“I treat all our clients the same, whether they order the ramen or finest grade sushi”
Modest and humble, yet dressed impeccably in his pristine chef’s overalls inside Takumi’s sophisticated dining room, Álvaro Arbeloa exudes charm. He’s one half of a fruitful partnership behind Takumi, a high quality Japanese restaurant in Marbella. Talking to Swish about his life thus far, it’s evident it wasn’t just luck that got him here. Having trained and worked in some of the world’s top hotels with a long stint in Asia, before meeting his Japanese business partner Toshio, Takumi is the culmination of his life’s work and passions.
Álvaro and partner Toshio chose Marbella to launch their Japanese restaurant some ten years ago. “Malaga was not ready for us in 2011, so we chose Marbella as it is more cosmopolitan” claims Arbeloa. And it turned out to be the right move; Today, Takumi is well established with a reputation for excellent Asian cuisine, popular with Spanish and international audiences alike. A foodie’s favorite, but still luckily somewhat undiscovered on the tourist trail.
When pressed about his partnership with Toshio, Álvaro’s face genuinely lights up, it is clear the duo have a mutual respect for each other and have built a solid friendship over the years. Both partner’s wives have also been instrumental in driving the success of the brand over the years making this a true family run venture.
The menu caters to all tastes and a variety of budgets, from noodles to sushi. You can visit Takumi for a special occasion and pull out all the stops, or a quick lunch and neither are right or wrong, nor will you be judged. The ambience is low key but sophisticated, with a sushi bar at the back or more regular seating with an oriental influence in the main dining area. Here you will mingle with many walks of life, from premier league footballers to families on a budget. Álvaro is quick to point out that footballers, actors, celebs or your average Joe are all the same to him. Incidentally, he’s not into the sport himself despite having a cousin who used to play for Real Madrid. (We personally agree, give us fish over football any day of the week, especially if it’s divine, fresh butterfish with truffle nigiri!)
Our top picks? The asparagus tempura roll, the fatty tuna tartare with quail egg yolk and truffle, the Niku gyoza (pork dumplings), and the ramen. We also love their passion fruit with white chocolate dessert!
Takumi is a must-visit if you are looking for high quality Asian cuisine in Marbella. Don’t expect to come here just because it’s fashionable or expensive but do sip a sake or something bubbly while you sample the intricate sushi and sashimi on offer, relax and enjoy!
Takumi can be found on Calle Gregorio Marañón, 4, 29602 Marbella, Málaga
Find out more on their website here.
Marbella Unfiltered by Swish Marbella is a series of deep dives into the real places and people of the city. Check out our Instagram, @humansofmarbella for more pics and inspiration.