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.

When you think about the US and their street food culture, the hot dog is definitely the king. This article is all about hot dog, but a completely personal style, the Paper Boy hot dogs have their own unique concept and taste.

For sure we are talking about the best hot dogs in Madrid, no doubt, and the newly opened restaurant in calle Luchana is true love.

Because thanks to Alfonso Bortone, PaperBoy founder also known as the “chef perrocalentero” we are talking about a hotdog revolution and Chamberi is the perfect place barrio to spread the perrito culture.

Why should we eat these delicious hot dogs standing and wasting toppings on our shoes when there is a nice restaurant with affordable prices ready to receive us?

Moreover the menu and the concept inspired by the famous paperboy guy is so nice. Basically when you chose your hot dog you are choosing a world newspaper, so that the toppings are inspired by each food culture.

I has for example a “Le Parisian” with goat cheese and caramelized onion with a special green mustard sauce on, it was delicious.

Not to mention the “El Caribe” with pulled pork, mango chutney and platano chips.

Doesn’t it look delicious?

Trust us: it is delicious.

You can choose the newspaper and the toppings are already matched and then chose how your meat should be, not like hamburgers that you just decide how they should be cooked, in Paperboy hot  dogs you can choose between several types of wurstel, from the classic Frankfurt (pork), to the more spicy Bratwurst (white pork), than you also have the beef or chicken option and for sure the vegetarian alternative with a tofu wurstel.

The wurstel come in two sizes, the normal and a bigger one when you are more than hungry.

All the hot dogs comes with delicious crispy fries that you can also personalize with different toppings.

While waiting for your tasty hotdog you can try a venezuelan treat, if you down know them yet, the tequenos are roll usually filled with typical cheese, the perfect starter to share and discover more about the Paperboy’s founder origins.

We also tried the chocolate cake, and I have dreaming about that incredibly delicious meal for days, like literally waking up craving for one more bite to that delicious cake.

I guess I will order it on Deliveroo when I’ll be too lazy for leaving my cozy home.

And don’t forget to leave a post it on the wall, look at mine, perfectly expressing my experience at Paperboy hot dogs.

paperboy hot dogs

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.

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.

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.

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

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)

 

 

When I see a designer, an architect or a chef that creates a dress, a building or a plate inspired by work of art from a famous or even an unknown artists I am really impressed.

A chef is an artist and doesn’t need to be inspired by painters or sculptors, everything he does is magic, combining food in new ways is always a work of art.

But there are some rare and unique occasion where the two disciplines can merge and give birth to a really special art menu.

This is the story of two young chefs that almost one and half year ago opened a restaurant in one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world, I am talking about the restaurant Arzabal and the Reina Sofia Museum, in Madrid of course.

The name Arzabal should sound famous because the Arzabal Museo history might be recent, but the Álvaro Castellanos and Iván Morales work ,as owners and chefs, is known from the Arzabal tavern in Retiro since 2009.

They have always worked with attention to details and creativity in all the possible senses, putting the client experience always at the center of the research.

Having a restaurant inside a Museum can be challenging sometimes but can also offer unique opportunities, like as the title of this blog post have spoilered a bit, a restaurant like Arzabal Museo can offer a unique menu and an exclusive visit to the closed Reina Sofia museum for a really once in a lifetime dinner.

Arzabal does Picasso from the 4th of April until the closing date (5th of September 2017) of the Reina Sofia exhibition dedicated to Pablo Picasso called “Pity and Terror, Picasso’s Path to Guernica”.

How Álvaro and Iván are doing Picasso?

Well, there are paintings that really seem to be perfect as food reinterpretations and there Pisacco is not easy, he is not an impressionist with fluid colours and he’s not Giuseppe Arcimboldo with a blaze of fruits.

There arere painting, like the Guernica, so deep and so dark such a strong political message and and lots of restlessness, that transforming them into something eatable is taught challenge.

But Picasso’s life have been a lot things, a lot of places, colours and stories so that the Arzabal team was able to develop two special offers dedicated to mr Pablo P.

Two offers for all the wallets, one on a daily basis, 32 euro and an easy menu that doesn’t need to be reserved (drinks excluded), and a second one with a special tour of the exhibition when the museum is closed and for more than 13 courses at 185 euro.

Lots of Pablo Picasso obsessions have been transformed by the Arzabal duo into an eatable experiences. For example his passion for horns and bulls have been reinterpreted with a very typical spanish speciality: the robo de toro.

Same thing on the drinking side, the wines can be for example from Malaga, where Picasso was born, of from France where he spent most of his life.

It’s really a matter of a unique experience because the exhibition with 150 exclusive pieces from all over the world is going to be a powerful message as the title states, and I guess walking along the rooms in a very tiny group of 20 people when the museum is closed will be hit the visitors with stronger feelings about Picasso state of mind, how he perceived the world and most of all how he ended up painting a masterpiece like the Guernica.

The art section of Madridiana has a quote on the top of it and it’s from Picasso, so you can just imagine how excited we can be about the exhibition and even more about these two menus, it is really like a once in a lifetime opportunity, never happen to me living in London or Milan, or travelling to Paris. A lot of restaurants that are connected with famous museums are inspired and might have dedicated menus to an artist or to an exhibition but the Arzabal initiative is something different and comes in two alternatives, one opened everyday for everyone, one for few people (only 20 seats every dinner) that needs to be reserved.

arzabal does picasso

Probably each of the 13 courses will let tablemates discover something new about Picasso, something that Álvaro Castellanos and Iván Morales have seen browsing between hundreds of paintings and thousands of lines about his story.

Hearing them talking about Picasso is fascinating, because it really seem that they know him, talking like if they really understand his feelings. It’s like the work of a curator, but instead of collecting and organizing works of art, the two chefs are organizing a special menu.

For more information and reservation: Arzabal Museo.

Risotto is my dish. It’s my favourite and the one I like to cook to my loved once.

I can change the recipe everytime and add new ingredients, but the final results will be as good as the previous and as the following.

Risotto it’s not a complex recipe, but it’s something you need to take care for the whole cooking journey.

As all the recipe everything starts with the ingredients, fish or meat, vegetables …

Usually if we consider those ingredients as the toppings or the flavour, there are 6 basic ingredients that could never miss:

  • Rice arborio
  • Soffritto with scallion (it is much better than onion and Carlo Cracco the Italian master Michelin chef wrote a book about it)
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Broth
  • Wine.

This is the first time take the wine out of my risotto for experimenting a bit.

I decided to try the  Tanker Sauna Session from the last delivery of Hop in The Box, the craft beer club we wrote about in this article.

I choose the lightest beer, because I wanted to cook fish, but I think it might be awesome also to try the darkest beer with some meat or sausage for example.

The March box from Hop in The Box, that I decided to call “Hop(e) in The Box” because every month you’re waiting for something special, was about Estonian beer.

I have a serious problem with quantities, I know that this is really unprofessional but for the rice, cooking for example for two, I always see the level of the rice bag and that’s eat.

I think the best way to find the right unit of measure is always to try, every time you change an ingredients it might require more parmesan cheese at the end or more time to cook.

Just try it, always, many times.

For the beer it was easy I used it all, one bottle for two people, but you can put more or less, depends on the tastes.

This recipe has three main ingredients: prawns, zucchini and beer. This are the three main flavours you will perceive eating this risotto recipe.

Let’s start from the beginning!

You need two pans and one pot. In the pot you have the broth and in the first pan the risotto cooking and in the second the prawns.

Pescado Risotto with Hop In The Box beer

Cut the scallion for the two pans, you’ll need two different soffritto, add a portion of oil and a portion of butter. When the scallion is becoming brown you put the zucchini in rice pot and the prawns in the other one. When the zucchini are getting cooked, after 10 minutes add the rice.

After 5 minutes you start with the bottle of beer in both pans, half for the prawns and half for the rice.

hop in the box espana

When the rice has absorbed all the beer you start adding the broth, but not all together, the risotto is cooking slowly, mixing it constantly.

Every time you see the broth completely absorbed you can add more until you taste the rice is cooked.

In the meantime the prawns are slowly cooking, I like to add Italian tomato concentrate (Mutti) that gives a special taste to the cooking water that just before the end of the risotto cooking will be added in the risotto pan.

Pescado Risotto with Hop In The Box beer

And that’s eat, when rice is almost ready do this trick with the prawns water that will add a more fish flavour to the rice and start cleaning the prawns.

It’s my first written recipe so be kind, and for any doubts don’t be afraid to write me, I’ll be happy to help :)

Risotto pescado beer

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.