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Lúa, the Galician starred restaurant that means moon

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The more I know great Galician Restaurants in Madrid like Lúa, the more I am planning my next vacation in this gourmet land in the north of Spain.
Lúa is not the latest glamourous restaurant launched three weeks ago, it’s an institution both in Madrid and around the world.

What’s the strength of this restaurant?

For sure the degustation menu formula is something that is very characteristic about this place. I think we should also ask for suggestions when we visit a new restaurant and I guess a seasonal tailor made menu by the chef is the greatest advice you could ever receive.
Cocina Gallega 100%, from the ingredients, to the name of the restaurant, Lúa means moon in Gallego, and have been dreamed and realized by chef Manuel Dominguez from more than a decade.
The restaurant became popular in its first location, a tiny space in calle Zurbano, which was specifically thought for the degustation menu, kept the same formula when moving to Paseo Edoardo Dato.

A renovation of the restaurant in 2015 opened a new perspective with the typical Spanish barra, ideal for happy hours or afterwork.
Everyone can try exquisite menu dishes in singular raciones, enjoying a starred tapa without reserving for a menu.

Prizes and specialities

So far so good, Lúa Restaurant can spend its name as the only Galician restaurant outside Galicia than has received a Michelin star, and can also count on dos Repsol suns and two M by Metropoli.
I heard that Manuel Dominguez Pulpo a la Galiciana (el clásico à feira) is the most authentic in Madrid, and I have to say that I totally agree especially because of the typical presentation, the octopus in its simplest form.
A dish that it’s typical from Galicia, but that it’s also so hard to cook and to find such in perfect texture like in Lúa.
This classic version is one of the dishes you can try also at the barra in Lúa.
Another tapa that you can’t miss at Lúa’s barra is the bocado de foie micuit on a pear and queso San Simon empanada. Tremendously good.

Where details matter

From the amazing decoration of the space, to the art of designing a menu based on seasonal and market products from Galicia, every detail matter. I have also appreciate the detail of the wine, with more than 150 different labels you can also try a Galician wine produced only for the restaurant, they have their own label, with a white and a red Ribeiro elaborated with the variety coming from the autochtones artesanal.

Un buen plan para terminar un lunes: brownie con helado de almendras y trufa negra, solo en @restaurante_lua 🍫 #madridiana.

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A special detail I really suggest to try, because as it happen to me, you will rarely forget from this restaurant, is the end the meal with the truffle brownie, which doesn’t me truffle chocolate, but real black truffle layers and mixing flavours with a almond ice cream and a chocolate brownie.
Last but not least, two spaces of the restaurant thatntotally deserve the right attention.
First, you can reserve a big space downstairs at the entrance of the restaurant, with a special menu, which is perfect for example for business dinners, high demanded as I could see by businessmen travelling from the all over the world, reserving with months and weeks of advance.
The second space that is accessible in two different ways, from the kitchen (yes, walking through the kitchen) and from a special entrance, it’s a private space for special occasion. When I saw it my mind hasn’t stop thinking for which occasion a could reserve it, and I am still wondering how I’ll be able to try this experience.

Restaurante Lúa
Paseo Eduardo Dato, 5
Tel. 91 395 28 53 | www.restaurantelua.com

The classic Geographic Club in Madrid

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The Geographic Club in Calle de Alcalà  is a master classic of Madrid best restaurants with an interior design that doesn’t make you feel in Madrid, because the travel concept can let you fly to Paris or London in a blink of eye.

This restaurant is a classic, not that “de toda la vida” classic, but a more contemporary like, the one that is never a bet, it’s always an assured option for a romantic dinner, a business happy hour or a friends night out.

It’s a classic and everyone knows it, even if you live in the city for few months you definitely have already heard about The Geographic club, or stepping by the entrance in Calle Alcalà with the intriguing lights and design makes you wonder about a dinner inside the restaurant.

Another element that makes it easier to recognize a classic restaurant is for the menu, with these 3-4 dishes that everyone is talking and instagramming about, and you definitely have to try. In Geographic club the three masterpieces I’d the chance to try were:

  • The merluza tortilla as a starter
  • The Boletus timbal with foie and black truffle
  • The apple cake (I guess you know it already).

Geographical Club

The decorations of the restaurant with this vintage british adventurer style together with the excellent service and the outstanding menu make the special offer from The Geographic club totally unique.

The experience of the owners and the whole staff is a clear statement for this restaurant, that mixes in two floors different style and stories. Even if you are a minimalist you will feel the magic of The Geographic Club and all the stories that each object and piece of decoration are there for sharing.

It really looked to me also like a secret and very private place, making it more and more sophisticated and exclusive.

From the entrance I really felt that an adventurer and collectionist invited me to have dinner surrounded by his private collection.

Verano means tartar and this steak tartar in @thegeographicclub is fenomenal #madridiana

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Talking about the gastronomy, as a huge fan of tartar I was so impressed by The Geographic steak tartar, which for the first time was asked to be more or less spicy, which was a lovely caring detail I really appreciated.

The menu is really complete, with both meat and fish alternative, with a range of different traditional and contemporary dishes. The wine list is interesting too like the pub style barra at the entrance where the cool cocktails are usually made.

If the tarte tatin style cake was not enough I also tried the chocolate melting cake which was a chocolate bomb that I won’t easily forget.

Definitely Madrid gastronomic offer wouldn’t be the same without The Geographic club that celebrates the spirit of adventures that we have all admired in Mister Cristoforo Colombo and the other discoverers of our history.

The best Japanese Restaurants in Madrid

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Japanese restaurants in Madrid are our second vital food after pizza, every season, no stop, winter, summer, we don’t care. Pretending to be more soupy in winter and more freshy in summer, but we can’t live with our dose of avocado and salmon combo, in a maki, uramaki, temaki or on a well done nigiri.

Every restaurant has it’s differences and characteristic features. Read your “The 10 best japanese restaurants in Madrid” to discover which are our favourite and share yours with us, we would love to know more and more restaurants in town.

[Note: this is not a chart but a list, we love them all equally.]

1) Not an ordinary Japanese Restaurant: Sr. Ito

We already wrote about Sr. Ito in the best restaurants of Chueca, because we really love this place. Here we are in Calle Pelayo, it’s such a nice street that it is good to have a pleasant excuse like dining in Sr. Ito for walking almost until Alonso Martinez. This is not the typical japanese restaurant, if you are a all you can eat sushi consumer, this is not your place. Sr. Ito in Chueca is the place for beauty lovers and slow life living. The decoration is incredible, we talk a lot about this place in dedicated article where you can see all the dishes, especially the cake, impressive.

Sr. Ito – Calle Pelayo, 60, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 910 81 66 15

2) The Japanese guru: Janatomo

Domingo de BBQ, domingo en familiar, domingo en www.janatomo.com con las única barbacos japonesas, las yakinikus en mesa y sin humos.

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I guess you already know how much we love Calle Reina, and don’t really understand why it’s not mentioned as other really hype calle like Ponzano for example. If you have ever stepped into calle Reina we are quite sure you have seen the red windows of Janatomo and felt in Tokyo for a few seconds. Janatomo means “friends of the flowers” and really represent with strong feature the true japanese culture. It’s Japanese barbecue is an exclusivity in Madrid, it’s called yakiniku and it’s even a  European exclusive, because Janatomo is the only one with the bbq included in the table.

Restaurante Janatomo – Calle Reina, 27, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 915 21 55 66

3) Taberna Japonesa: A japanese Kirikata

When you are a great fun of the Arzabal boys, Álvaro Castellanos and Iván Morales, you can’t mention they’re japanese in the list of the best nipponic restaurants in the city, especially because it’s an innovative concept. The quality of food and the freshness of the ingredients it’s a religion for this restaurant, that takes its name from a japanese technique of cutting the sashimi. The cocktails are as well protagonist of the meal with a special menu and a complete selection of the best spirits.

A Japanese Kirikata – Calle de Antonio Acuña, 19, 28009 Madrid – Tel. 914 35 88 29

4) When marketing matters: Yakuza

The Goiko Marketing team is the benchmark in food marketing in Madrid with their no stop contest and pop contents. Yakuza is the japanese restaurant of the Goiko team. Another time Venezuelan in Madrid knows how launch successful restaurants. Their sushi is outstanding, with a touch of creative madness, like for the sushi pizza, or the “El Malandro”. The menu is super cool as the restaurant and the whole concept.

Yazuka – Calle de María de Molina, 16, 28006 Madrid – Tel. 910 60 94 58

5) Sushi bites: Riko

If you love mexican food why of handling a burrito, and the freshness of a temaki, you can find the fusion of this two cultures at Riko, with the giant sushi tacos. The crabs one are massive and super crunchy with an incredible texture. I really loved them, and the bowls are incredible too, a sort of japanese cirashi but with more ingredients. I haven’t been to restaurant so far, but ordered for delivery but I guess the atmosphere will be as cool as their innovative giant rolls.

Riko Fancy Bites – Calle Fernando VI, 21, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 910 80 28 48

6) Tropics meet Japan: Zaperoco

In Italy the trend of japanese food mixed with south american food, especially brazilian, the real food trend of the last two years.

When I heard about Zapercoco and it’s concept I needed to try it. The restaurant is a design gem, relaxed and super chic and the brazilian concept. I was used to have cocktails pairing with my favourite uramaki and it was totally satisfying at Zaperoco too.

Zaperoco – Calle de Velázquez, 102, 28006 Madrid – Tel. 914 10 94 09

7) The supermarket of sushi: Nigiri

We all have stopped in calle fuencarral to see the sushiman preparing sushi in the shop window of Nigiri. In many other countries you can find a lot of takeaway food offered already prepared in fridges like in supermarket. Nigiri does this in the very center of Madrid, with different restaurants in high street location. You choose, pick the box, pay and then take away or eat there, because there are also spacious tables. I am in love with the ceviche and the matcha green tea.

Nigiri – Calle de Fuencarral, 91, 28004 Madrid – Tel. 910 29 67 95

8) Learn how to make sushi: Kappo

La cantidad de wasabi y de soja la decide el itamae, añadir más cantidad por el comensal es una ofensa para el chef #kappomadrid

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The best restaurants are the one selling not only a menu but most of all an experience, something unique.

Probably there is nothing more interesting that learning how to make food, and japanese food has always been a mystery, so that the Kappo courses with chef Mario Payán are perfect for principiants.

Restaurante Kappo – Calle de Breton de los Herreros, 54, 28003 Madrid – Tel. 910 42 00 66

9) Korea has never been so close: Maru Korean Food

Korean restaurant Maru is an exception in this post, but just because mixing japanese and korean cuisine is a genius idea. Kimchi and sushi are best friends when you reserve a table in calle Reina at Maru.

For sure their maki won’t make you regret a classic japanese restaurant, and the bim bim bap. Not to mention their business lunch, really convenient and complete, because you can even get the dessert included and their mango mousse it’s something legendary.

Maru – Calle Reina, 37, 28004 Madrid915 23 95 31

10) Friendly spam delivery sushi: Chic Sushi

Chic para mí, chic para ti, claro que sí, guapi 💛 Yellow uramaki from @chicsushi 🍣 #madridiana

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Let’s be honest. We all hate the spam and the adv in our mailboxes, but once in my life I found a useful adv and it was Chic Sushi. Well done guys! Because I guess you all have received that pink paper, and I am telling you that it worth a try. The menu are super convenient and really complete, in some cases even too much. I loved also the yellow maki in the picture, to me one of my favourite food picture ever.

Chic Sushi – Calle Cab allero de Gracia, 12, 28013 Madrid – Tel. 910 55 18 01

ibex bar madrid

IBEX: the new, Wall Street inspired, bar in Salamanca

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When we read something like “the first place in Madrid…” doing something or the first restaurant offering something we are quite suspicious, because in such a vibrant city it seems that we have already seen all the offers available.

But this time we were totally wrong, not only IBEX is the first stock exchange bar in Madrid, but it is likely to be the first in the whole country. There should be something similar in Barcelona, but not that sophisticated as the IBEX offer.

What should happen in a stock exchange bar? Why it is called like that?

Ibex is totally inspired to the classic stock exchange mechanism of prices ups and downs depending on offer and demand.

This concept, with the live price billboard on the top of the bar is dedicated to beverage prices, every price category, like beer, rum, wine, goes ups and down after every order.

Two things really impressed us with this concept. First is that the software has been developed by the founders, recently graduated in IE Business School, and second that the prices goes down to the lowest point, every 30 minutes more or less.

But there is something more, this “lowest point” has been calculated after a full time research at the bars close to IBEX.

The lowest price is really the lowest price in that area.

Then there is the food offer, with a traditional Indian menu, all inspired by the names in the finance world, from the dot.com bubble to the well known idol of the finance: Mr. Gordon Gekko. Traditional but with a modern twist willing to introduce some latinos tapas in a near feature.

If you are wondering why and what a strange mix of an innovative bar offer with traditional indian food, imagining a classic burger and fries situation, considering Wall Street as the most evocative stock exchange, so that it all sounds like an american concept.

Well, this time you are wrong, the concept is more popular in the east end that in the wild west. But the choice of the indian cuisine was not chosen because of this trend in the middle east, but because all the founders are Indian.

Their homeland is present also at the bar with special Indian beer and selected Indian rum.

IBEX is really a place to be at least once, the concept is really funny and if you love Indian food the quality level is really high.

ibex madrid ibex madrid

We eat very special recipes that are not the usual food we have at an Indian restaurant, expect from the butter chicken which is very popular and it’s exquisite.

What can’t never miss in an Indian dinner is the nan bread, the cheese is like the ultimate for us, but their Ibex version with dried fruit is a very good alternative choice.

Lamb it’s a mandatory meal too, if not in a tikka version, we have tried a very distinguished starter plate with lamb meat presented as cigars, little tubes of lamb, delicious.

The dessert were very good too, the pistachio indian ice cream, and the fried milk balls.

ibex madrid ibex madrid

Really good.

IBEX is suggested both for dining and drinking, with resident deejay and thematic nights like beer pong every now and then. Better follow their social media profiles for all the updates.

It is also a great idea for a special event, from corporate team building situation to more friendly friends night out.

More information: IBEX – Calle Maldonado 7, 28006 – Madrid

Circulo Marisqueria: the place to be for the best pescado

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I’ve always thought that the hardest kind of restaurant to advise is the fish restaurant, because it’s difficult to make sure that you will always find fresh fish, coquillage, that can be cooked in several ways, but even in the most simple ways, fried or grilled.

Where you can find a great pescado restaurant in Madrid?

Now that I’ve been to Circulo Marisqueria I have finally answered to this question related to Madrid fish restaurants.

circulo mariqueria madrid

Starting from the open air kitchen where you can see how they the chefs deal with a 2.000 meters restaurants, to the smiling faces of the clients, and the impressive quality of the fish market, you can definitely state that this is the Marisco paradise in Madrid.

The space is really curated, with many different areas and terraces, open all year long, serving caňas from midday to late night.

There are also lots of events, and the restaurant is great both for a quick tapa than for a full course menu.

I’ve been in particular to a special event, which is well known in Circulo Marisqueria, and in June will see the last happening of the season, starting again in September.

It’s the maridaje night.

Every third Thursday of the month it’s all about pairing, that can be either with beer or wine. The menu and the wines are decided together between Circulo chefs and the producers, it’s different and specific everytime.

It’s an occasion to try all stars wines paired with the best pescado in Madrid, from the starter to the dessert.

circulo mariqueria madrid

And it is not an event for wine masters, everyone can participate and learn something about the wines or beer present in each Thursday night.

This experience is called #CirculoClubDay which is a great way to get to know this hidden gem outside the center of Madrid, for a really affordable price, just 30€ for the whole wine degustation and food portions, which are normal portions, not tiny tapas or half glasses of wine. Next one will the on the 15th of June.

circulo

I was at the Circulo Club Day number 14, so more than one years of success for this monthly format rendez vous, and had the chance to try Bodegas Muga wines, which is a well known brand in Spain for excellent productions of wines plus japanese Nikka Whisky for the dessert.

Just to give you an idea of the success and professionality of this restaurant that opened just two years ago and why you should consider to try it asap, these are some numbers:

  • 370.000 people served in two years
  • 60.000 liters of beer served in 2016
  • 13.000 portions of octopus
  • More than 4.500 portions of mussels in 2016
  • More than 4.000 portions of fried fish in 2016
  • More than 10.200 oyster units in 2016
  • 47 employees working every day.

More information: Marisquería Círculo

C/ Oliva de Plasencia, 1, (C.C. San Ignacio)

28044, Madrid | Tel: 91 73 70 421

www.circulomarisqueria.com

restaurante maru madrid

Discover real Korean food at Restaurante Maru

The first and only time I’ve been to real Korean Restaurant it was in 2015 at the EXPO in Milan.

The Korean pavilion had this huge restaurant, with a super clean design and the perfection of the Korean most representative food like Kimchi and Bibimbap.

Kimchi is the top of mind korean food made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbages and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and salted seafood among others.

When I went to EXPO in Milan I was lucky enough to have my dearest friend, who lived in Seoul, with me, so that he could help me chose and explain how to eat in the original Korean way.

restaurante maru madrid

Now that I’ve discovered a real Korean and Japanese restaurant in Madrid I can’t wait to have my friend visiting to experience together this amazing cuisine.

Welcome to Restaurante Maru

The restaurant as you might have read in the title is Restaurante Maru, located in Calle Reina, I mean actually it is almost in Granvia.

Even if a lot of asian oriental restaurants have decided to conform their style to the modern ultra chic and futuristic contemporary style, I saw in Maru more originality with a traditional atmosphere than in all the hype restaurants of the city, that in the end doesn’t let you feel like you are in truly Korean restaurant.

In Maru from the entrance to the seat you can feel that you could even been in Seoul or any other city in Korea, or even in Japan, because you can also taste Japanese food.

Like the famous Korean barbecue that is incorporated as a grill on the table, so that the dishes are actually cooked on the table.

restaurante maru madrid

Maru restaurant has a extremely variegate menu, meat, fish and vegetables. As I could see the dishes are always accompanied by a mix of proteins and vegetables, it’s a very complete meal.

While I was deciding what to try I was already eating the delicious mini starter served with the drinks, kimchi was already in.

I decided to pair the dinner with a Korean beer, because I wanted to make a full immersion in the culture and tradition of Korea, also because between the restaurants guests there were a lot of asian people, so that I could truly feel I was dining in Korea.

The Restaurante Maru’s menu offers lots of option, Bibimbap and the barbecue are of course the star dishes, but there are also interesting tempura, healthy salads and much more.

restaurante maru madrid

Here is my starter, a lettuce salad with salmon, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts and onion.

A very fresh delicious start. I would love to have a soup but from May to early October it is quite impossible for me to eat a soup, I only did when I lived in London.

Then we went for two different main courses, the prawn tempura and the chicken drumsticks sauteed, which was served with lettuce leaves that was supposed to be used for creating rolls.

There was also an additional spicy sauce that could be mixed with the chicken after fulfilling the lettuce leaf. I thought this was a particular way to try Korean food and I loved it so much, the fresh crispy lettuce perfectly matches with the crunchy dish. Totally suggested.

restaurante maru madrid

As all the pictures we have seen about the uramaki were very inspiring, we also wanted to try them, so we got the salmon and avocado inside, with salmon and eel flambè with tobiko eggs on the top.

The perfect end of this amazing dinner was the mango mousse, if you love mango as I do we will think that this is the greatest mango dessert you’ve ever tried.

restaurante maru madrid

More information: Restaurante Maru, Calle Reina 37.

tu pasta retiro italian

Tu Pasta: Italians do it better

This is my first article dedicated to an Italian restaurant in Madrid, and it’s not about pizza even if there are quite a lot posts about pizza in my the Instagram feed.

I have to admit that I always need to feel that spark, the Spanish chispa, in order to start shaking my hands on the keyboard composing a new article.

tu pasta retiro italian

Tu Pasta, the brand new italian restaurant in front of Retiro, made me do that, because it is not an ordinary shop selling italian food and they don’t have pizza, but they do have the italian soul, or even better the Sardinian soul, a very precise idea of what they want to offer and how they want to offer it.

Sardinia is a land of seafood, tradition and have a strong culinary identity, and you can find some of the island best seller in the menu.

But Tu Pasta is not a Sardinian restaurant, you can find many different food from all part of Italy, there is a lot of research for offering the best of each Region, both in ingredients and receipts.

The caponata for example which is a typical Sicilian starter, it’s really similar to a Spanish pisto manchego but aubergine, olives and capers are the protagonist, usually cutted in bigger pieces than in Spain.

tu pasta retiro italiantu pasta retiro italian

About the starters, cheese and hams are also from different regions, the pecorino with black pepper is typical of Sardinia, than the Gorgonzola of the north and Mortadella of Emilia Romagna.

The core part of the menu is the pasta, of course, which can be stuffed or not staffed pasta, always available to enjoy in the restaurant or to take away, and in this case you can bring the already cooked receipt, or just the homemade ravioli and cook them later with your favourite sauce.

tu pasta retiro italian

I am a huge fan of gnocchi and I miss so much the homemade I was used to buy any given Saturday at Papiniano food market under my house.

But know I can go to calle Menendez Pelayo buy the fresh gnocchi of Tu Pasta and cook them home with a kilo of gorgonzola cheese. Best food in the world.

The Tu Pasta menu will make it quite difficult when you will decide which pasta to order, so my tip is always to share it as much as you can, try the carbonara with real guanciale, then move to a stuffed pasta, I had the scamorza and the truffle and they were both incredible, and don’t forget a taste of seafood. I would recommend the fregola, which is something really unique, looks like rice but it’s made of pasta with a similar sauce of the classic “spaghetti alle vongole”.

There is also the concept of experimenting the classic italian pasta with some of Spanish tradition like rabo de toro, and I find very interesting to see how the power of such a famous and strong taste can be mixed with the delicate textures of italian fresh pasta.

If you want to have an idea of what the a real tiramisù or cannolo siciliano are, then you know that in front of the Retiro you can sit inside the restaurant or in the terrazza, really in front of the park and bite these two delicious desserts, again, perfect for sharing.

tu pasta retiro italian

What should not be missed during a truly italian meal is for sure the wine, red, rosè or white, it doesn’t matter, the wine list shows Amarone Della Valpolicella, the classic Barolo, or the prestigious Chianti.

Don’t be afraid of carbs, Retiro is waiting for you if want to run after the perfect starter to dessert italian meal at Tu Pasta.

More information here: Tu Pasta.

Meraki, when passion meets food

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How many times your favourite bar or restaurant was so full of people and impossible to get in on a random weekend? What about the bruch? Sunday morning queueing, the Madrid revisitation of Sunday Bloody Sunday by the U2.

Madridiana has the solution for this annoying weekend madness.

The method is: hype cool centric location on Monday or Tuesday, leaving the M30 for peaceful and relaxed locations during the weekend (remember that weekends start on Thursday in Madrid, or better Juernes).

meraki madrid

Meraki is a great example of the perfect weekend location.

Lore and Cris, the owners of Meraki restaurant decided to open their first venture in Carabanchel instead of a more centric barrio.

It’s a challenge but most of all it’s an innovative idea and proposal, and when I see innovation I see future and I have to support it.

The name, Meraki, is the first step into this wonderful world, because Meraki comes from the modern Greek and means “do something with passion, with absolute devotion, with undivided attention”, exactly what Lore and Cris transmitted me.

Even if there is a lot of green and blue, cold colours, Meraki it’s really a warm restaurant welcoming clients with a unique atmosphere, also thanks to history of how it was built and which materials have been used like the woods that  comes from the Iglesia de Fuente el Saz del Jarama.

At this point you might have already reserved a table in Meraki for the weekend and I haven’t talked about the food and the barra (which will be explained by Enzo Lauretta, the drinks expert).

And to be totally sincere I haven’t mentioned the first two part of the atmosphere that I guess are the most appreciated, the green walls and the beautiful murals in the terrace.

So let’s start with the core point of a this gastro restaurant: the menu.

meraki madrid

This fantastic ensaladilla rusa is the first bite of Meraki cuisine, as a welcoming tapas.

The starter best seller is the tartar, in the veggie, fishy or classic meat version, it’s really special, and the famous guakamola, which is a sort of avocado tartar, the paradise of avocado lovers.

meraki madridmeraki madrid

Look at the mango and the tomatoes in the veggie version, no filter picture of course, with my Nikon, it was delicious, I could have two more, even if the portions are huge, and dine with it, as starter, main course and dessert.

Choosing the main courses was not an easy task, the burger with beer bread sounds incredibly tasty, the tuna tataki perfectly matches with the tomatoes tartar, tortilla and croquetas for the classic spanish food with a Meraki touch.

In the end as for the guakamola we went for the funny naming, with the Maki taco as a mix of japanese uramaki and mexican taco, and a classic dish de toda la vida, the carrillera de ternera with patatas purea.

meraki madrid

Like a happy kids I was surprised to find my favourite water, San Pellegrino, the best sparkling water in the world.

Not to mention the tablas of quesos and jamon, cecina de Leon, with many starters and main courses made with cheese, Italian with the Burratina and French with the queso Camembert.

So many different cultures in one menu, totally in harmony between each other as a fusion concept should be considering that our tastes are changing every time we travel to a new destination and its culinary tradition and culture.

Creativity is the fil rouge of Meraki, it’s in every mesa, in every sofa, in every dish, that’s why this is not an ordinary restaurant.

Enzo’s thoughts

meraki madrid

As it was for the San Pellegrino water, the same accurate selection for the coffee with Illy and for a tremendous complete selection of Vermouth, with the Martini Italian version called Riserva Speciale Rubino, Cinzano 1757, then Casa Mariol, the classic Zecchini and much more.

Last but not least we also had what we call a “barra experience” with the bartender Joaquin Poyatos that we already had the chance to meet in occasion of the regional final of the bartending competition Made with Love, in collaboration with the Campari Academy, that put together the best bartenders of Madrid.

Joaquin prepared for us a special cocktail that it will be included in the new menu of the restaurant than we were able to try and preview.

meraki madrid

A cocktail made with Spinach, called Popeye, paired with a spinach biscuit that perfectly matches with the cocktail.

His idea of the contamination between the cuisine and the barra, as a liquid exchange of knowledge really fascinated me, and the same it was during the Made in Love event when his creations were aromatized with olives, like if the tapa was inside the cocktail.

Every thursday and saturday there is always live music in Meraki so that know you don’t have any excuse to not trying this unique place.

Wishing all the best to Lore and Cris, we can’t wait to be back to Meraki, convinced that their passion and dedication will be the key for the success and growth of this restaurant, which might be only the first of an amazing series of locals.

More information here: Meraki.

Donde Marian

Donde Marian honest food

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There are a lot of things that can occur during a dinner. The focus is always on what you eat, the taste, the smell of it, and in some cases it can also involve the touch feeling when the food should be eaten with the hands.

Well, in Donde Marian I also listened a lot, probably the most used taste was definitely hearing, and it rarely happen to enjoy a meal at restaurant while learning a lot of interesting thing about the quality and selected ingredients that you can find on the menu.

Even if the historic founder Marian de la Peña retired in 2016, the service and the key dishes are at the same level as they have been for more than two decades.

Donde Marian

Marian left her restaurant to her niece, Ana Hernández and her husband Alfonso Luca de Tena. Ana as a successful architect took care of the restoration of the different areas of the restaurant with a classy restyling of powder blue tones and modern lighting.

What didn’t change is the core and most important part of restaurant: the team. Same chef, same waiter and waitress. The star dishes of Donde Marian like the seasonal vegetables, artichokes and white Navarra asparagus are still the same, as the chuleton, a huge ribeye grilled in the best way.

In the end, Donde Marian continues to take good care of his clients.

And this is probably why in Donde Marian in two decades became so popular and has so many trusted clients, season after season.

Like I did last week, all the clients have learned when they’ll find asparagus and when artichokes because the strength of this place is that almost military selection of only the most valuable products, with a special reference to the vegetables.

I’ve learned a lot about how the white Navarra asparagus is so white and how taught is life of an artichokes collector. As my father worked as greengrocer and I never had the chance to hear from him how passionate he was about his job, I found really interesting and inspiring to hear the passion that Alfonso’s suppliers, La Trailla, put into their daily job, proud the have the best white Navarra asparagus of Spain. Which by the way as a really tiny percentage of worldwide production because most of the white asparagus in commerce are from China, like the 95%.

la trailla

What also impressed about Alfonso is that he defined the Donde Marian kitchen as a “cocina honesta”, because they want to be honest, the chef have always, and will always, cook only the seasonal products, presenting to clients only the best real food when it has to be eaten. The menu has the same high requested meat, vegetables and fish typical Spanish food for the trusted clients, but now as also some new entries like Italian Burrata as starter or two different tartar, one with beef solomillo and one with salmon, both perfectly hand-cutted.

Everything is homemade in Donde Marian, from the starters to the desserts, and the wine selection is really impressive.

They also have a “menu jovenes” at 28€ when the medium price for a dinner is usually around 40€, and I guess if you see the passion that Alfonso and his historic team put into Donde Marian you’ll understand that all the best products research they do, and their 100% honest food principle is very rare and totally worth the bill.

In Donde Marian you can enjoy a star dinner, or lunch in a beautiful restaurant or in its amazing quite terrace and try a classic of Madrid since two decades.

More Information: Donde Marian.

tuk tuk asian street food

Tuk Tuk asian street food for everyone

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Monday night, Calle de Alcalà 167. Welcome to the newest Tuk Tuk asian street food restaurant, or even better south east asian street food restaurant.

Not my first Tuk Tuk comida, but definitely the first relaxed one.

tuk tuk asian street food

I’ve been previously in Calle Barquillo and ordered from Deliveroo several times, but I’ve never heard the history of the restaurants (more than one, and even more than the two mentioned), and had the chance to try so many different dishes sharing the bowls like if they were tapas, between spicy lovers and spicy kind of haters like me.

The first thing to take into consideration when ordering at Tuk Tuk restaurant is the spicy level of food that you can handle.

I am definitely not an harder spicy taster, but I am really into ginger, curry and chilly too, so I can dine with all the comidas with one and two peppers in Tuk Tuk without any problems, but this is a very personal choice.

I can state that if you are a spicy lover you’ll be challenged in Tuk Tuk, there will be a lot of great food for you, from the entrantes to the desserts, and the same story for the sweet flavour lovers, like me, you will desire the chili mango bowl as the ultimate favourite asian food.

Let’s start from the begin.

Why Tuk Tuk and why southeast asian street food?

The founder of Tuk Tuk restaurants is Ricardo Alexander, a british bollywood actor and entrepreneur that has lived a lot of years between the tuk tuk streets of Asia. Exploring different countries and food tradition of south east Asia he was able to live the spicy world of asian food cuisine. His travels and researches brought him to start experimenting with all the most common ingredients and recipes he had tasted around Bangkok, India, Philippines, and Vietnam.

If you have never been to Asia you can start understanding the real complexity of a pad thai or the hokkien, which might be less know but is to me a masterpiece of the Tuk Tuk menu.

I guess Ricardo should be both proud of teaching and letting newbies about the south east asian street food traditions and as well of the people that have already visited one of those countries. They can really appreciate all the details in the restaurant design and the in the food menu felling the same atmosphere they have already lived, every sip of Tom Ka Gai soup and every bite of the Ayam Sambal brochetas.

I’ve to admit that I’ve really appreciated both the design of the menu divided mainly into rice, soup, noodles, curry, and the very useful explanation of the Tuk Tuk master.

To be honest the sexy bao in Tuk Tuk asian street food is the only one I’ve really appreciated so far in Madrid, because of the softness of the dough and for the shape too. It is much easier to eat when the toppings are vertical and not horizontal. The taste is really great, soft and crispy with the these delicious red onion in escabeche.

And mint, lots mint and herbals, the sexy bao like many other dishes has a good portion of mint leaf on the top of it. I am really into mint and usually you find it cooked, but this is really fresh and gives a twist to the strong pork taste of the bao and same thing for the main courses.

tuk tuk asian street food

Not sure if a spicy beginner like me can handle a whole portion of Malay Curry Laksa but have for sure need to try it, because this is really a special dish, a real asian gem brought in Madrid straight from the asian markets. Curry and coconut soup with prawns, chicken, tofu, eggs and noodles, and it’s so beautiful, look at this strong yellow colour, impressive.

tuk tuk asian street food

My suggestion? Find 4-5 mates with different tastes in terms of spicy addiction and share with them one rice, one soup, at least a noodle meal and for sure half bao and some brochetas. You’ll end up with a more complete south asian street food experience as if the bowls were tapas, and be back to Tuk Tuk sharing or ordering your favourite, which in my case will be really hard between the chili mango chicken and the hokkien, really really hard.

Make sure also to find a sharing desserts mate because the match of white chocolate and ginger of the lemon cheesecake is massive, I mean, white chocolate and ginger, could you ask for more?

Not to mention the superb Dorayaki with banana ice cream and spicy chocolate sauce, unmissable.

You can find the full menu here.

The Tuk Tuk restaurants are actually 5 (+ street food festivals), and these are the locations:

Tuk Tuk C/ Cardenal Cisneros 6 (Metro: Bilbao)

Tuk Tuk C/ Barquillo 26 (Metro: Chueca)

Tuk Tuk Av. General Perón 16 (Metro: Santiago Bernabeu)

Tuk Tuk C/ Alcalá 167 (Metro: Goya)

Tuk Tuk Mercado Vallehermoso C/Vallehermoso 36 (Metro: Quevedo)