La Antxoeta – a foodie feast in the heart of Soho
La Antxoeta – a foodie feast in the heart of Soho
Tucked away in Soho lies a real culinary surprise. With an appropriately urban vibe (this is, after all, Malaga’s street art district), La Antxoeta offers exquisitely presented food, as fresh and creative as it comes. Expect your taste buds to be taken to a new high as you feast at one of the best “treat yourself” restaurants in Malaga.
What’s on the menu
Chef Pablo Caballero takes the helm at a menu that focuses on fresh ingredients that vary depending on what he’s found at the market that morning. Pablo’s philosophy is simplicity and to let the flavours speak for themselves. They do and loudly – perhaps his biggest feat is that you can taste each and every one of them as they pass deliciously over your palate.
You won’t find fancy names or whacky experiments here; instead, you’ll be treated to dishes that showcase their main ingredient with just the right number of co-performers. This is cooking worthy of a Michelin star but without the paraphernalia and minutiae that tend to accompany culinary accolades.
Signature dishes include Bloody Mary oysters, baby squid with broad beans and bouillabaisse sauce, cannelloni Maruchi (Pablo’s Mum’s recipe) and sea bream stew. You’ll also find several daily specials cooked from the chef’s market finds, sharing plates and desserts that are so good you’ll want to lick the plate.
Starters include modern dishes such as those oysters, squid tartare with tiger nut milk and a couple of risottos alongside more traditional plates where croquettes and Malaga salad make an appearance. We went for the summer special – salmorejo (a thick gazpacho) with tuna and mango tartare. All the flavours were present and more than correct, and we loved how just a touch of mango added a dash of acidity to the rich tuna.
Pablo’s Mum obviously knew how to cook too – the cannelloni based on her recipe was simply delicious. The unusual combination of pork, beef and chicken paired with a creamy mushroom sauce – perfect for dipping the bread roll.
Mains come in the form of fish or meat, perfectly translated as Surf and Turf in the English language version of the menu. We tried the sea bream stew, one of the dishes that best emphasized Pablo’s philosophy of simplicity. The sea bream fillets were tender and juicy, and accompanied by tiny potatoes and a splash of bright green samphire. And all sitting in an exquisite suquet whose base includes almonds and chocolate.
Turf options include beef cheek with a unique combination of celery, turnip and liquorice; trotters with king prawns and Mexican chocolate sauce; Iberian pork with potato and sage… And you’ll be able to taste each and every one of the ingredients in all of the dishes. Because, remember, La Antxoeta is all about the flavour.
This section of the menu comes short but very sweet. All homemade and again, each dish offers an explosion of tastes. We had the summer special – apple and fennel jelly with cream mousse and lemon sorbet. Delicious doesn’t come close to describing these particular flavour sensations and what a perfect dish to end a meal during the summer – we visited La Antxoeta on a day when the dreaded hot terral wind was blowing, although we were as cool as cucumbers inside.
Again, exquisite and short with each label coming with a lot to say. Plus, there’s a good selection of cavas, perfect for starting your meal at La Antxoeta.
Good for vegetarians?
A quick glance at the menu and you won’t see much for non-meat eaters, but Pablo’s cooking fits into anything. Just tell the staff that you’re vegetarian and they’ll cater specifically for you. The same applies to vegans and those with gluten intolerance. And you can be sure of tasty flavours too.
Blink and you’d probably miss La Antxoeta (and then be annoyed you didn’t spot it). Tucked away in the heart of Soho, it has an unassuming façade and the street is nothing special. But it’s easy to find – just go one street south of the main pedestrian Casas de Campo – and your taste buds will be ever grateful that you did.
The restaurant is small – just 8 tables inside, each with comfy seating for 4. There are a couple of smaller tables outside, but the views aren’t great and to be honest, those inside are more than worth it. You’ll be sitting against a backdrop of a giant Koi carp sculpture in edgy metal mesh, a touch of street art and motorbike wheels (don’t miss the washbasin in the bathroom). Leaping anchovy motifs on the main brick wall and windows add a nod to the venue’s name and we loved La Antxoeta as a London Underground sign in the kitchen and on the staff’s uniform.
Think tranquil, sophisticated dining where fresh produce and taste get the chance to really shine. And shine they do in the exceptional presentation. China white and blue plates with the odd mini tin pot on bamboo mats. A treat for your eyes as well as your palate. In this intimate space you feel as if Pablo is cooking just for you.
Like many restaurants in Malaga, La Antxoeta has a service charge: €1.85 per person. For this, we got bread (a fresh, crisp roll), extra virgin olive oil, olives, a portion of hummus and homemade butter that came in the cutest tiny tube. Good value considering that most venues charge at least €1 for a bit of bread.
Friendly and professional. It’s no trouble to explain the dishes and their ingredients, and the waiter’s recommendations included lower priced dishes as well as more expensive ones. It would be a good idea to say how much each daily special is – this avoids unpleasant surprises later on.
We’ve included La Antxoeta in our “Treat Yourself” listing because it ranks among the medium to high-priced restaurants in Malaga. However, portions are generous (we had absolutely no room for coffee) and you’re paying for high quality produce.
The menu of the day (3 courses, served Tuesday to Friday lunchtimes) is an excellent value €19.90. There are also 2 tasting menus – 8 main dishes plus 2 desserts for €45 or €60 with pairing wine (surely the best value in Malaga?).
Starters & sharing plates €2.30-22
Good for kids?
No, particularly if they’re small. If you’re got foodie teenagers then maybe, but only if they appreciate fine dining.
Yes, but not easily. The tables are high so wheelchair users will find it difficult.
Why put La Antxoeta on your list of restaurants in Malaga
- Truly delicious food
- Funky surroundings
- Excellent service
- Good value
Tues-Sat 1-4pm & 8-11pm
Calle Barroso 7
Tel: 951 956 192
Keep your finger on the Malaga buzzer – sign up for our free fortnightly newsletter. All you need to know about what’s on and what’s new in the city in your inbox every other Friday.
Note: we always go incognito to the venues included in our Malaga restaurants reviews section and we always pay in full for every item on our bill. This way we guarantee that we receive service and food just as any other customer does. And if they don’t make our criteria for the best in Malaga, they don’t make the section. It’s as simple as that.