Madrid, Spain

Sala de Despiece – Part 1 – Mesa de Despiece

13th January 2019

    

Last mid-November, my boyfriend and I drove down to Madrid to meet up with some of his family that were visiting. It was an impromptu trip and we were only staying for a night. We drove 5 hours from Biarritz and boy….. It was so WORTH it!

As Jess and I do, we always like to do some food research before any trip and the Food Gods led me to Sala de Despiece. They must’ve been really lookin’ out cos we only had one full day to experience what Madrid had to offer and they sure delivered!

Having been turned away countless times at restaurants in France sans reservations, I now have it ingrained in me to always make reservations when possible. We weren’t driving 5 hours to be turned away or wait for an hour in line, ain’t nobody got time for that!

Sala de Despiece intrigued me cos the space layout resembles a butcher shop and the tapas seemed to be playful, creative dishes that I’ve never seen anywhere else before. The name itself, Sala de Despiece translates to the cutting room. It explains the whole aesthetic here, industrial “butcherism”. In the main room, there is a polyethene bar counter that also serves as a cutting table and shows off their fresh seafood selection. The ceilings and walls are covered in pastel coloured styrofoam boxes that were once used to store fresh produce, emphasizing that the fresh ingredients are placed above us and most importantly, they are king here.

 

The menu here resembles a prep sheet with its ingredients, their origins, weight and method of preparation. What you see, is what you get! I loved how all the ingredients were listed for each dish, which makes it easier to look back and see what we had! 

Almost every dish here is served on a silver tray and topped with their in house butcher paper. Talk about living up to their name! Every. Little. Detail. 

The thing about Sala de Despiece is that you can make reservations but only for seating in their Butcher Room a.k.a Mesa de Despiece. It’s away from the main countertop/bar area and only a door down. I’d recommend booking if you want a guaranteed seating OR there is a big group of you as the Butcher Room seats 12. Keep in mind there is a minimum spend of 35 euros per head in the Butcher Room not including drinks.

If you don’t mind waiting in line or prefer to come during off-peak hours, I would definitely recommend dining in the main bar area, the Tasting Room, which is on a first come, first serve basis. I’ve read that it can take up to an hour to score seats here but if you come during the off-peak hours, you should get seats almost immediately as we did! The energy in this room is off the charts and the interaction with the servers is really fun👌🏼

I had booked 4 seats in the Mesa de Despiece (Butcher Room) for 1 pm and we had 2 hours from there on till we needed to skedaddle for the next group. You share a long table with other guests or if you book the entire room, then good for you, ya filthy animal! Honestly, the Butcher Room looks exactly as it sounds and may I say, a bit creepy haha! The walls are covered with silver padding and the room makes you feel like your time could be up at any time 😅. The silver lining is that the food is really good AND the service here is impeccable.

My boyfriend and I were running late from our 5-hour drive and so that left us with only about an hour left in the Mesa de Despiece. The staff was incredibly friendly about it but simply warned us we had to leave by 3 pm for the next slot of diners. With the little time left, we ordered a bunch of tapas dishes and this is what we got :

First up, the “Rolex” which consisted of translucent pancetta wrapped around an egg yolk, truffles, wine gel and foie gras. The server used a blow torch to slightly cook the pancetta and egg yolk, ever so delicately. My boyfriend loved this dish, it was one of his favourites. This set the bar for the rest of the meal! 

Next, the Chuletón. 4 pieces of thinly sliced strip steak (a loin cut below the backbone which is incredibly tender) were laid in front of us and on one end, a small dollop of Tartufata sauce (which is simply mushrooms, truffles and olive oil) and diced up tomatoes on the other end. Our server demonstrated how to roll it up nicely and then let us have a go at rolling up our own ourselves. It was fun and the meat was so buttery, tender… It was an explosion of flavours!

I love me some Guernica peppers so we got a plate of those! Fried in liquorice salt, you can’t really go wrong with these bad boys 🙂 Fret not, they aren’t spicy!

Octopus tentacle sautéed in diced kalamata olives, bonito flakes, saffron, seaweed and tomato. To be perfectly honest, I can’t really remember this dish (oops!) but the boyfriend gives it a two thumbs up.

Ooooh but this next dish though. Lightly seared red tuna served with tiny “bowls” of purple onions filled up with slightly spicy red peppers and yuzu teriyaki sauce. Wow, this dish was the ISH. The tuna was melt in your mouth goodness, the purple onion + red pepper combo was so flavourful and the yuzu teriyaki just tied up everything nicely. I could eat these all day every day.

The mini sirloin steak servings were cooked to perfection (yes that means blood!) and it was cooked in a molasses sauce. 

We all really enjoyed the broccolini fried in sweet chilli sauce with shichimi spices (a 7 ingredient Japanese chilli pepper). My boyfriend is self-proclaimed to be “allergic” to vegetables but would not say no to vegetables if they were cooked like this hah!

Lastly came our dessert which was dulce de leche and chocolate sauce + berries mixed with custard. The berries come in a small plastic basket and they empty it out on to the tray with the scooped up custard. At the end of his little dessert show prep, the server tops off each custard pile with toasted quinoa puffs. All in all, not bad, but I’d say wait ahead for the ice cream that we had in the main tasting room!

Next week, I’ll post Part 2 where we moved on to the main tasting room to continue our indulgences… Let’s just say these dishes weren’t enough and we wanted MORE!

Stay tuned for next week 🙂


Location: Ponzano 11, 28010, Madrid

Websitehttp://www.saladedespiece.com/en/sala-de-despiece/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Tapas-Bar—Restaurant/Sala-de-Despiece-570215349707132/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saladedespiece/?hl=en

Hours: 

Monday to Thursday:
Mornings from 13:00 pm to 17:00 pm (Kitchen closes at 16:30 pm)
Evenings from 19:30 pm to 00:30 am (Kitchen closes at 00:00 am)
Fridays:
Mornings from 13:00 pm to 17:30 pm (Kitchen closes at 17:00 pm)
Evenings from 19:30 pm to 01:30 am (Kitchen closes at 01:00 am)
Saturdays:
Mornings from 12:30 pm to 17:30 pm (Kitchen closes at 17:00 pm)
Evenings from 19:30 pm to 01:30 am (Kitchen closes at 01:00 am)
Sundays:
Mornings from 12:30 pm to 17:30 pm (Kitchen closes at 17:00 pm)
Evenings from 19:30 pm to 00:30 am (Kitchen closes at 00:00 am)

Tips: 

  • You can make reservations for the Mesa de Despiece (Butcher Room) if you want a confirmed reservation. It is a 35 euros minimum spend per head not including drinks. You can also book the entire room for a minimum spend of 600 euros.
  • If you want to eat in the main tasting room, come early or off-peak Spanish dining hours.

Lili


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