When it came time to celebrate a colleague’s ‘golden’ (50th) birthday, it was somehow fitting that we should have decided to book a table at La Plage Casanis: the chic restaurant/beach club at which cool music, seaside vibes, and fine Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of French fusion are the order of the day. This restaurant oozes ‘chic’ from the moment you step in; put together by a clever designer with a passion for all things natural, it is both an exquisite restaurant and a laidback oasis; an ideal spot in which to enjoy fantastic food on the beach with good friends.

La Plage Casanis is the nature-inspired baby of the Casanis Group. The Group’s first restaurant, Belgian/French bistro Casanis, was founded 20 years ago by visionary restaurateur, Guy Sirre. In 2017, Zazou Belounis took over, creating the Casanis Group, alongside Fabian Cangas (Executive Chef) and Vincent Boitier (an entrepreneur from the hotel and restaurant sectors).

At La Plage, it’s all about welcoming diners into a cool, trendy atmosphere where they can relax dressed in their favourite cotton dress or head up from the beach, wrapping a sarong around swimwear. In the summer, live DJ music hits the perfect spot as the sun fades over an orange horizon. In winter, the place is still happening as always. The restaurant spans various areas – the beach, vast outdoor dining areas, and the indoor restaurant for the odd rainy day. The décor is 100 per cent natural, with bamboo sticks and overlaying artistic shade installations creating intricate patterns on the floor when the sun hits.

The winter menu at La Plage Casanis is select but just right in terms of variety. The restaurant is reopening in early December following a short break – offering nature loving diners the opportunity to enjoy Christmas by the sea. The team has a special New Year’s Eve menu and open bar evening on December 31. The menu will include an amuse bouche featuring Gillardeau oysters, followed by a foie gras truffled terrine of chestnuts and Amaretto; a carabinero Bombay with baby corn, tikka masala, yoghurt, and coriander; wild seabass with peach confit tomatoes, peas and a Champagne sauce; free-range chicken breast with Robuchon mashed potatoes and morels; and a surprise dessert.

By the names of the dishes alone, you can probably gather the deep culinary knowledge of Executive Chef, Fabian Cangas. He creates the menus and oversees all of Casanis’ culinary fare. At La Plage, his eye is centred on fish and seafood dishes (though meat dishes are also on point). On the day of our visit, our starters included Vietnamese nems (super crisp and appetite-whetting), gyozas (classic Japanese dumplings filled with chicken and grilled vegetables), and salmon tartar (graced with fresh avocado, pine nuts, and a heavenly walnut bread toast).

The mains were equally pleasing and moreish. Many of us shared our orders, eager for our friends to experience the joy of every juicy bite. One companion ordered the Casanis hamburger, made of wagyu meat and livened up with cheddar cheese and a soft brioche bread (and served with crisp Belgian fries, of course). The salt-crusted sea bass, sliced and served at the table for two, was incredibly plump and juicy – such a great choice for those wishing to stay healthy yet feel satisfied. The grilled octopus with roast potato was tender as can be, while the 280-gram entrecôte was juicy and packed with flavour.

We shouldn’t end our report without mentioning the wine list, which contains an impressive selection of Spanish and international wines (we opted for the refined M de Minuty rosé). The cocktail list was also impressive. We ordered various Mojito Mexicanos, a spicy combi featuring a fresh coriander and ginger base, Tequila macerated in green jalapeño, Ancho Reyes liqueur, a homemade agave honey and coriander seed syrup, lime, pink grapefruit juice, and ginger beer. We marvelled at the artistry of a gorgeous pisco drink called Meditteranean Sour – featuring lime, passionfruit, basil leaves, Pisco, and eggwhite. It bore a beautiful image on top – that of a Frida Kahlo-inspired sugar skull, in commemoration of the fact that it was Halloween! All the creative cocktails were dreamed up by Colo Linari, Bar Manager of the Casanis Group.

The desserts capped off a perfect meal. Everything from lemon tart to a chocolate mousse and pannacotta delights tempted us to forget completely about our diets. Somehow, the slightest thought of restriction seems out of place in such a beautiful, free, wild place.


Urb. Golden Beach s/n, Playa Real de Zaragoza, Exit 190C, 29604, Elviria, Marbella. Tel: 952 837 862.