Alia Babapulle has been in Spain for quite some years and is a good judge of restaurants. She should know as she promotes the very useful VIP restaurant card which gets you 10% discount. I use it all the time. Alia has been raving about Restaurante Amapola for weeks, so we decided to give it a whirl on Sunday for lunch. On the way there I saw the first street vendors cooking chestnuts – summer is over.
The restaurant is newly opened, very bright, with a welcoming terrace. It was a tad chilly, so we ventured indoors. Heidi Scheinder greeted us, and presented us with the menus. Like Alberts last week the menus were bold.
Choice of six starters, nine mains and five puds. A good selection, a formula that restaurateurs would do well to copy.
Warm bread arrived with butter in plastic tubs. Alia pointed out that they were getting some little pots for the butter soon.
Then we were presented with tasters of thinly sliced duck carpaccio with yellow and red pepper and a subtle tomato sauce. Delicious.
Alia had chosen the carpaccio with fresh spinach and mustard sauce as her starter and I opted for a risotto with wild mushrooms with saffron and garlic. Both starters were terrific. For the mains Alia chose fillets of sea bass with a citrus marmalade and a Mille-feuille of mango and vegetables.
The sea bass was soft and succulent with a crisp outer – divine!
My lamb carré with herb crust served with celery, honey, vinaigrette and mash potato was perfect – the lamb just the right side of pink.
We had now polished off a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, and decided to try the house wines – eminently acceptable for house, the tinto particularly good.
For pudding we tried the chocolate and chilli brownie with vanilla and ginger ice cream, and the Crepes Suzette (had to get something Retro in somewhere) – both fabby and beautifully served ‘Timballe.’
Heidi then showed us upstairs where Alia is helping her design a private dining are and lounge – very impressive.
The Chef at Amapola is Victor Balazs – he will go far.
We met him when he popped in as on Sunday Istoan Horvath is in charge – he did us very proud indeed. Heidi showed us some of Victor’s fusion style creations on her lap top, and they all looked mouth-wateringly delicious and innovative.
Some readers have written in asking for prices – let me tell you no main course at Amapola is over €20. And here’s the clincher – they offer a 3-course menu, with a choice, and all this beautiful presentation for just €9.95 – you can’t do better than that – Alia is right to rave about the place.
Restaurante Amapola Ortega y Gasset, l. 87, Marbella 952 774 650
www.amapolamarbella.com – [email protected]