A lot of people tend to keep it safe with selecting restaurants when they travel either because they enjoy something closer to their comfort zone or because of the language barrier, to me, a genuine smile tends to destroy all barriers – so on our first night in Madrid, we selected Restaurante Mazarino, which was about 15 minutes walk from the hotel.
When we arrived, the staff didn’t speak any English (neither did they have an English menu) – but that actually encouraged us because it meant that only locals came!
With Spain, when you order drinks, make sure you take into account the fact that it’ll already come with some finger foods – the reason for that is an age old law where tapas must be served with drinks to make it less likely for workers to be drunk during lunch. Mazarino’s finger food were some skinned almonds, pate toast and the always delicious Spanish olives!
We wanted something a little lighter for this meal so started off with a chicken salad with white asparagus – the ingredients used were incredibly fresh and just amazingly delicious – a perfect salad to start the meal with.
Ms. Buddha loves seafood and octopus in Spain is always a great choice – the octopus here is a must have, the octopus had an excellent texture that you can only get when the quality is great.
For those who love pickled foods, apart from Olives, one should also try pickled whole artichokes when visiting Spain – that’s because they only use the best quality artichokes to make them – the ones we had here did not disappoint.
Our last dish was a beef tartare which came with some very crunch bread – the quality of the meat was excellent (which is a prerequisite for beef tartare) – but to be honest, by the time we finished – we were almost rolling out of our chairs!
For those who don’t mind language barriers – Mazarino is an excellent place to have great food – make sure you also sit outside so you can enjoy a bit of people watching. We witness a group of 4 elderly gentlemen that got so drunk that one managed to get lost coming back from the bathroom and had to be “rescued” by the waitstaff – who clearly have done the same thing before!