaurant.

Dani García is a famous Spanish chef from Marbella and has brought all of his experience to this restaurant. Originally beginning his culinary training in the Restaurante Martín Berasategui in the Basque Country, García has worked at a number of restaurants in Spain, including many in the Andalusian region. García's first restaurant was called El Tragabuches and opened in 1998. Dani García worked here as the head chef up until 2003 when he opened the Restaurante Calima in Marbella.

The restaurant itself, located on the first floor, is also not quite conventional. The kitchen for example is clearly visible due to the fact that the walls surrounding the kitchen are actually floor to ceiling windows. This provides the customers the chance to view the magic that goes on in the kitchen, turning the cooking process into a spectacle rather than something that should be ignored.

The main dining room is decorated in a modern yet welcoming style with a black stone tiled floor with modern furniture. The use of soft lighting and small homely touches make this room extremely inviting and a great place to enjoy some great Spanish food.

The Restaurante Calima also has a terrace, but unlike most Spanish restaurants in Spain, the terrace is not out on the street. Instead you can find the terrace on the first floor as well which gives the diners an excellent view of the sea, the palm trees and the coastline of Marbella. Furthermore, if you sit out on the Restaurante Calima's terrace when you visit Marbella, it also means that you are the envy of all of the passers-by below.

The Menu

Calima Menu

The cuisine at the Restaurante Calima in Marbella is based on contrasts and experience. Dani García likes to create dishes with references to his memories of growing up in Marbella and his food often contains elements that are designed to tickle the five senses. Dani García claims that 80% of the food on the menu is based on his memories, one of the three aspects that he describes as being integral to his cooking. The other elements comprise of flavour and a high level of technical excellence in cooking.

One of the best words used to describe the food at the Restaurante Calima is playful. This is particularly true of the presentation of the dishes at this Spanish restaurant which often tend to try and replicate some of the Andalusian experience such as the sun, sea, mountains and lifestyle. For example, one of the dishes called 'Sea Bass 'Like on the Beach, First Smell, Then Eat'' is a skewer of sea bass which is presented on a bed of hot coals and accompanied by some blackened sand. This dish is supposed to replicate the barbecues on the beaches in Marbella that Dani García had as a child. The food at this restaurant is therefore more like a Spanish immersion into the culture of Marbella than simply a collection of ingredients on a plate.

The best menu on offer at the Restaurante Calima is the Tasting Menu or the Experience Menu as it is sometimes called at this restaurant. All of the dishes are exquisitely made and presented in García's own unique style. Some of the highlights of the menu include the 'Piñones helados' (Frozen pine nuts), 'Kebab de galete de atún guisado' (Kebab of stewed tuna throat), and 'Ceviche de conchas finas' (Ceviche of fine clams).

Like any other good Spanish restaurant, the Restaurante Calima has an excellent collection of wines. The collection in the cellars is like an encyclopaedia of wines from across Spain and the world. They also have several varieties of champagne and cava.