Madrid, Spain

Sala de Despiece – Part 2 – Tasting Room

21st January 2019

Alright, so last week I talked about dining in the Butcher Room (dun dun dun dun! We made it out alive and well fed 😋) a.k.a Mesa de Despiece at Sala de Despiece. All four of us couldn’t get enough of the tapas and decided to wait for some seats next door in the main Tasting Room to continue our road to gluttony! Lucky for us, we didn’t have to wait long! Within minutes, we were able to score seats by the main bar. By this time, it was about 3:15 p.m.

In comparison to the Butcher Room, the ambiance in the main Tasting Room was more fun and vibrant. At this time, the Tasting Room was still in full swing and crowded. The music was cranked up a few notches and we got to interact with more than just one server.

Some dishes need to be mixed, blow torched, or prepped in a certain way and while the servers are doing their part, they make sure to really engage you while preparing or explaining every dish that is presented to you as well. The servers here are friendly, playful and extremely hospitable; they definitely complete the Sala de Despiece experience!

We had 8 dishes in the Mesa de Despiece but they weren’t enough so… Another 12 dishes it was!

First up, a big, beautiful peeled tomato from the Navarra region in Spain. The tomato was juicy, previously brined and generously topped with fried basil, coarse salt and olive oil. 

Ooooh these king prawns from Sanlúcar were down right fresh and addictive! The Sanlúcar king prawns are the only prawns in Spain with a designation of origin and have an official quality brand name, Langostino de Sanlucar (King Prawn of Sanlucar). We could of had these by the tonnes!

Oooof never have I ever eaten eggplant quite like this. These gorgeous eggplants were fried with sardines and an escabeche sauce that made quite the flavour explosion in our mouths! 

These oysters were from Amélie Maison D’Huîtres, France and they were simply delicious. Nothing crazy, just sweet, fleshy, iodine goodness.

These tiny caridean shrimps from Santa Pola are called quisquillas in Spain. Fried shrimp coated in a Tijuana spice blend and maldon salt all wrapped up in paper. I wasn’t a big fan of these but the boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed it.

To be honest, we had mussels but they weren’t very memorable to me. 

If I’m not mistaken, this is a mussel based soup where a tiny vial of sake was poured in right before it was served. There is katsuobushi mayo, yuzu and seaweed incorporated as well. I wasn’t a big fan of this dish either.

On the other hand, we all loved the fried snow peas! The toyomansi sauce was so flavourful and wonderfully citrusy. Toyomansi is a beloved Filipino sauce made from toyo (soya sauce) and kalamansi, their local citrus which is diviiiiiine

Without hesitation, we had to re-order the seared red tuna served with tiny “bowls” of purple onions filled up with slightly spicy red peppers and yuzu teriyaki sauce. If I could sound every mouthful of this it would just be KA-POW! The tuna is so tender and melts in your mouth within seconds. GET THIS!

Our waiter pointed to the ‘Korean truffle’ on the menu and said, “Must get this.” Okay, we were sold. Easy sell hah! When he comes around with his tray, you’ll find a white ball with sesame seeds and such placed in a white stone bowl. He then uses a blow torch to melt away the white stuff which is beef tallow (fat) and continues to scorch the raw beef sirloin in the bowl. Soon after, he places an egg yolk into the bowl and mixes it with the beef. Lastly, he mixes in the remaining pickled vegetable garnishes and voila! You are left to make your own Korean beef truffle burrito with the lettuce pieces laid out on the tray. And yes, it was just as delicious as it was playful!

Our last savoury dish was a skewer of baby squid cooked a la plancha. It was laid next to a ramekin filled with white and colourful sauces resembling a bullseye. The server then tilted the ramekin to slightly spill the sauce on to the white serving tray. The sauces in the ramekin were comprised of saffron, kalamata, katsuobushi, nori and tomato. We totally devoured this last dish and patted our bellies in content.

But before we could head out, we needed to cleanse our palate… With dessert. We re-ordered the custard with dulce de leche + the tiny basket of berries AND the most unassuming homemade ice cream flavour, quinoa ice cream. 

None of us had ever tasted quinoa as an ice cream flavour so we were intrigued! And boy, were we paid handsomely for getting it. It was soooo ridiculously good we had to order another. It was smooth, creamy and tasted so light at the same time. I kid you not, if they sold these in tubs, I’d be the first in line to buy them! Another thing that they do so well, those dang toasted quinoa puffs! Wow, it’s like eating puffy clouds. So good, so good. 

By the time we had finished, it was close to 5:30 p.m. Our servers were still in a great mood and even entertained my request for a group photo! How cool are their butcher aprons? 

If you’re ever in Madrid, don’t miss a visit to Sala de Despiece. Pinchables stamp approved!!



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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