IT’S a brave move opening a restaurant in Marbella, the culinary capital of the Costa del Sol, and even more so in the heart of the Old Town.
But Candela has not only done it with style, it has done it with taste…Primarily the tastes of its well-travelled German owner, Michael Bormann, who is demanding, but down-to-earth.
What this means is a focus on great quality ingredients, served up at surprisingly fair prices.
It means eating acorn-fed jamon iberico from Cordoba’s Valle de Pedroches, award-winning Payoyo goats cheese from the Grazalema mountains and wild salmon marinated for three days, but not finding a hole in your pocket the next morning.
“What we wanted was high quality dishes but not overpriced,” explains Bormann. “The prices in Marbella have crept up too much since the pandemic and we wanted to address that.”
Finding an excellent corner spot just off emblematic Orange Square, Candela may be German-run, but it is international in concept.
And Bormann’s philosophy certainly seems to be working, with the restaurant nearly full most nights of the week.
The reviews online are almost all excellent and Candela is already, rightfully, in the top 10 of most lists for the old town.
The reviewers single out the staff as being friendly and attentive and it is certainly hard not to praise maitre Cristina’s ability to explain the food on offer.
Her partner Andy, from Cologne, is in the kitchen, sending out dishes that are among the best-looking I have seen in the Casco Historico.
I particularly liked the tuna tartare, as well as the teriyaki salmon, while the duck carpaccio was served with an apple garnish and seaweed, to give it a twist.
A super-creamy burrata meanwhile came out with crisp raf tomatoes, while the pil pil prawns were handled perfectly.
The shoulder of lamb was a great choice for a main, while my top pick is the cod, deliciously served in a tomato sauce with fried green peppers.
Given the German influence, you have to try the amazing apple strudel with ice cream, while a cold chocolate torte with mascarpone also does the business.
Looking for something special, but not too fancy and certainly not a burden on your wallet? Candela lets in the light.
Pl. Gral. Chinchilla, 2
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