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In recent years, Madrid, Spain’s capital, has become an epicenter for global gastronomy, thanks to new restaurants opening that are run by some of the best chefs from a country that accumulates international gastronomic awards and holds a lot of Michelin stars.
Two restaurants—Bibo and Yakitoro—run by renowned chefs Dani García and Alberto Chicote, respectively, showcase the best of Spanish fusion cuisine offered in modern spaces where style and excellent service are essential parts of the culinary experience.
Paseo de la Castellana, 52
Dani García is one of Spain’s youngest chefs with impressive feats. In fact, together with business partners J.M. Toro and siblings Laura and Javier Gutiérrez, he runs the Dani García Group. The Dani García Group includes a Marbella-based restaurant with two Michelin stars, a catering company, a laboratory, a restaurant in Marbella and Madrid’s Bibo.
This locale, centrally located on Paseo de la Castellana street, boasts more than 2,600 square feet and has been decorated by interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán. Rosa-Violán created a bright dining room, reminiscent of the Malaga Fair (the chef is from Malaga), using more than 10,000 light bulbs and placing a hot air balloon over a large round bar, where patrons can also dine.
At Bibo, Andalusian products and recipes coexist in perfect harmony with French, Italian, Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, and the influence of chefs García admires, including Ferran Adrià, Manuel de la Osa and the late Joël Robuchon, is evident.
Bibo’s dishes are elaborate yet simple in presentation. Among favorite meals are the bull tail brioche, Russian salad with fried quail eggs, marinated sea bass and croquettes made from the batter used to fry fish in Andalusia.
I met chef Alberto Chicote at the end of the 1990s while he was at the helm of the kitchen in Madrid’s Nodo. By then, almost 23 years ago, he was celebrated for his fusion cuisine and his daring culinary vision.
At Yakitoro, his most recent gastronomic stake, located on Madrid’s Reina 41 Street, his ideas, concepts and avant-garde instinct come together to create Japanese and Spanish fusion cuisine. Chicote explains, “Yakitoro was born out of a trip to Japan, from which we returned convinced that the traditional yakitori tavern could be adapted to Spanish cuisine. The challenge was to make Spanish recipes in the yakitori style. In short, a way of eating tapas on a skewer, all charcoal-scented and with Spanish flavors.”
At Yakitoro, a play on the words yakitori (a typical Japanese tavern) and toro (Spanish for “bull”), an animal symbolic of Spain. The typical Japanese skewers are cooked on charcoal grills located next to the tables, adding a fun, Spanish touch.
There are many delicious dishes, including the Iberian yakitoros, bluefin tuna skewers on bread, pack choy and gazpacho, yakibokatas (small sandwiches) of lamb and tzatziki or of lobster and crisp vegetables. A visit to Yakitoro should be included in your next trip to Madrid. ■