There are more famous championship golf courses on the Costa del Sol, but the clubhouse of Magna Marbella Golf – and in particular its restaurant – rank among the very finest. WORDS Michel cruz Photography kevin horn

There are at least two reasons why you should ‘discover’ Magna Café if you haven’t already done so. Firstly, it is one of the most atmospheric spots to enjoy a drink and meet up with friends, and secondly, its location atop a little ridge endows the restaurant with fantastic views across San Pedro all the way along the coastline to Gibraltar.’

This panoramic vantage makes Magna Café a highly prized venue for the simple but cherished pleasures of watching the sun set behind the Rock as you sip on your favoured drink. Those in the know gather on the terrace after a busy or indeed a languid day to enjoy the visual spectacle in a refined but pleasantly relaxing ambience.

Open from ten in the morning to midnight, the complex is much more than just a clubhouse; in fact, its restaurant and bar have secured a following in its own right, allowing businesspeople and social groups to mix with golfers. In other words, Magna Café is a great place to meet for lunch, catch up with friends over a drink or enjoy a lively or romantic dinner in one of the most scenic settings in Marbella.

Ambience and Service

The first impression as you enter the bar and its attractively decorated lounge area is that this is a stylish establishment. Just the thing for a relaxing drink on a winter’s evening, but walk into the welcoming dining room and the views come into play.

Large enough to create a lively atmosphere but small enough to be intimate, with an appealing décor and professional service, it is the ideal location for those who come here above all to sample the remarkably good cuisine on offer.

Matched by Excellent Food

This explains the popularity of Magna Café as a lunch and dining venue, but it still has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Highly sought after also for events and group dinners, this restaurant has a very broad appeal, but the quality of the food is right at the heart of it. The menu draws inspiration from a great many sources, but with a sizeable selection of handmade pasta dishes, it slants ever so gently towards Italian cuisine.

This was reflected in the beef carpaccio, a simple but telling classic that says much about the ingredients used and the innate abilities of the chef. At Magna Café it comes with rocket, delightful little mushrooms, Parmesan and truffle oil, accompanied by a sprinkling of pomegranate berries.

If one is to guage this starter as a measure then the hillside restaurant in Nueva Andalucía scores very high. The tiger prawns sautéed in a smooth sweet chilli sauce and served with roasted peppers has a somewhat more Asian feel to it, but once again delivers great flavour, texture and presentation – placing Magna Café in the category of serious Marbella eateries.

The dining experience had started with a delightful amuse bouche of beautifully smoked duck breast with mango chutney and a Parmesan crisp, a hint of things to come, as we sampled the pleasingly fresh house Chardonnay and crisp Verdejo. If the first course was good, the main dishes certainly impressed – and confirmed that this is a restaurant that offers seriously good food.

Golfers may very well enjoy one of the best hamburgers around for their lunch, but I was tempted by a succulent rib eye steak prepared just right and complemented by tasteful little baked potatoes, crisp vegetables and a beautiful mushroom sauce.

Perhaps even better was the black cod in a miso-sake marinade with tempura vegetables – not a dish you will find everywhere. Steamed with good timing and skill, the cod was soft and delicious, making this the kind of experience you would definitely come back for.

In fact, the level of the kitchen leaves one wanting to sample more of a menu that offers a good range of choices and then delivers on taste. The helpings are not overly large but certainly not ungenerous, so we opted for a Copa Magna, a wonderful coupe of coffee foam topping a base of vanilla ice cream and a covering of dulce de leche with a sprinkling of nuts and crispy chocolate titbits.

Once again, an imaginative and beautifully executed dish whose flavours leave you smiling as you sip your coffee and turn your gaze towards the coastline stretching out into the horizon.

Words Michel Cruz Photography Kevin Horn

Magna Marbella Golf, Calderón de la Barca s/n, 29660 Nueva Andalucía, Marbella. Tel: 952 929 578