Restaurante Alexso – taste sensations in Malaga
If you’re looking for true taste sensations in Malaga as well as a visual treat in every single dish, book a table straight away at Restaurante Alexso. This venue is all about visual and sensual deliciousness while showcasing the best local produce. Plus, all these sensations come at wallet-friendly prices and include what we think must be one of the best-value menus of the day in Malaga.
When it first appeared on the Malaga dining scene, Restaurante Alexso was one of the pioneers in fine dining in the city. Some seven years later, it has a well-established presence and (most importantly) never fails to provide an exceptional dining experience. So, if you’re in Malaga and want a meal that’s well beyond the ordinary and will provide you with foodie memories, we’d recommend trying Restaurante Alexso.
What’s behind the concept of “cooking sensations”?
Restaurante Alexso’s slogan is “cocinando sensaciones”, a nod to chef Jose Antonio Moyano’s passion for sublime taste and stunning presentation. The Spanish say that the food “enters you through your eyes”, meaning that your eyes drink in the dish and almost compel you to eat it.
And that’s certainly the case at Alexso, where we greeted every dish with an “ooh” or a “wow”, and commented several times that it was almost too pretty to eat.
But as well as visual and tasting sensations, this restaurant is also about variety. The menu changes every three months so that the restaurant’s many regular diners never tire of seeing the same dishes.
Maître d’ Rocío said she likes to remember what people had the last time they tried the tasting menu and ring the changes when they visit again. So, thanks to her memory, you’re unlikely to try the same things twice unless you request a certain dish. As a result, some menu items are staples.
What do taste sensations in Malaga look like on the menu?
Think fresh produce – local fish and shellfish star on the menu, along with a good smattering of traditional recipes. Although all of these get a sensational twist and it must be said, that Restaurante Alexso has made a name for itself with magical touches on the menu.
The appetisers and starters
The first surprises come in the appetisers, which include an invisible egg. You might not be able to see, but it tastes delicious. We also tried smoked sturgeon with curry and coconut foam, a trio of extraordinary contrasts, served in an ordinary-looking ‘yoghurt pot’.
There’s a great choice of starters, available in half or full portions (do order two or three, so you can try several). We went traditional and enjoyed an ajo blanco and porra de naranja. Both are seasonal local cold soups and pretty basic recipes. But, at Restaurante Alexso, they jump up to the next level.
The ajo blanco (garlic and almond soup) accompanies the most delicate local prawn carpaccio and comes crowned with a mango sorbet. Individually, they were tasty; as a trio, beyond sublime.
The porra de naranja goes far beyond the usual cold soup and sits around red onion and cod carpaccio. Another melt-in-the-mouth sensation.
Next up, we tried the house sardine spit, which comes in the loveliest boat dish as a nod to the sardine espetos that Malaga is so famous for. Restaurante Alexso includes all the traditional ingredients, plus a beer sorbet because a sardine espeto just cries out for an ice-cold cerveza!
As the succession of plates arrived at the table, we couldn’t stop the “oohs” and “aahs” because every dish is practically a work of art. From the brush strokes of beetroot confit to the teeniest garlic flowers via the little cubes of jelly, dashes of jus and delicate sprouting peas, it’s all just so pretty!
But not so pretty that you couldn’t eat it, so next up were the mains. Again, all are available as sharing plates, although I was glad I had the spicy tuna all to myself. Talk about flavour and in all its components, from the humble radish to the turmeric crisp.
My dining partner went for scallops with cauliflower couscous. Judging by how much he raved about the scallops and the delicate flavour of the couscous, no wonder that plate too was clean.
For our meat options, we tried the Iberian pork with a foie sauce and couscous and the Iberian pork cheek with pumpkin rice. Both were deliciously delicate in flavour and texture and the right heartiness to finish the meal.
About that flower
Except we weren’t finished. Next up was the “electric flower”. Another Restaurante Alexso surprise and not a flower or electric. But again, more aahs and a very cleansed palate, ready for dessert.
We were obviously pretty full by this taste. However, Rocío twisted our arms and persuaded us to try the house tapas, aka a slice Spanish omelette with aioli and a salmon sandwich with chips.
Further proof that food really does “enter through your eyes” and that Restaurante Alexso is all about tasting sensations in Malaga.
In your glass
Both the tasting menus come with pairing options, all chosen to provide just the right contrast and combination with their foodie partners. Otherwise, the wine list isn’t long, but there’s more than enough choice.
Jose and Rocío choose the wines personally and like to favour small vineyards, often not on the radar in other restaurants. You’ll therefore find a unique wine list at Alexso, with labels from Malaga province, Rioja, Utiel and Cuenca, plus a couple from France.
Ask Rocío for suggestions and advice on pairing the tasting sensations on your plate with those on your glass.
Good for vegetarians?
Alexso has several veggie options and the kitchen team can adapt other dishes to suit you. If you don’t eat meat but do eat fish, the menu is your oyster.
Restaurante Alexso is in one of the sidestreets off Calle Álamos, so handy for the city centre and 5-minute walk from the Carmen Thyssen Museum. It’s slightly off the beaten track, so away from the crowds.
This is a long, thin restaurant, so there aren’t many tables. However, they’re far enough apart to give the feeling of space. The colour scheme is neutral and low key, nor is there much decoration. But, of course, you’re here to look at your plate, not the walls.
Friendly, helpful and efficient. Rocío guides you perfectly through the menu, offers suggestions on what to eat and helps you choose a wine.
If only all taste sensations in Malaga were this wallet-friendly, particularly the tasting menu. Expect to pay the following:
- Starters – from €10 to €25 (half portions cost €5-12).
- Mains – from €19 to €26, with an average of around €21.
- Desserts – €5 to €7
- Tasting menu – €40 or €55 (pairing options €65 and €85). Note that tasting menus are only available for all the diners at the table.)
Good for kids?
Restaurante Alexso has a family-friendly vibe, complete with a small children’s menu. However, we think this is more of an adult dining experience and your kids might not appreciate all the visual and taste sensations.
Yes – 100%.
Why put Alexso on your list of restaurants in Malaga
- Every dish is a visual and taste sensation.
- Gorgeous presentation.
- Fresh fine ingredients.
- Fun and surprising element to your dining experience.
- Wallet-friendly prices.
Should you book ahead?
Yes, definitely. Book a table.
Restaurante Alexso opens Tuesday to Saturday, 1.30 to 3.30pm and 8.30 to 11.30pm.
Calle Mariblanca 10
Tel: 952 849 558
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