La Gabinoteca, Madrid

Posted on January 30, 2010


Good restaurants in Madrid are difficult to find. It’s not because they are not there, it’s just because you need to know where they are. Now that I had a few suggestions to try, I thought I’d better start so yesterday I went for lunch at La Gabinoteca.

The restaurant is modern and has a funky interior (the table for two next to us were seated on a cable car chair). There are bar stools and high tables too. We sat in a cove for two where I had a great view of the open kitchen and all the dishes that were being served. Presentation is certainly innovative and it was fun guessing what each things was (I failed miserably).

The menu is full of creative small plates, and are perfect to share. We had:

Autumn roll

  • Two croquettas which were nice but I’ve had better.
  • Salmorejo which is a tomato based cold soup, denser than a gazpacho
  • Autumn roll – a good variation of a spring roll that was meat filled with a tomato sauce.
  • Creamed fois gras with a sweet layer of sauce that was burnt in a creme brulee-esque way. This was absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend it (even if you are French and used to good fois gras, this should be tried).

  • Carne rojo

    Monkfish hamburger which was served like MacDonald’s in a polystyrene box. Actually I prefer MacDonald’s Fillet-of-fish!

  • Steak – carne rojo, which was beautifully done.

And for dessert:

  • My boyfriend had a chocolate fondue with fruit which he loved but I found the chocolate a bit sweet (I prefer bitter chocolate).
  • I had apple pie but it was an inside out, ripped apart apple pie so in a tall glass there was crunchy pasty, topped with pureed apples, vanilla ice-cream, think slices of fresh apple and dulce de lecha. I am drooling just thinking about it and I am not normally a huge dessert person.

The service at Gabinoteca is almost comical. They were lovely but not the most efficient.  There aren’t reservations in the evening, only at lunchtime. Also there is no menu del dia. Most plates are around the 5euro mark. We spent 55 euros for three good courses and a couple of drinks each. Upstairs is  no smoking.

The verdict: no wonder it was a runner up in the El Mundo Metropoli awards. The food is generally really good and I will go back to try some more dishes. If you go, please post suggestions in the comments, thanks!

La Gabinoteca:  Calle de Fernández de la Hoz 53, 28003 Madrid. +34 913 991 500.