Discover Michelin star dining in Marbella

If you don’t know Marbella then you might think the dining scene doesn’t get much better than celeb hangouts, La Sala and Olivia’s, however you couldn’t be more wrong. Just a stone’s throw away from the Old Town of Marbella is a jewel in the Costa del Sol culinary crown, Michelin star restaurant Messina.

If you are a keen foodie looking for sophisticated dining and a gourmet treat, then this place is a must. This contemporary restaurant, with minimalist décor offers an upscale dining experience without feeling snobby. Open plan, bright and airy, Messina is chic and unpretentious with friendly and welcoming waiting staff.

The menu is a collection of eclectic unique tastes combining flavours from Spain, South America and Asia, all created by Argentinian chef, Mauricio Giovanini. Messina is named after the Italian city his grandparents come from and has held a Michelin star since 2016, when he became the third Argentine to win the highest accolade in the world of gastronomy.

Giovanini is passionate about using fresh, local produce and his menu experiments with exciting flavours and textures offering a creative menu paired with some of the best wine. It really is a feasting experience and his adventure for flavour seeps through his tasting menu which Team Coco was lucky enough to sample.

The menu regularly changes depending on what’s in season but when I visited there was 10 bite sized dishes to try, all packing punchy flavours. There’s a great balance of vegetarian, seafood and meat plates to keep most palates happy. My menu at Messina included the following:

Yucca, creamy pickled aubergine and marinated red peppers
Creamy chimichurri, tomato, and lemon
Typical Argentinean manioc flour bread
Sea urchin mi-cuit and celery root water
Garganelli cooked in mirepoix stock served with aubergine and goat cheese
Grilled white sea bass with grilled vegetables
Cow sweet bread served with creamy lemon stew and spinach
Iberian pork with creamy lentils and roasted onion
Caramelized pineapple sorbet, red pepper and pisco sour
Creamy black and milky chocolate, dulce de leche and peanut

My favourite was the Iberian pork, it was delicious, and tender served with creamy lentils and roasted onion. I literally savoured every morsel. I loved the whole menu, the tasting experience is a great way to try out Michelin star dining and at 69 Euros per head it’s good value.
If you don’t fancy the Michelin star treatment at Messina then Giovanini is sprinkling his culinary magic at Amare Beach Hotel Marbella with the creation of Hayaca, the hotel’s new pop up restaurant, featuring a fusion of different Latin American dishes.

Team Coco travelled to Marbella courtesy of Amare Beach Hotel Marbella. For more information visit

To book a table at Messina visit


Anji McGrandles

Anji is a wellbeing entrepreneur and coach, working with businesses, brands and individuals on their wellbeing strategies, goals and training. Anji is committed to helping individuals change their life and mindset through teaching healthy practices and creating a personal action plan for long term resilience and confidence. She love travel, food, sports and wellness.

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