¡ GOOD GRIFO !
Tapping into Madrid’s finest watering holes Cafetería HD
Simon Hunter tries out a new gourmet Asian take-away
ell, the first thing to mention here is the décor. The walls need a good clean—there are red wine splashes here and there—and there’s an ominous damp patch in one corner. Plus it smells of cats and it really could do with a fresh coat of paint. But none of that has anything to do with Gingerboy, as it’s a take-away restaurant and we’re sampling its amazing food in my dingy old flat. In contrast, the set-up in this new venture is really rather swish. A small waiting area with a counter looks through a glass window into the kitchen, where a team of chefs toils at breakneck pace over red-hot woks and steaming saucepans.
Good to go The food is Asian fusion, the menu featuring a number of classics, such as Pad Thai ( 9.50), green curry ( 9.95) and chicken satay ( 5.95), as well as a few surprises, such as the gazpacho Thai ( 4.95), lamb hamburger ( 10.95) and fish and chips ( 14.95)—the latter dish is a mix of crunchy battered fish with tartare sauce. We opt for the spicy tom yam soup ( 6.95), with langoustines, ginger and lime, and Vietnamese spring rolls ( 5.95) to start. The flavour of the soup is fantastic, although there are a few very hard veg pieces that are best left unchewed. The same can be said of the spring rolls,
What to drink this month
Albariño is by far the most famous and popular Spanish white, both at home and abroad. The grape after which the wine is named is native to northwestern Iberia, principally grown in Galicia and Portugal. Round there the climate, vastly different from other major regions in Spain, is Atlantic, where rain, wind, mild summers and cold winters with occasional frosts are the order of the day. It’s a hostile environment for grapes, which raises the price of a wine already in high demand. However, the hilly geography creates myriad micro-
which looked great, and had a soft outer layer, but were pretty tough to bite through. The overall impression was very positive, though, and was helped along by the little red chillies in the soup and the tangy sauce that came with the spring rolls. For our mains, we opted for the Pad Thai, which was out of this world—even better than some I’ve tried in Thailand. The green curry was also superb, and utterly addictive. The jasmin rice it came with ( 2.50) was also very well cooked and delicately fragrant.
Cold fusion At just under 40 (which includes a Singha beer I had while I waited for my order), it’s not a cheap option. But the authenticity of the food itself makes it well worthwhile— none of your arroz tres delicias rubbish here. Another plus point is the cute little containers the food comes in—just like the ones you see in American movies. Although after my 20-minute metro ride, the food did need a good reheat. Another bonus is that if you live in Chamberí, Salamanca, Chueca or Malasaña, they’ll bring it to you free. If you live a little further out, there’s a 2.95 delivery charge. We’ll definitely be calling Gingerboy again—although the cost will mean it’s a luxury rather than a regular option. I kind of hope it opens a restaurant soon, too—not least so that the chefs can see the faces of the diners as they get stuck in to some of the best Asian food Madrid has to offer.
Gingerboy, C/Murillo, 1, Plaza Olavide (Metro: Iglesia). Tel: 91 594 31 94. www.gingerboy.es. Tue-Sat 1-4pm, 8pm-midnight; Sun 1-4pm, 8-11pm.
Where? C/Guzmán el Bueno, 67 (Metro: Islas Filipinas). Tel: 91 544 23 82. Facebook: Cafetería HD When? Mon-Thur 9am12.30am; Fri-Sat 10am2am; Sun 10am-12.30am. What? Think of Cafetería HD like a cross between a 50s diner, a romantic French bistro, and a hamburger joint. Artsy blackand-white photos of customers adorn the walls, as do antique sunburst mirrors and a flatscreen TV (where old movies play, of course). We love the vintage touches, like the old malt machine and artfully battered tins of Phoscao cookies. People? Attractive 20-,30-, and 40-somethings sit on the barstools or at the intimate tables, which are the typical size of those in Parisian cafés. Read: This is an ideal place for a date. Drinks? Splurge on a gin and tonic made with Martin Miller’s gin and flavoured with liquorice and cinnamon ( 8.50) or one made with Brockmans and raspberries ( 9.50). Quality whiskies, bourbons, and rums are also highlighted on the drink menu. Beer connoisseurs will enjoy the Warsteiner beer ( 2.60) and the König Ludwig Weissbier ( 3). Food? Hamburgers are the show-stopper here. You can get a traditional one (150 grams of meat) for 6.80. Top it with tomato, lettuce, onion, mayo, and Heinz ketchup. Perhaps you’ll want some fried yuca ( 2.50) to go with it. Or, throw caution to the wind and try one of the Hamburguesas World, like the mexicana, with rocket, guacamole, chipotle mayonnaise, and mozzarella ( 9.70). For dessert, a hearty waffle ( 5) will satisfy. Anything else? Though the origins of fusion cuisine (eg Mexican-style hamburgers, Thai pizza, sushi rolls with Spam, chocolate-banana egg rolls, and Indian tapas) are hotly debated, many think the most influential mixing of cuisines started in the 1970s, when chefs started to seriously pair French and Asian elements. Those that disregard the movement are wont to call it “confusion cuisine”. ■ MOLLY LORI
Bodegas Terras Gauda 2009 O Rosal DO: Rias Baixas. Steel tank fermentation. ~85 per cent Albariño, ~15 per cent Caiño Blanco. 12.5 per cent ABV. Available from Bodega Santa Cecilia (www.santacecilia.es): €12.10
climates that produce distinctive wines of notable quality. This month we’ve chosen a producer with a reputation for excellence. Appearance A light gold, straw-coloured wine that promises a glass both refreshing and flavourful. Aroma A rich bouquet of apples, pears, peaches, green plums and lemon zest mixed with fresh herbs like dill and parsley. All elements are well blended but this is not an overly aromatic wine. Its best attributes are tasted. Taste Unlike with some other wines, you may note the texture of this medium-bodied white before any flavour. It’s slightly viscous, coating your mouth with a rounded cocktail of fruit and acidity. Immediately after, you taste those apples you smelt, both tart green and sweet cooking. There’s also ripe pear along with barely ripe peach, and the tart citrus zest. The soil of O Rosal is mostly alluvial, so the mineral content is not as high as other Albariños, though the Caiño blanco grape, grown in slate, contributes some. The vineyard grows most of its own grapes and looks for high sugar levels, allowing them to leave off tempering the acid of the fruit,
resulting in a bright, refreshing acidity. Try it with Albariño is excellent on its own, but really shines with food. Its acidity means it can pair with many cheeses in a way that most reds cannot. It mixes beautifully with a salty cured cheese like Manchego as well as the freshness of chevre. But, like the region, Albariño is known for excelling with fish. The combination is extraordinary, to the point that a glass will even take your average tuna melt to another level. It is perfect with many roasted and grilled fish, but one of the most perfect pairings is with sushi. Something about the wine’s combined fruit, acid, herb, and mineral qualities and the combination of rice, fish, and soy sauce makes it simply thrilling to experience. Final thoughts If you’re in Spain and like white wine, you’ve got to drink albariño. What’s more, you’ve got to try different ones to experience the multitude of possibilities available from a single varietal in such a small region. In Terras Gauda, an estate still using manual harvesting techniques and producing a host of great wines, you’ve got the perfect place to start. ■ THOMAS SPAETH
Oriental tea house Arabic cuisine and cakes –Delicious Couscous– Tues-Sat, evenings: belly dancing Classes: belly dancing Arabic percussion –Poetry circle– c/Martín de los Heros, 28. Tel: 91 559 57 85
VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT WHOLE FOOD
Ventura de la Vega, 4 (In front of “las Cortes”) Tel: 91 429 50 92 Tres Cruces, 4 (Metro: Sol) Tel: 91 521 87 21
(Yes, this ad is upside down on purpose!M)
Indian Restaurant and Takeaway
T H E E N G L I S H - L A N G U A G E M O N T H LY
W W W. I N M A D R I D . C O M
c/ de la Cruz 13. Metro Sol/Sevilla Tel: 91 522 35 95 / 626 37 45 99
c/Marqués de Cubas 6. Metro Banco de España (Cibeles) Tel: 91 531 50 59 / 626 37 45 99
Parking: 2 hours free
www.restaurantetaj.com J U LY 2 0 1 0