Diurno Madrid

Diurno Madrid

After I’ve heard a couple of friends celebrating Saint Valentine’s day at Diurno restaurant in Chueca I was waiting my turn to try this well known foodie mecca.

I went there on a Saturday lunch time. The menu was divided into three main part, an ad hoc special menu, the brunch menu and the à la carte choice. I went for the third choice and asked directly the chef what he would have suggested me.

diurno madrid

They suggested me, and I’d suggest you the three rices special chef, but I didn’t go for it becaus one of the rice’s sauce was with mushroom and I am not a huge fan of them.

 

Even before start choosing and ordering a delicious bread with a sort of basil hummus was ready to be tasted as starter on my table.

It was really good, I never tried an hummus with basil, and really seems like italian pesto with the texture of chickpeas.

I ordered my Casimiro Mahou special edition beer and started eating my fried aubergine with brown sugar honey. I really love, when I can, eating with my hands, because in this case the aubergines were not too hot and too fried. Adding the touching experience with the raw surface due to the sugar it’s an added value to the tasting experience.

diurno madrid

Before the arrival of the main course, the bonito tataki, I’ve tried the special chicken fried gyozas dumplings. Visually they were really special, I tired them and I was really glad because the frying process is very light and the consistency in the end is so crunchy that you cannot compare them with any other asian dumplings.

Here comes the tataki with fresh cucumber, a rice base, tobiko and sesame seeds top.

diurno madrid diurno madrid

Tataki is one of my favourite japanese dish and I usually get the tuna one, so this was the first time trying a bonito version. I think the combo with the tiny cucumber slice, rice and the tobiko and sesame toppings is perfect, because different texture, different tastes and none of them covering the protagonist of the plate.

I really have to admit that I was really impressed by the menu, both meat and fish main courses were a special balance of different ingredients, that I am already planning a second date with Diurno.

 

I didn’t get any of the cocktails to end my lunch even if the choice was interesting and the bloody mary at the closest table had a really buena pinta. I just ended as always with a suggested dessert, that in this case with the flan de la abuela which means flan of the granma, and it looks and tastes awesome. The pistachio crispy toppings is the final touch and the perfect match on your spoon full of flan. A great homemade dessert, as all the other choices, casero casero.

diurno madrid

The real end of my lunch, after days having in mind my favourite liquor, my italian pride, the Limoncello. There is nothing better than ending a lunch or a dinner with a Limoncello.

 

Thanks Diurno, see you soon!

For more information: Diurno – Calle San Marcos 37

erre que erre madrid

erre que erre latina madrid

La Latina is supposed to be my second barrio, because I live right in the middle of Rastro and Tirso de Molina. Some people say it is Lavapies, others call it just Rastro, and then there are all others that state it is La Latina.

Everyone knows that La Latina it is supposed to be the tapas barrio, where you can find a great variety of tapas bar and enjoy a good caña bien tirada y muy fría.

Well, since I’ve moved from Malasaña to La Latina, I am looking for the ultimate tapas bar that can satisfy that 7 o’clock need of a very fresh beer.

The problem is that in Malasaña I was used to the perfect spanish tavern with old style barra and great tapas to order, while here in La Latina I think I’ve tried the wrong places.

After several months I didn’t have a trusted tapas bar, or I mean I know a couple but around 7 p.m. they are always so full of people that I don’t want to be squeezed in that way.

This article is to finally announce that I found the one, my trusted tapas bar in La Latina, with great food, enough seats, lovely windows, and most of all fresh cerveza and tinto de verano.

erre que erre latina madrid

As you might have guessed, the place is called Erre que Erre and it’s right in the middle of calle cava baja, the official tapas street of Madrid.

So just entering calle cava baja you can already feel that tapas feeling, it’s all restaurants and bar with sort of pr asking to enter and try their food.

It is very touristic for sure, but it is also a very typical place for Spaniards.

erre que erre latina madrid

Well let’s talk about Erre que Erre, that from the outside already catches the attentions of people walking along cava baja. All the walls are full of the most iconic Madrid monument, the furniture and the design is very modern, and most of all the barra is super visible, so that you could almost order pinchos from the outside.

You need to see them closer in order to realize that they are huge and tastes are very particular, not the ordinary pinchos.

erre que erre latina madrid

I decided to try the salmon one and I was positively surprised that the bread was not the usual bread, but a kind of sweet bread with raisin on it.

The tabla de quesos and the tartar de atun were great. The presentation was really amazing and very curated with tiny flowers all over it which is a particular I really love and do not expect in a tapas restaurant.

erre que erre latina madrid

I really wanted to try the tiramisù which is my favourite dessert and the Erre que erre version with strawberries is so good, but the portion of the tartar and the tabla de quesos were really huge that I could not eat more.

The restaurant is quite big at the time I was living and totally full, both the barra and the tables, some were tourists, others were madrileños that knows well the place, the owner and the waitresses.

And this is exactly what I was looking for, a familiar place where I could go any day to have great food and great tinto de verano.

erre que erre latina madrid

el caldero murcia madrid

When I was invited to discover how the real murcian “arroz” is cooked, I did not imagine I was going to live this experience inside the kitchen of one of the most well known restaurant in Madrid. It was a pleasant surprise that I’ve really appreciated.

el caldero murcia madrid

I do believe there is not a better way to taste a traditional recipe than to see and experience with the five senses how it is made directly from the owner of an historic restaurant like Sergio from El Caldero.

el caldero murcia madrid

This 44 years old Madrid’s restaurant has been founded by Sergio’s father due to his strong passion for food passed on by his mother, who was not a professional cooker but more importantly was a professional tradition holder.

When you see how the traditional «caldo» (the essence of the rice soup) is made, how many hours it takes to cook and rest each phase, and the final result of course, you can only remain speechless.

The “El Caldero” brand new website is full of the most requested recipes, with all the ingredients needed, also for the arroz al caldero.

But let me show you some pictures.

el caldero murcia madrid

The garlic is just cutted in the middle and entirely cooked in the oil that has previously been used to fried the “ñoras”, a particular black tiny pepper.

When the garlic is getting brown, a special kind of tomatoes, that needs to be super ripped, are added.

el caldero murcia madrid

The black pepper dried before are not thrown away off course and as you can you they are mixed with oil and need to rest for hours before cooking.

el caldero murcia madrid

In less than one hour this is the result of the caldo sauce. It is not something that is supposed to be eaten with a spoon, but we could not resist anymore watching that mix with such a «buena pinta».

Time was running so we could not wait all the elaboration of the “caldo”, so our rice was cooked with another already rested “caldo”.

At this point it was very interesting to see how the “arroz” is cooked in the “caldero”, because I am a risotto master and the technique is completely different. The risotto is cooked slowly, one spoon of broth after the other, keep mixing up the rice. The “arroz el caldero” instead is cooked from the beginning with the whole broth needed, like boiling water.

It didn’t took so long for the rice to be ready, or maybe the appetizers from the menu that we were trying in the meanwhile were a good distraction from the cookers.

el caldero murcia madrid

This mixed appetizer dish is not just an ordinary mix of ham, but also fish eggs and smoked “bonito”. I didn’t knew that the almonds in the middle should be eaten after the eggs because they help cleaning the teeth.

When the rice is ready the caldero pot is hanged on the traditional tripod, which is also the logo of “El Caldero”, and this is actually the way it will be served in the restaurant.

To me this have been an amazing and incredible experience, the discover of a traditional way of cooking rice in one of the very few murcian restaurant in Madrid.

I really can’t wait to be back with friends and family because the position of the restaurant in “Calle Huertas”, in my favourite “Barrio” of “Las Letras”, with its huge windows at the corner of the street.

I am also very curious to try the “Taberna” in “Travesía de Téllez 2”, close to “Atocha”, which has a very different atmosphere but I am sure the quality and the “Murcia en Madrid” feelings will be the same.

Restaurante Murciano:  +34 91 429 50 44  (calle Huertas 15) 

Taberna Murciana:  +34 91 501 61 90  (Travesía de Téllez 2)

avocado toast madrid

avocado toast madrid

[Updated in July 2018]

The best avocado toast in Madrid to me are those six:

  • Pum Pum Cafè
  • HansSo Cafè
  • Federal Cafè
  • Lap Cafè
  • Plantate Cafè
  • Propaganda.

The best avocado toast in Madrid is mine, the one on the cover page. When I can find the perfect avocado I go to my favorite bakery (Panifiesto) and then I can make the best avocado toast in Madrid right in my kitchen.

But of course I cannot produce the best avocado toast in Madrid for all the avocado toast lovers, so here my short list with pictures and comments for the best bar serving the yummiest avocado toasts in Madrid.

1.Pum Pum Cafè

pumpum cafè madrid pumpum cafè madrid

I love this place and their toast is the best, I mean I can’t reproduce Eggs Benedict, and I don’t know where this bread comes from but it’s great!

And the matcha latte .. look how perfect it looks like!

PUM PUM Cafè – Calle Tribulete, 6, 28012 Madrid

More info here: PUM PUM cafè.

2.Hanso Cafè

Hanso cafè madrid

These japanese guys are latte artists, I love all the videos they have on Instagram. The avocado toast here is great, but to me their very best is the matcha waffle, because it’s unique here in Madrid.

I am so glad to share this picture because it was the first one I uploaded on Madridiana Instagram, and I totally remember that day, with my favourite flower skirt.

HanSo Cafè – Calle del Pez, 20, 28004 Madrid

More Info here: HanSo Cafè.

3.Federal Cafè

federal cafè madrid federal cafè madrid

This is the coolest place in town because it’s a bar after all, but the design is such fine with all that marble that I really can’t imagine a brighter and modern space. The real example of less is more with a classy hint.

My favorite food here is the bowls, especially when chia seeds are included. Like in this first picture. The well, we were talking about the best avocado toast in Madrid, so I am showing you the second picture, from my personal account (shhhhhh) where I could not resist to the toast and I had to do the «food blogger» picture with half of the food.

But they were great, the nuts dust they put on the top it’s something special.

Federal Cafè Madrid – Plaza de las Comendadoras, 9, 28015 Madrid.

More info here: Federal Cafè.

4. Lap Cafè

I had to update this article and add my actual avocado toast, because I am still in love with Pum Pum but honestly cannot stand the queue and the infinite wait. Now you can eat avocado toast basically everywhere, even in the toda la vida bar, the hype is incredible.

This hype brought me to try new places, especially in my barrio, Lavapies, and discover a couple of hidden gems that I really suggest you to try.

Lap Cafè is the definition of a hidden gem, you won’t find it in Tapas Magazine or in the most well-known blogs, it doesn’t stand out, for its position and you definitely have to enter see the menu and meet the owners. What surprised me the most were the ingredients, real food, great qualities, nice decorations, it’s my fave. 

LAP cafè Calle Embajadores 19, local 1, 28012 Madrid

More info here: Lap Cafè

5. Plantate Cafè

Desáyuno o merienda? 🥑 #madridiana

Una publicación compartida de MadriDiana (@madridiana___) el

Our second favourite place in Lavapies right now (July 2018) is Plantate cafè, finally a good bar en Calle Meson de Paredes! We have seen so many bars open and close in few months in the same streets, but Plantate has its own identity that attracts avocado lovers from different parts of Madrid.

The mood is super international, the bar it’s really tiny but specialty coffee lovers are going crazy with their selection, and again the guys working there are super cool. You can actually buy plants, books, and design while sipping your coffee or biting your toast. Genial!

Plantate Cafè Calle del Mesón de Paredes, 28, 28012 Madrid

More info here: Plantate Cafè 

6.Propaganda

Avocado toast during weekends is synonymous with brunch. If you are a brunch lover and want to try a special tostada with Italian cheese and hams, chilling in one of the coolest wineries in Chueca, well, Propaganda is your place.

The champagne brunch is the best treat you can have on a Sunday morning. The avocado is the protagonist too and can be mixed with salmon, burrata or eggs, and the result is quintessential of deliciousness.

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On my ATTD (avocado toast to do) list before selecting the best avocado toast in Madrid I still have to visit:

  • The Toast Cafè
  • Monkey Coffe
  • Toma Caffè (I’ve been but didn’t eat avocado)
  • Hola Cafè (I’ve been but tried other types of tostada )
  • Cripeka
  • Angelica (in Calle Segovia) they also do the Avocado Burger!!!
street art madrid

I had the chance to discover a new Madrid, a Madrid that I’ve always admired without knowing nothing about it, while when I was living in Milan I could recognize names and techniques of these works of art.

I am talking about the street art surrounding us everyday in Madrid, especially in the Lavapies area.

Three hour street art tour in Madrid with an exceptional guide, Javier from CoolTourSpain.

We met up just outside the Atocha Station, where the tour usually starts. Javier gave us the big picture immediately, and it was not only about the things that we were going to see as different stops, but dividing the tour experience in three main pillars: history, technique and names. It’s funny because it is not an ordinary tour where you listen the speaker like an audio book with a monotone voice. Javier knows how to entertain and make it easier to learn keeping his audience engaged.

In the first stop of the street art tour in madrid we discovered together «La Neomudejar, Museo y centro de artes de Vanguardia». This place is Amazing, a real discovery for me that I am always looking for special art exhibitions. And I need a Spanish word to describe it, it’s «raro», which means unique with something special.

The first pictures here above are all from La Neomudejar, from the outside to the inside, where the main topics developed through the art collection. The freedom of expression that the directors of this Museum have built in these years can give to the invited artists the total freedom to express themselves and their art through taboo topics likes the politics, the media and women.

On the first floor where the permanent collections and the artists in residence laboratories are, I was totally surprised to see a work of art dedicated to Luigi Pirandello. One of the most important Nobels for Literature won in Italy. You can see a picture of a flower wall with different paintings

The street art tour in Madrid moved from Atocha back to Embajadores for the walls of «La Tabacalera», an old cigarette factory reconverted as cultural center. I’ve already been around the wall and inside the Tabacalera for an exhibition in November, but discover each wall one after another with the sneaky information that Javier have collected is a different thing.

The walls on the outside are called «Muros» and have been painted by renewed artists from Spain and from other countries with the topic of the urban nature in 2016. My favourite is the one by Casassola with this naked woman full of flowers.

From the Tabacalera to Campo de la Cebada I started developing a different sensibility to the techniques and the names of the artists, recognizing them in all the different shapes.

We saw, and you can see in the pictures above so many different techniques, that we might even don’t see while walking, like E1000 (read Emil in Spanish) that uses the gates or the house door to reproduce his name buy colouring online a part of the gate.

Last part of the tour at La Cebada was very interesting too, because it’s a place that I know and walk through everyday, without knowing the names of the artists, or how the Cebada works.

I can’t wait to discover more about the street art in Madrid, also because there will be important festivals in the next months, where all the community of this incredible art will be reunited.

For more information about the tour visit Javier Website.