Donde Marian

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.

hop in the box

“Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.” – Thomas Jefferson

This article will take you 1 minutes 22 seconds to read – written by Enzo Lauretta

What were we talking about last time?

In my latest article about Hop in the box I talked about

  1. Travel the world by tasting different beers from the comfort of home
  2. They will rang your door, it’s like Christmas but every month
  3. The excitement of a surprise box, which is priceless
  4. They spread the craft beer culture helping local producers to be distributed
  5. Being the coolest beers bottles collectors between friends.

In the last weeks I have heard and read about at least 5 different events-festivals-fairs totally dedicated to the amazing and exciting world of the beer.

Some were focused on a specific typology of cerveza, some others were totally involved in the growing trend of craft beer, letting tiny producers to speak out and meet their desired target.

I have to admit that in the end I’ve been only to one of these events, the more advertised and far from Madrid center, and it really disappointed me. Prices were too high both for beers and food, few varieties of cervezas and an awful space, desolation …

Probably the other events were great and I just pick the wrong one, but for sure this episode made me think about how much we do expect sometimes from a location and an event and how much we can be disappointed, hopefully in this case I didn’t had to pay for an entrance ticket.

Comfort is what I was thinking about.

hop in the box

So, after that I thought, why I should move from home to look for a craft beer store or to go for beer festivals when I can stay at home enjoying a box of beer?

I have to admit that it is always a pleasure to visit that kind of festivals, meet people, taste different beers from all over the world, or I don’t know, decide to go for a picnic with some friends and bring hop in the box with you, but sometimes you just need to stay at home spending more time with ourselves, a football and a beer, some beers, that knock on your door and with which you can make something to eat as i did it.

To make it even clearer we record a nice video on how you can enjoy the Hop in the Box experience, from the ring bell to the consume, drinking or cooking with the craft beer selection of every month.

Casa Tomada Madrid

You can’t say you are a Madrileño if you don’t know La Casa Tomada, not because it is serving typical Spanish food, but mainly because you have to sit in calle San Lorenzo 9 and try the most sculptural bocatas of Spanish capital.

I’ve been hearing about La Casa Tomada since day one in Madrid, because of Instagram, because of Deliveroo, because of friends of friends and positive reviews I saw in the web.

Finally I got the chance to taste those gourmet sandwiches everyone is talking about, that red and white checkered paper that is so familiar after tens of photos I saw in Instagram.

I really enjoyed the history of the restaurant, hearing how it all began right from the founder and head of the kitchen army in La Casa Tomada.

“Hacemos bocadillos con mucho arte” is the mantra of this restaurant but I have to admit the what I really loved was talking with José Antonio, the founder, about how he loves to take care of his crew and make sure everything that comes out from his kitchen is 100% perfect. So art and perfection, Salvador Dalì used to say “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it”, because you need to be confident in order to get to that level of perfection or even better that level of quality, providing each day a high quality product.

José Antonio, who was born and raised in Venezuela, started his bocata revolution while he was at school, in Madrid, studying the art of cooking, training everyday making bocatas for his university’s colleagues. He saw an opportunity, the school cafeteria bocatas were a disaster, and started leveraging his cooking abilities delivering daily orders for all his mates.

La Casa Tomada was born in Venezuela, 2011, when he came back after the graduation in Madrid, becoming super popular, serving more than 100 bocatas every night, from his mother’s house transformed for the occasion into a street food restaurant.

la casa tomada madrid

Madrid calle San Lorenzo 9 arrived in 2014, when José Antonio decided to move to Madrid and started a new La Casa Tomada venture.

The good news is that La Casa Tomada in Madrid is open both for lunch and dinner, so that you can try fight the biggest bocata in Madrid at midday or midnight, I mean, there is not a real proper time for a La Casa Tomada bocata, you can have breakfast with the night before doggy bag bocata or dine with friends sharing different tastes.

Sharing is a key point of this place, if you just take a bocata it might be a pity, because the starters are massive, and if you don’t get a bocata but a salad, well, you’re a loco, even because there are meat bocatas and veggie bocatas, for all the tastes.

The delicious entrantes of La Casa Tomada, the Chili Cheese Fries is quite mandatory, like the unmissable dish of the menu, you can’t see the fries from the top, they are quite hidden but they’re super tasty, not the typical patatas I guess.

la casa tomada madrid

If you want you avocado dosis of the day, the Pulled Pork Fries might be a good compromise, because more than fries and pulled pork the bowl is full of fresh guacamole style sauce that matches perfectly with the pork.

Now that you are already half full with such a starter you see this huge bocata coming and you need to be really hungry and take some courage to start and end it all alone, so that sharing might be a good idea again, because trust me, half bocata is already a bocata.

I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews about the roast beef, so I chose the Fat Roast Beef, with onion, cheese, bacon and roast beef for sure, but the Teriyaki de ternera is a good choice if you love that asian sauce, or all the chicken bocatas are quite special, from the Pollo Italia with pesto to the Parmigiana Sandwich for the Grana Padano lovers.

la casa tomada madrid

There are more than 20 sandwiched between the classic bocata and the hotdog style, and nothing better than a fresh graft beer to sip with them.

The guys of La Casa Tomada can really help in choosing between all the different fancy bottles exposed on the window, starting from Spanish beers (from Madrid) that might be more famous like the Cibeles or less like the Moustache.

I’ve tried the Moustache which is super suave and perfect for me, but if you prefer stronger tastes the black ipa might be the right beer.

Last but not least the desserts, I will never leave a restaurant without trying at least one dessert, I don’t like the unfinished works, and in La Casa Tomada there is really good ensemble of postres homemade.

More Information:

La Casa Tomada

Calle San Lorenzo, 9, 28004, Madrid

Metro Tribunal / Alonzo Martínez

+3434915138448

tuk tuk asian street food

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)

 

 

Selecta San Miguel

This article will take you 1 minutes 55 seconds to read – written by Enzo Lauretta

Try to imagine a dinner with a great chef from a very special tavern in Madrid Retiro, a unique menu, an impressive location and a lovely blonde girl serving your favourite beer every time you sip the last drop.

It’s a true story that San Miguel made happen last week, organizing a dinner inside the Museo del Ferrocarril, discovering why the Selecta is the greatest beer.

I drank lots of different beers in my life, from several countries, but I do believe that you don’t need to be a beer specialist to understand and taste the difference of the San Miguel ingredients compared to all the other beers on the market.

And after that which was already an incredible once in a lifetime experience I also had the chance to meet David with a tiny group of friends on the occasion of a degustation of San Miguel Selecta in a very characteristic bar of Las Letras, called Kaixo.

I discovered that San Miguel comes from Manila, Philippines, which is a city I love and I have been to 4 times. It really surprised me.

And I learn a lot during these two events, because the only way to learn is to explore, to be in the front row enjoying the experience with all the senses.

Johann, who was our storyteller at the Exploratorium dinner, all his talk along the dinner was focused on the tastes (sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, umami or savoriness) and how Chef José Luis Martínez from Taberna y Media has developed the menu of the dinner in order to match the Selecta tastes with his premium quality food.

José Luis Martínez taberna y media

After a talk with Chef José Luis Martínez  I understood why San Miguel has chosen him. First of all for his passion, it really seems to me that I was full of joy when talking about the preparation of his creations, second because he’s an explorer so that this melting’ pot of different countries, tastes, ingredients and culture was crucial point of the dinner, mixing and matching top quality food with the exclusivity of San Miguel Selecta.

I mean it is not just a matter of matching food with beer, all the courses were cooked or marinated with San Miguel Selecta.

And you know you is a great fan of the beer foam for cooking?

Ferran Adria, one of the most famous chef in the world, a revolutionary man for the cuisine and restaurant world s widely credited with starting the trend of foam on food, always preferring beer or sparkling wines to the still once.

First Course

Fattened hen chicken pickled with foie and ras el hanout.

Roasted scallops with confit artichokes from Tudela.

Second Course

Roasted beef cheek and venezuelan cocoa.

Dessert

Chocolate mousse with gianduia.

With David few days after all the attention was on San Miguel Selecta, the history of San Miguel, the development of Selecta, taking into consideration all the ingredients with a five senses approach, from the hearing to the taste, analysing the smell of hops and of more complex tastes like chocolate, galleta and cinnamon.

We admired the color of the beer with the sight, and did a three tasting phases analysis on how different they were one between each other.

It was a blast. Stop thinking about everything else and just turn on the focus on what we were drinking and the sensations that we felt.

You can only reach excellence with knowledge and what’s better than exploring for accumulating more and more knowledge. This is the spirit and the vision of the Exploratorium project that we had the chance to live twice, first with the “mesa nomada” inside the Museo del Ferrocarril and than with the cata viajera at Kaixo in Las Letras.

There are lots of “mesas nomadas” you can participate, unfortunately not in Madrid, but that’s that’s an explorer challenge, to move forward.

benares barra madrid

It’s hard to fully explain the experience of the new barra at Benares Madrid.

It’s hard mainly because it’s the first time we see the reinterpretation of the most famous Spanish tapas by an Indian chef, and he is a star chef, he is Atul Kochhar, the owner of two Michelin stars and the reputation of having completely changed the way we enjoy the Indian cuisine.

It’s hard to explain how the bocata de calamares was edited in Benares Indian way, but as you try it, and we have tried it, everything is clear, taste the different but also the similarities.

Each Spanish tapa can easily match with one if the new cocktails. Each cocktail has been realized by Santiago Dorado, the official bartender of the new barra at Benares.

Each cocktail represent a city in India, following the naming of the Restaurant tradition, because Benares is the name of the most sacred Indian city.

And the new menu is a like a travel diary with strong leather cover and soft white papers in the inside.

It’a a challenge but we’ll try to bring you in India without exciting Madrid, tasting known food in a different and innovative way, and new cocktails that we’ll bring you to the very heart of India, passing through Jaipur, Old Dehli and Kochi.

Let’s start from the cocktail Benares and the tapa “patatas bravas”.

benares barra madrid

Benares, also known as Varanasi, is rightly called the religious capital of India. This cocktail, that takes its names from one of the world’s oldest living cities. It’s made from gin, homemade lemon grass, cordial, green cardamom and a touch of wine. We accompanied the Benares cocktail with a reinterpretation of a typical spanish dish, the «patatas bravas», with crunchy bananas, chutney of mango with indian canela, tomato sauce, and spicy yogurt.

Now it’s time for the main course: paella, the spanish queen of the comida can be matched with the City (and cocktail) Old Delhi.
From Benares we move to Old Delhi, and we step across the Old Delhi’s ancient silver market with its different aroma types. Finally we arrive to the Red Fort and its gardens.

Vodka, beetroot «rubidus» juice, homemade chutney with just a hint of spice, lima sour, silver dust, accompanied by aromas of Delhi’s market and a jelly from the gardens of the Red Fort, is the composition of this cocktail Old Delhi.

While puffed rice, fondo de pescado al azafrán and macerated shrimps makes the unique “La paella” of the Benares’s barra.


Last but not least the «buñuelos de bacalao» really transformed into a work of art, which is again a musically food, because the silver fried skin of the bacalao is super crunchy, that your can ear that noise, like for the paella crispy sound.

benares barra madrid

They call them Bacalao en texturas instead of“Buñuelos de bacalao” because the base of fried balacalo has a completely different texture than the fried skin, the base really melts in the month, it’s delicious.

The «barra» experience ends with a very particular cocktail called Kochi, a non-alcoholic cocktail served is a cocoa dusted glass.
Considered as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trade center on the coast of the Arabian Sea from the 14th century. The cocktail is composed of passion fruit juice, natural pineapple juice, fresh squeezed lime juice, white chocolate syrup and homemade spicy syrup.

We have really appreciated how the Chef and its team have tried to surprise us with spanish tapas twisted in creative revisitation inspired by tale of a Thousand and One Nights.

More information: Benares Madrid.

 

drink6 detox

When you often eat outside and the carbs are always part of your meal, you might feel at a certain point that five letter word whispering at your years: deeeeeetooooooox, deeeeeeetooooooox.

I’ve listened them last week and gave a try to drink6 detox solutions. The name “drink6” is due to the basic pack of 6 juices that you have to consume as your normal daily diet meals.

I chose the 4 juices and 2 soups pack for one day on treatment, but you can choose between a great variety of solutions.

What is the difference between one or more days of drink6?

Well, drink6 is not a diet, you don’t lose weight, detox means to clean up the body, so this is what the program does. More days means more things that can be cleaned up.

From one to five days, the drink6 program is a substitution of the normal daily meals, from breakfast to dinner:

  • One day: if you follow the drink6 plan for one day, the detox plan will work in order to remove all excess toxins;
  • Three days: if you follow the drink6 plan for three days you will of course have the eliminations of the toxins as in the one day plan but three days it’s sufficient to clean also the blood;
  • Five days: this more complete plans adds to the first two results a complete restoration of the immunitary system.

It is not just a matter of drinking the juices, it is important to follow the rules and the order from zumo 1 to zumo 6, as well as the timing. Everything is written on the bottle, you can’t take them in the wrong order.

The most important thing to add is that they are totally 100% natural and fresh juices.

drink6 detox

Between all the different tastes I’ve tried, I have to admit that I was really impressed by the “manzana asada” taste which was number 2, “manzana asada” and pineapple, I’ve never tried a juice with the apple previously cooked and I really enjoyed it.

My second favourite was number 5, I thought there was ginger in it because of the spicy taste, but it is made of lemon, mint, cayena, cucumber and agave, the texture is more thin than the others which makes it very fresh and easier to be drinked.

For me it’s not the first time I do a detox plan, I’ve tried several detox delivery programs, one very similar to drink6, totally made by juices and another one for seven or ten days made by different typologies of food, no juices but lots of quinoa and cereals.

I had to admit that my purpose at that time was not to detox, I bought that planes because everyone was doing it, and for the 10 days plan I really thought I was going to lose some weight but not, anything, and I didn’t appreciate the fact the maybe it was healthier than a diet.

Now it’s different, I really know what a detox is and I hope that this article will be useful if you are considering a detox plan. The drink6 plan can bring you the energy that you need to face up your daily life, feeling healthier and stronger.

A detox plan like drink6 is really a gift to your body and health.

The interesting thing about drink6 is that the company is run by professionals like the CEO Belen Monederos and partnered with Nutrimedic, a specialized clinic with nutrition experts directed by Dr. Conchita Vidales.  

Don’t be surprised that drink6 is the first detox juice brand in Spain, from my experience they worth it, and you if scroll their Instagram profile or their press section with a live storify of all the people posting with the official hashtag and mentions, you will see that I am not the only one thinking that drink6 is the greatest gift you can do for your health.

More information: drink6.

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)