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

sr ito madrid

sr ito madrid

Sr.Ito was on my “restaurant to go” top list since the first time I walked in Calle Pelayo. Arriving from Plaza Chueca if you start walking along Calle Pelayo a lot of nice restaurants will show up, as well as super creative shops and street art, like the Super Mario Bros around number 50. But you can’t walk over Sr.Ito without thinking and desiring to dine in this very particular japanese restaurant.

From the outside the first thing to notice is of course the design of the interiors which are really bright, the murals on the main wall and also the beautiful bar will be stick in your memory archived in the file “oh my god I need to try that restaurant”.

The interesting thing is that the murals are redesigned by a new artist every now and then,  painted in white and restarted, and the style of each artist is completely different, that’s why Sr.Ito is defined as “Arte , birras , sushi y más”.

If the main floor while entering might give the impression of a very little restaurant, you have to know that there is also another floor, downstairs, really well furnished with the perfect romantic light you need to share a dinner with the loved one.

The menu as in the starters and hot main courses  parta great revisitation of the classic japanese cuisine, even an the edamame beans are not the ordinary edamames beans, this is the presentation and you can add the miso sauce which is the brown one already on the corners of the plate, and another one called kimchi.

I decided to try the hot food, I haven’t tried the sushi, but both nigiri and uramaki really seemed well prepared and the choice was very interesting.

My two main dishes were a noodle soup and the tempura with crabs and prawns were really impressive, and I have to be honest, when a read “crabs” in a menu I always go for it, and when the waiter answer me “I am sorry we don’t have it tonight” the dinner is ruined and nothing will be the same. But it was not this case, Sr. Ito served a great fried crab with crayfish. The sauce were, the classic tempura sauce which is very liquid and watery, and the two sauces I’ve already in tried with the edamame, kimchi and sauce, which has you can see have the texture of mayonnaise.

 

Last but not least I saw previously on the bar upstair a green tea cake and I needed to discover more, when they told me it was green tea, white chocolate (my fave) and ginger, I knew it was my cake, and it didn’t disappoint me at all.

sr ito madrid

The prices are a bit higher than the other more “common” sushi restaurant in town, but the atmosphere, the service and the quality of food are totally worthing the upgrade. It is really a nice place for a date, with a friend or a lover, it doesn’t matter, it’s the mood of Sr. Ito.

More info: Sr. Ito.

[Pictures are not the greatest because I didn’t expect to try Sr.Ito that night when I didn’t have my camera and my Sony X Z was off because of the battery]

vila brasil madrid

I’ve never been in Brazil but I really love the taste of Brazilian food as I can state from Brazilian Restaurant I’ve tried so far.

In Milan my favourite was a rodizio restaurant, quite far from the center, close to the airport. The quality of food and especially of quality of thier meats was so excellent and so cheap if compared for example to all the argentinian restaurants.

Last week I had the chance to discover my official brazilian restaurant in Madrid, and of course a rodizio restaurant, it is called Vila Brasil.

vila brasil madrid

I went there for lunch, during the week, when the prices are really great, you have the buffet and seven types of different meats for 13,95€ (only for lunch). On Saturday and Sunday for lunch it’s 17,95€ but with fourteen different types of meat. For dinner you always have the the complete rodizio option (fourteen meats) at 22,95€ during the week and the weekends.

I was not surprised when I discovered that lots of footballers, not only the brazilians, are trusted clients of Vila Brasil. You just enter and see some of the most famous footballer t-shirts signed.

If you don’t know what a rodizio brasileno is I can explain it as a of sort of sward filled with meat that is served right at the table (as in the picture).

In Vila Brasil everyone has as a semaphore card that can be turned on the green side if you want more meat or on the red side if you want to stop, or just have some rest.

The buffet is really great too, lots of salads and a great variety of starters. The typical black beans and white rice from Brazil is the unmissable plate. I thought it was a vegetarian alternative to rodizio but it is not because the soup is made with pork.

As I am a pineapple lover I also tried the rodizio with pineapple, hot pineapple, because it is cooked in the same way as for the meats, but with cinnamon instead of spices.

The brazilian beers which I have never tried before turned to be really great and perfect for me because the taste was not so strong as most of the artisanal beers I know.

Last but not least you can’t leave Vila Brasil without trying one of their caipirinha because the exotic fruits taste can really transport everyone to the Brazilian culture and vibe, a sip of their caipirinha is more effective than a virtual reality pair of glasses.

I’ve tried the mango one, which is my favourite from all the time and it was great, as I think the coconut one which is the preferred in Vila Brazil.

Another thing that really impressed me was the “pan de queso” which is a tiny rounded bread made with special cheese. The consistency is so different the the normal bread and the taste was so good that I can not compared it with any others kind of bread I’ve ever tried.

The desserts are great too, I suggest all the tropical fruits tastes, like the mousse de maracuja, because I think are much more typical than the classic desserts you can find in other restaurants.

If you reserve from the website there is a special -20% discount. You can see also the full menu and prices, more pictures and maybe get the chance to meet Marcelo from Real Madrid.

More info here: Vila Brasil.

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

wetaca madrid menu

wetaca madrid menu

I think the world is divided into two macro categories:

  • people who love to cook and pack their lunch box for the day after;
  • people who are unable to plan and cook for the next day.

I belong to the second category, I am the one that has cooked the lunch box the night before like two or three times in the whole life. The very first first time I cooked my food box it was so good that I ate it on the same night, even if I had dinner before.

When you live like me, day by day, you might have some problems, because the alternatives of the homemade lunch box are awful. Everytime I go out from the office to hunt something that needs to be quick-tasty-cheap, most of the time I only get two alternatives that are cheap-terrible or healthy-expensive, and during the lunchtime hours it is even difficult to get something, all the best restaurants and cafeterias are always full.

The worst options in the end are always: supermarket, hamburger, kebab and so on …Then comes the best options which might turn to be the most expensive, and the difference is relevant because it might cost the double. I am talking about the food delivery. I am a huge fan of this kind of service and I have tried all the different providers, and to me it can’t be considered an everyday solution, I always order when I am in a kind of emergency with no time and too much work to handle that doesn’t give me the possibility to go out.

wetaca madrid menu

 

The food delivery service I have just discovered is called WETACA and in my first week of use seems really the perfect match solution of all my problems.

It is a very simple, and innovative way to answer all my problems, and the customer service is super fast.

The order is placed one week before, with all these well prepared food that can last in the fridge for 7 days. The menu is available on the website and changes every week, thursday is the new order day.

You can find a great variety, fish, meat, pasta, rice, from different traditional cuisine, asian, european and american.

The service and the order on the website were very easy to handle. Deciding what I was going to try and order for the first time was not that quick, because there were a lot of interesting choices, and now that I’ve seen three different weeks menu it seems to me that it’s getting always better, I found my top of mind food that I never cooked at home, like the zucchini spaghetti or the mac&cheese.

On Monday morning this huge box rang my bell because that was my delivery choice.

I mean, how cool is to receive a box instead of a bag, it’s like Christmas. What about the funny quote? I loved it!

The packaging is really easy to be stored in the fridge and when you served it you don’t need to change the place, the black microwave dish is elegant and I loved it.

I can firmly state that all the WETACA food I’ve tried so far were really great, don’t even think that you can compare the supermarket gastronomy with them. Every shrimp and every tacos I ate I do believe was a superior quality food, and with that I mean you’ll make a lot of mmmmmmmmmh noise while eating them, because they were so good and not difficult to digest, because we all know that after lunch comes a full time afternoon in the office.

 

The pad thai for example comes in two separate box and need to be mixed if you want to have a uniform result, because there is a lot of sauce and all your noodle deserve it.

The brownie takes just 30 seconds in the microwave to be ready and it’s the same brownie that we usually order in the hypest american bar and pay three times the WETACA one that let me use the proper word: orgasmatic.

Nothing to add, once you try WETACA you never go back, that’s true, I just did my second order and wait to do the third now that I’ve seen the mac&cheese!

wetaca madrid menu

 

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)

lavaca afterwork madrid

lavaca afterwork madrid

When I heard about the launch of LAVACA AFTERWORK I completely forgot that I knew another LAVACA restaurant where during the Christmas holidays I went with a couple of friends visiting Madrid. At that time I clearly remember I had a great Argentinian meat shared with my friends and a basket of delicious fried aubergines. I mean I am an aubergine fan and I always order them but these were sensational. I don’t know why I didn’t took any picture, probably my phone was dead or I was too hungry.

I learned lately that LAVACA is more than two restaurants, it’s a group of restaurants, and appear to be an historic location for Madrid meat lovers, born as an Argentinian special destination.

There are six LAVACA restaurants in Madrid: LAVACA Castellana (Paseo de la Castellana, 214), LAVACA AZCA (Paseo de la Castellana, 87), LAVACA Arturo Soria (Torrecilla del Puerto, 5), LAVACA Las Rozas (Carretera de La Coruña, km 18,3), LAVACA López de Hoyos (López de Hoyos, 42), LAVACA Rosales (Paseo del Pintor Rosales, 52).

lavaca afterwork madrid

I’ve been at the AFTERWORK of LAVACA López de Hoyos, where the following pictures comes from. The first night and the barra area was completely full, thanks also to the very good music from the resident dj.

The new concept they have just developed is the so called «barra non stop» which means more space for the bar and more time for the typical Spanish «disfrutar» without forgetting the food, the new menu full of special gastronomy excellence lake the Wagyu carpaccio or the famous parrilla. This new concept of «barra non stop» is exclusively available in half of LAVACA restaurants: LAVACA López de Hoyos, LAVACA Castellana and LAVACA Arturo Soria.

lavaca afterwork madrid

I can’t wait be at LAVACA again, because I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant and the bar of course which has also a new cocktail menu. Trust me, when you try their meat, even if just an appetizer like the one in the picture above, you really understand the difference between all the other type of meat.

For more information: LAVACA.

 

 

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!!!
El sitio moncloa

I’ve been very few times to Moncloa so far, I don’t know why, but everytime I realize that it’s not that far as I have Always thought and for sure not that bad, because it’s full of nice places like El Sitio.

I started following El Sitio during last summer, attracted by the handwritten logo and all the tasty pictures they were posting. When on Saturday I was walking around Moncloa looking for a nice quiet place to have lunch and the «El Sitio» logo appear I could not have any doubt. It was the place I’ve always followed, finally in real life and not only on Instagram.

The light comes from all the sides, and the design of the space is modern and warm. I loved the chairs and the chalk graphics all over the place.

You read «para picar» but the food you’ll get it’s a lot for one person, better share different things between friends. You can’t me the «cazuelita» of El Sitio, or the queso one, that you can see in the pictures above. All the people around me were enjoying it and the egg in the middle of it is the perfect surprise, really tasty.

Even if their are famous for the pizza I prefered to try the German dish, with wurstel and potatoes. I have to admit these wurstel are special, you can’t find it at the supermarket. I went completely crazy for the curry one, easily recognizable for its color, super Yellow.

For sure I am going to come back, maybe one evening and try all the missing food, like pizza or crepes.

For more information: El Sitio.

El sitio moncloa El sitio moncloaEl sitio moncloa El sitio moncloa El sitio moncloa

barcelò torre madrid

barcelò torre madrid

Weeks ago I was going to the see an Italian movie in the Cinema close to Plaza de Espana. There was a sort of Italian Film Festival and they were screening «Jeeg Robot D’accaio» that had a tremendous success in Italy.

While walking through the continuation of Gran Via over Plaza de Espana, I discovered this huge building that seems to be a very modern hotel going to open soon.

I have Always loved the restaurants and cocktails bar inside the hotels in Milan, with Bulgari and Diana Sharaton, and here in Madrid too. Only You Atocha is a great example of a innovative concept, or all the Room Mate, Oscar for sure with his Amazing terrace.

All these examples of great hotels have that je-ne-sais-quoi that can differentiate their offer between all the Others.

Barceló Torre de Madrid really strenght it’s uniqueness with an incredible architecture from the outside and a great design on the inside.

The view is reserved at the higher floors for the hotel accommodations and the spa. The cocktail bar, that you can see in these pictures, is on the ground floor, the restaurant named Somos garra is on the first floor, which is even enough to enjoy the view of the Gran Via rising and Plaza de Espana shining through the fountains water.

I loved the atmosphere of the bar and service was perfect. I mean. if you bring me nuts and candies I’ll be in love with you forever.

My cocktail is sin alcohol, don’t remember the name, I was so impressed by the menu design, looking like a Pantone palette, but gold.

More information here: Barcelò Torre de Madrid barcelò torre madrid barcelò torre madrid barcelò torre madrid barcelò torre madridbarcelò torre madrid