Los Abanicos in Benahavis
Having recovered from a superb night out at the Pink Party in Guey Marbella, five’ went to Benahavis for the second adventure in two nights (Hannah, Karen, Bill, Broder and me). But tonight was all about the food, it was a culinary trip to the inland village of Benahavis, a mere 20 minutes from Marbella and the coast.
Having been to Benahavis (20 minutes inland of Marbella) a few times to eat on previous occasions I already had a shortlist of restaurants.
Once in the village we took a walk and explored lots of different restaurants trying to decide which one would best suit our purposes for the night.
We were very nearly tempted by a Belgian restaurant with a mix of Spanish cuisine and French classics like bouillabaisse, boeuf bourguignon and even ‘moules’. However we decided to leave that experience for another night as one of my recommendations was also recommended by one of the many friends we bumped into in the village.
Los Abanicos is located on the lower level street and is probably the most famous restaurant in Benahavis. Many years ago it started as a small restaurant serving locals and some tourists but these days it is grown and grown and now has adequate covers for at least 70 to 100 patrons inside and even more on the street outside.
We entered through the bar / wine cellar area which once upon a time was the original restaurant. The waiter led us through a few rooms until it opened out into a huge seating area, traditionally decorated and very comfortable. One thing to mention at this stage is that eagle eyed Karen spied her pudding on the way in and became quite excitable about the enormous ‘mille feuille’ standing in the other room.
We were seated and literally within the space of 15 minutes the restaurant, Los Abanicos, filled up until every table was taken. That is why people in Marbella don’t mind the trip up the mountain as it is a highly popular place to eat.
The menu was incredible and it was clear we were going to need some time to decide what to eat. Luckily on the table waiting for us was the most beautiful homemade bread with a tomato salsa. Still not quite sure what to have we were given some extra time thanks to some bread rolls, toast, paté and sweet chutney.
Having been contemplating a starter these complimentary ‘amuse bouche’ really negated that requirement so it was straight to main courses and thankfully we had all made up our minds.
Karen opted for the Venison in a Malaga wine and cream sauce with a side dish of blackcurrant compot. Hannah (like myself) went for the chateaubriand, although Hannah wanted medium to well and I went for medium rare. Bill had decided quite early on that he was going for their speciality, the suckling pig. Broder was having a bit of a prawn fetish and went for the tiger prawns in Jack Daniels sauce.
Having ordered a lovely (and very reasonable) Rioja Crianza we chatted and looked around the restaurant being sure that we had spotted some celebrities in Marbella, David Guest and Jimmy Carr. We were of course wrong but the likeness for both was quite uncanny.
The food eventually came and everything looked amazing. The chateaubriand was carved on a table beside us and was served with a bernaise sauce. Also placed on the table were plates of fresh steamed vegetables and homemade chips.
For the first time that evening the table fell silent, well nearly, apart from the ‘foodgasm’ noises every other mouthful.
The food was simply incredible. Every part of everyone’s meal was superb and cooked to absolute perfection. This is what eating out is all about.
We needed a good fifteen minute break before Karen, Hannah and Border ordered pudding. Karen of course went for the earlier spotted mille feuille while Hannah opted for chocolate mousse. Broder on the other hand went for the apple strudel.
Again the table was filled with mmmmms and ahhhhhs with every mouthful.
Afterwards a couple more drinks were consumed including complimentary peach schnapps.
I think it is safe to say that ALL of us would thoroughly recommend Los Abanicos. It is a fabulous dining experience with a great atmosphere. The service was impeccable but be prepared to relax as it is not super-fast, but that was a good thing as we wanted to savour the experience for as long as possible.
Price was actually very reasonable, especially when you consider all the complimentary bits we were given.
Consumed (including the complimentary dishes and drinks);
Homemade bread and tomato salsa (complimentary)
Bread rolls (complimentary)
Toast and Paté (complimentary)
1 x Suckling Pig
1 x Venison
1 x Tiger Prawns
2 x Chateaubriand
Plate of Steamed Vegetables
Plate of French Fries
2 x Bottles of Red wine
3 x Large Beers
2 x Glasses of White Wine
1 x Espresso
2 x Café con Leche
2 x Sparkling Water
1 x Baileys
5 x Shots of Peach Schnapps (complimentary)
5 x Mini Magnums (complimentary)
1 x Mille Feuille
1 x Chocolate Mousse
1 x Apple Strudel
4 x Pacharán
Believe it or not ALL of the above came to 50€ per head which included a 10% tip!
Great value, great atmosphere and amazing food. Highly recommended whether you are down the coast in Marbella or even further afield.
Summary: Believe it or not ALL of the above came to 50€ per head which included a 10% tip! Great value, great atmosphere and amazing food. Highly recommended!