IT IS amazing how some restaurants can become so successful in such a short time, but perhaps the Little Geranium has the magic touch.
Based in La Cala de Mijas and run by recently married couple Michele and Steven Saunders, this high quality yet slightly quirky and very friendly restaurant has created quite a stir thanks to the special quality of former Ready Steady Cook and fine-dining chef Steven.
There are a number of things that make a restaurant memorable and Little Geranium ticks all of the boxes, combining creative food, with a personal touch and chic but not overpowering surroundings.
Michele who is in charge of front of house and interior design explains that the couple wants to make people feel as if they are entering a house as guests rather than paying customers.
Understandably, she believes that Steven’s concept of serving inventive food made using local ingredients whenever possible is literally bringing guests from far and wide to enjoy his creative dishes.
“It also has an open kitchen so that you can see Steven and his team preparing everything and we have a pretty terrace on a really quaint Spanish street amongst Spanish homes and their families, it’s very unique. Oh and lets not forget the amazing food cooked by my husband!” Michelle tells the RTN.
Born in South Africa she spent a number of years running ballet schools in Belfast and she respects and welcomes their Irish guests who seem to be very appreciative of the food that they serve.
The restaurant is quite small and is regularly booked out, so they could open seven days a week but their philosophy is that in order to give of their best, they need to be closed for two days to allow themselves to enjoy their life and for them all, including their staff to recharge their batteries.
Steven earned his first Michelin star in the UK and now the happy couple are gearing themselves up for a new venture on the Golden Mile in Marbella where Steven will be executive chef and Michele will be the face of this new venture.
The chef observes “I want to do at least one more restaurant in this area, Geranium Marbella will be different but the same style of food, a more relaxed environment. We love the atmosphere at the LG but it’s always so busy, it really buzzes, great if you want a lively night out but it’s nice to have the option.
“That is why Michele and I have taken the plunge to open our second Geranium opening July (we hope) located on the Golden Mile in Marbella lots of parking behind the restaurant and easy to find, opposite the Marbella Club Hotel. “
They have already lined up two chefs who have had Michelin starred training and both originally worked with Steven but now hold positions in a well-respected restaurant in Northern Ireland and are looking forward to the challenge of gaining a Michelin star here in Spain.
The new Geranium will open slowly, serving just 45 covers on just five evenings, The general buzz of excitement for the restaurant which will be by reservation only already suggests that people will be queuing up to visit.
Steven has spent 40 years in the business and continues to find the challenge of serving high quality food to discriminating guests whilst working with his talented new wife Michele a complete joy.
He is preparing his eleventh book, which combines celebrities favourite dishes with anecdotes from his career, a new restaurant, a new TV career and daily trip to purchase the freshest and tastiest ingredients means that this already successful pair are looking forward to a busy and exciting year where everything they touch turns to gold.