Lobito de Mar is a flamboyant charcoal grilled fresh seafood restaurant from local celebrity chef Dani García. High quality fresh seafood is prepared over industrial grills in this chic upscale beach hut. Expect flair as food are presented to make an impression. The experience is completed with an extensive wine collection and keen-to-impress front of house staff. Great for a casual but special occasion.
What is the food like?
Charcoal grilled fresh seafood. It is the simple process of vapourisation of the natural oil from the fresh seafood as it come into contact with the red hot charcoals that has created the delicious and captivating flavours associated with grilling. This process has been industrialised by local celebrity chef Dani García with large serious grills, high quality fresh seafood coupled with a selection of popular Spanish starters as well as Japanese sushi & sashimi. Expect flamboyance as food are presented to make an impression.
How is the drinks selection?
Extensive. With a walk-in wine cellar, they are serious about their wine here. There is a hefty wine menu with 37 varieties of Sherries, 54 Spanish whites, 44 French whites, 65 Spanish reds, 27 French reds as well as smaller selection from other wine regions. There is a bottle for every price range from €25 to over €2,000. The pride of the stack is a bottle of 1970 Vega Sicilia Único from Ribera del Duero (temposvegasicilia.com) costing €2,100.
What is the place like?
Chic upscale beach hut. It is a super-sized open-plan chiringuito that’s conveniently located next to the main thorough-fare (N-340) in Marbella, opposite the celebrated Marbella Club hotel (reviewed here). The white timber beach hut ceiling and structure is poshed-up in red, black and white with metro tiles, leather-bound Eames armchairs, plants hanging from the ceiling and marine/aquatic sculptures. There are three dining areas, an alfresco area in the front, a white table cloth dining area to the right and a high stool casual bar dining to the left. In the middle of the room, is a floor to ceiling rectangular bar with a stunning glorification of fresh seafood on ice by the entrance.
Who are the patrons?
Diverse, from families to groups of young adults, looking for a relaxed but special space. Mostly casual, but a dinner party dress will not be out of place at Lobito de Mar.
How was the service?
Keen to impress. Knowledgeable sommelier who can wax lyrical on many of the wines from the extensive collection. Equally impressive front of house staff who is happy to share details on where your food had come from. Wine glasses regularly topped up and table service was prompt and efficient.
Is it child friendly?
Yes. Plenty of space for pushchairs.
Is it dog friendly?
Decent. The prices are high, but you do get it back from the pleasure of dining in this polished grilled seafood haven in Marbella.
See below for what my dining companions and I indulged in for this review (prices quoted include VAT):
2017 Terroir al Límit Pedrá de Guix (Strongly recommend)
A great white from the small but reputable fine wine appellation of Priorat, in Catalonia. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Pedro Ximénez (PX) and Macabeo grapes from a relatively young producer established in 2001 (terroir-al-limit.com). Fantastic golden in colour. Rich, velvety and rounded on the palate. €130
Andaluces y marineros (Strongly recommend)
Cocktail glasses do not come any cuter than this pouty blowfish. Does it matter what’s in it? We loved it and we do love the cocktail too. It is a concoction of Fino de Jerez (Sherry), Chartreuse (French liqueur), elderflower, pineapple and lime. Sweet, zesty and sharp – a refreshing cocktail. €14
Pulpo Brasa Patata (Octopus Galician Style) (Strongly recommend)
One of the most impressive food prop we come across in a while and it is worthy of the dish it is presenting. The octopus was exquisite. It was soft and full of flavours. The sweetness was enhanced by the smokiness from the faultless preparation. €16
Catch of the day
Carabinero (Grilled red prawn from Almería) (Strongly recommend)
The star of the show. Carabineros rarely disappoint and it certainly didn’t on this occasion. Served perfectly with the rich juice from the prawn head over-flowing onto the succulent and tender flesh. €55.10 for 2 (€190 per kg)
Langosta Parrilla (Grilled red spiny lobster) (Do not recommend)
At 2kg, this is the largest (spiny) lobster we have ever seen in a restaurant. The aroma of this freshly charcoal grilled lobster makes your mouth water. It was skilfully deconstructed and plated next to our table. But disappointingly, the meat was a touch tough from being on the grill for too long. We also thought that it would be more interesting if a variety of dipping sauce were to accompany the dish rather than just solely limited to enjoying its natural flavour. €304 (€152 per kg)
Happy Hippo (Do not recommend)
It is cute, but we felt cheated as it doesn’t have the outer wafer layer. They did try to make it up with sprinkle of wafer flakes. The decorative case is unfortunately, not edible. The hazelnut filling was decent. €6.50