La Plaza at the Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa has fast become a chic, elegant yet laidback place to enjoy a romantic meal with one’s partner, friends and family. Home to restaurants serving different world cuisines, it is located alongside the ancient Roman bridge that gives the resort its name.
Graced with delicate fairy lights, the bridge, surrounded by ancient trees whose branches reach into the sky, offers just about as scenic a view as one could hope for. La Plaza is home to many renowned restaurants, and has recently opened Nobu: a world-famous establishment serving inventive, ‘new style’ Nobu-San cuisine, which marries Japanese cooking and Peruvian flavours.
The Nobu Group is currently in an ambitious state of expansion; in Marbella alone work has already begun on the new Nobu Hotel Marbella (which will be established alongside the Puente Romano), while the new Nobu restaurant at the resort is the very first in Spain (Nobu restaurants are present in 21 cities, including Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Beijing, Dubai and Moscow).
Nobu is the brainchild of Nobu Matsuhisa, famed Japanese restaurateur and Chef who moved to Peru, at the age of 24 and opened his first restaurant, Matsue, in Lima. Faced with the challenge of finding traditional ingredients, he began to improvise, thus sparking a new type of cuisine that fuses Japanese and Peruvian traditions.
At the Puente Romano, his delectable cuisine is created by a hardworking team under the guiding hand of Executive Chef, Eleni Manousou, who has been with the Nobu Group since 2010, and who previously worked at Nobu Dubai and Matsuhisa Athens.
Eleni’s enthusiasm and bubbly personality were palpable as she exited the busy kitchens (the restaurant was packed on a pre-launch night) to meet us, and happily told us of the origins of Nobu and her own vertiginous career.
Elena created a beautiful selection of some of the restaurant’s most characteristic dishes, happily switching a few ingredients to suit the dietary needs of one of the diners at our table (who is allergic to cod).
We tried an array of dishes, going from cool to warm. As we glanced at the menu, we tucked into lovely edamame beans with Maldon salt, meanwhile sipping on two fantastic cocktails by Nobu – the Pacharán cocktail and the yuzu kumquat cooler, so refreshing on a balmy summer evening.
The fusion between Latin and Oriental dishes then began in the form of sashimi tacos, filled with various delights, including spicy lobster wasabi and sour cream, red tuna, and King crab. The fresh interior of each bite was complemented beautifully by the crisp tacos, which we topped with diced tomato.
The salmon new style sashimi is moreish in every sense – delicate, fine slices of salmon are jazzed up with a tantalising yuzu and soy sauce, as well as ginger and sesame seeds, drizzled with sesame and olive oil – definitely a dish that sent our taste buds into overdrive.
Equally citrusy was the yellowtail sashimi with soy sauce and yuzu, topped with slices of jalapeño and coriander, which added freshness to every bite.
Next up came the warmer dishes – such as the baby rock shrimp tempura (Robert DeNiro’s favourite choice) – featuring super plump shrimp from the gulf of Mexico, served in a creamy, spicy sauce, over a bed of field greens and shiitake mushrooms.
One of the stars of the Nobu brand is the black cod with Miso – sweet and golden black on the outside and buttery soft on the inside.
My companion opted for the broiled Japanese eggplant with miso – served with the same delightful miso sauce that accompanied the fish. The blend of sweet and salty was unbeatable and the textures of both dishes, just perfect.
We washed this fantastic meal down with a classic white – the renowned José Pariente Rueda Verdejo – fruity and fresh, the perfect companion to a sea-inspired meal.
It should be noted that Nobu serves a host of Spanish and new world wines, as well as a wide selection of Japanese sake, made at the famous Hokusetsu Brewery on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan.
Japanese whiskey also features on the drinks menu, with brands including Suntory, Yamazaki and Nikka.
Nobu has always been the prime choice for celebrities across the globe and the restaurant undoubtedly raises the bar in Marbella – a city now famed for being a top gastronomic destination for foodies from all over the world.
Words Marisa Cutillas / Photography Kevin Horn
Open nightly for dinner.
At the Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa. Blvd Príncipe Alfonso von Hohenlohe s/n, Marbella. Tel: 952 778 686.