The Sea Grill has been Marbella’s hottest destination for seaside dining since its launch, but, not one to lest on its laurels, it is now home to Petit Sea Grill: a haven for tapas and shared platters that is set to be the ‘it’ dining place this summer.

Ensconced upon a raised wooden deck overlooking Sea Grill on the beach, it is the perfect spot for those who wish to dine in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. It is also ideal for people who prefer to lunch a little lighter.

Sea Grill, after all, is famed for its hearty buffet by day and gourmet cuisine by night. Petit Sea Grill will be open for both lunch and dinner, which is great news for anyone after an excellent business lunch, family meal, or friendly get-together.

Thomas Stork (Executive Chef of the Puente Romano) and his team are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and this year is no exception.

Sea Grill is already famed for its varied culinary styles, which include cooking in a tandoor oven, but now, Petit Sea Grill has brought the space a sushi/sashimi zone (check out the amazing display of freshly caught fish and seafood, with everything from abalone to snow crab or white prawns from Huelva), as well as a rodizio Brazilian grill.

On the day of my visit, it was a pleasure to see the Chefs carefully brushing pineapples which hung above the grill with sweet paprika, honey vanilla, and maple; “the pineapples are then cut length-wise, like a kebab,” explains Thomas, and I resolve to try out this famed dessert during my visit.

Petit Sea Grill serves international cuisine with Spanish/Mediterranean flair, but Asian and world influences abound and there is a wide array of sushi and sashimi dishes to choose from.

My dining companions and I started off by dipping pita bread into creamy hummus (with whole chickpeas as garnishing), and baba ghanoush (topped with scarlet-hued pomegranate kernels) – both of which will undoubtedly pass the test of even the most discerning lovers of these exotic delights.

We then tried the seabass ceviche, delicate and light and made even more mouthwatering by a touch of cilantro.

If you like salmorejo (the traditional cold soup from Córdoba made from tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and ham), you cannot let the summer season go by without trying Petit Sea Grill’s take on the classic dish.

Here, it is beautifully served in a wooden bowl, and is topped with crumbed manchego cheese balls and ‘ham chips’. Definitely one of the star dishes of this menu.

Another beautifully cool dish was the mixed sashimi, featuring deliciously tender totoro tuna, prawns from Garrucha, sea bass, salmon, crab, and abalone – presented with edible flowers, and leaves to add colour and artistry to the dish.

Carlos García Ceballos, the friendly sommelier, suggested the perfect white: the Botani Moscatel from the Sierras de Málaga – a dry, highly fragrant wine that adapts well to most dishes.

He showed me the impressive wine list, containing a host of Champagnes, sparkling wines, rosés, whites, reds… Moreover, fine wines can be ordered by the glass thanks to a special wine dispenser that is a new addition to the restaurant.

We tried typically Spanish dishes like the crisp fried prawns (reminiscent of ‘chanquetes’), topped with a fried egg and sweet roast pepper – highly recommended for those into contrasts between sweet and savoury – and a sizzling hot pot of pisto, also with a golden fried egg sitting atop the sweet roast pepper.

Logically, we also had to try the picaña de res, cooked over the Brazilian grill. This cut of beef is tender and surrounded by a nice fatty layer that lends it a tempting juiciness. Served with chimichurri and mojo picón sauces, it was everything a meat lover could hope for.

Despite comprising tapas sized portions, the meal was hearty indeed; still, we couldn’t get away without tucking into homemade desserts. The tarte tatin (with plump, slightly stewed apples); chocolate pudding served with whole blueberries and a lucious blueberry coulant; and sliced pineapple from the Brazilian grill, all served with homemade ice-cream, were a fantastic end to a knockout meal.

Petit Sea Grill brings the comfort and joy back to dining with friends or family. With a plethora of dishes meant to be shared and so many cooking styles and specialities to choose from, it is set to be ‘the’ place to be seen this summer for those after a casual, affordable dining experience overlooking one of Marbella’s most iconic beaches.

Petit Sea Grill opens all day from noon till midnight, and features live DJ music on weekends.

Words Marisa Cutillas Photography Kevin Horn

At the Puente Romano. Bulevar Principe Alfonso von Hohenlohe, s/n, Marbella. Tel: 952 820 900.