If you stay tuned to our Hotel section, then you already know that the Reserva del Higueron Resort recently invested an impressive €22 million in making its hotel part of Hilton’s exclusive Curio Collection.

Now called the Higuerón Hotel Málaga, Curio Collection by Hilton, the resort is filled with artwork by some of Spain’s most highly solicited artists and boasts organic, nature-inspired interiors, as well as a high-tech gym, a 1,360m2 conference centre, carefully manicured gardens, and more. One of the highlights of the hotel is its gastronomic offerings. With its Michelin starred restaurant, Sollo, and a new al fresco Japanese establishment, Akira, it is giving discerning diners plenty to talk about.

Perched on the Hotel rooftop by the stunning infinity pool, Akira enchants with views of the sparkling sea. Two rows of white leather sunbeds flank the long rectangular pool, exuding millennial chic from every pore. Akira taps into the modern penchant for bar-style dining, made popular by Dabiz Muñoz, whose Street XO restaurants in London and Madrid are all the rage among trendy urbanites. At Akira, you can sit at the dining bar or in the lounge area, forgetting all about traditional white tablecloths and formal arrangements. Here, it’s all about movement, sharing, and freedom. If you like Japanese rap, this is the perfect place to catch the latest hits from this genre. It all makes for a lively, youthful atmosphere that invites authentic ‘winding down’ after a day’s work.

At the head of the kitchens is Hernán Soria – Chef and owner of the Japanese Club of Málaga. He has a rich and fascinating history. Originally hailing from Argentina, he worked for seven years for a Japanese family that owned the popular Tao Japanese and Asian Restaurant in Buenos Aires. During this time, he learned to prepare traditional foods using time-honoured techniques and ingredients. The family then sent him to Okinawa, where he honed his skills while picking up the Japanese language. Destiny took Hernán to Miami, New York, and London (where he worked for Nobu and chic establishment UMU). At these iconic establishments, his ability as a sushi Chef served him well.

Finally, the Chef was seduced by the warm climes of Monaco, where he fulfilled the role of Head Sushi Chef at the Pacific Monte Carlo. A fervent world traveller, he admits that on one occasion, he chose his destination by “pointing at a map and heading to wherever my finger landed.” He eventually settled in Spain because his family hailed from this country and he thought it would be an ideal spot to bring his love for Japanese cuisine to a new audience.

During our visit to Akira, dish after dish proved the Chef’s incredible technique at handling fish and blending flavours. After tucking into classic edamame beans with a beautifully flavoured Ginga Kogen beer (made from wheat), we tried something moreish indeed – the Nasu no miso, featuring broiled eggplant with a sweet miso glaze – as you can imagine, it was devoured in a matter of seconds! Another treat was the yellowtail sashimi jalopeño – delicately graced with a lime and soy dressing and topped with tiny slices of jalopeño – which gave the dish a lovely kick! We then tried the butterfish ngiri – fresh and heavenly – as well as two different rolls. The first, the Hokkaido hotategai roll, housed generous bites of fresh scallop. The second, the California deluxe, featured steamed prawns instead of the usual surimi. In addition to excellent food, the restaurant also has a bar area where dedicated baristas can recommend an array of Japanese beers and sakes, a well as cocktails. Access is easy to Akira – it can be reached directly via the lift – you don’t need to go through reception. In the warmer months, many diners enjoy their meals by the infinity pool, seated on the round beds as they take in the beauty of the setting and sea beyond. If you go early enough, you can catch the sunset, sipping on a glass of wine while feeling very grateful indeed for the chance to immerse yourself in Japanese cuisine, transformed by the vision of a truly skilful Chef.


Open nightly for dinner. At the Higuerón Hotel Málaga, Curio Collection by Hilton. Avda. del Higuerón 48, Fuengirola. Tel: 951 505 101.