Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Zen Market
Located inside the Real Madrid stadium, Zen Market is the place for dining on some seriously luxurious sushi with a prime view of the afternoon footy.    
Vincci SoMa
Toma
Owned by an American, its brunch is especially popular and thus oversubscribed. However, Toma would also be perfect for a romantic dinner for two, given its low lighting and magnificent view of the Conde Duque cultural centre.
Thai Gardens
This is as authentic a Thai as you'll get in Madrid, and it has both its lush garden and the excellent service to commend it.
Teatriz
Designed by Philippe Starck, both the restaurant and its toilets are a feat in design. The bar is popular for pre- and post-dinner drinks and the food (Italian/Mediterranean) is surprisingly good value for the location.
TAO
Tao is one of the most exclusive sushi and tepanyaki restaurants in the city and is surrounded by luxury hotels, major banks and smart office blocks on the Paseo de la Castellana. Fortunately, the wine list is also comprehensive.
Santceloni
Housed within the 5 star Hesperia, Santceloni offers an unforgettable gastronomic experience. The set menu includes quail's eggs, onion consommé, fennel and black truffle and plenty of Catalan wines help make the list one of the best in the city
Restaurante El Padre
Restaurante El Padre offers international dishes and an impressively sized and selected drinks menu in Madrid’s Salamanca District.
Ramses
The atmosphere and glamorous crowd - as well as the elaborate interior design in an archaeological theme - create high expectations, but unfortunately, the food is the least impressive thing at Ramses.
Ramón Freixa Madrid
A two-Michelin-starred restaurant found within the Hotel Unico, Ramón Freixa Madrid serves artful cuisine with Catalan influences and undeniable flair.
Pan de Lujo
Alberto Chicote provides top quality dining in Madrid's exclusive Salamanca district at a reasonable price.
Ottocento
Ottocento is yet more proof of Checua's rise as the epicentre of all things cool in the city. Expect Italian-Argentine fusion on the menu, but some very questionable cheesy Italian-themed music as a backdrop to your meal.
OTTO Madrid
At once a lounge, terrace, bar and restaurant, OTTO Madrid is a chic place to refuel in the Spanish capital’s fashionable Salamanca district.
Olsen
Ojala
Ojala is all about fun: those who eat downstairs will find themselves perched on cushions in a large sandpit. The waiters are hunky, customers write in chalk on the bathroom walls and everyone tucks into tasty tapas to a clubby soundtrack.
Nina
This restaurant is definitely more Manhattan than Malasaña - though the street it is on is gradually becoming more up-market. The venue attracts a relaxed and affluent crowd who come to enjoy the large selection of Mediterranean dishes on offer.
Nilo
The decor is fun (think animal prints kitsch chandeliers and bowls of champagne) and the Spanish/Mediterranean menu is surprisingly good value; go here to avoid the stuffy atmosphere of some of the more business-dominated establishments.
Nicolas
Fashion for men and women at Nicolas.
Negro de Anglona
A labyrinthine venue with a fascinating history; the tunnel which houses Negro de Anglona was once a passage for adulterous royalty to move around the city undetected. After a delectable glass in the Moët bar, enjoy Italian cuisine downstairs.
Mumbai Massala
This trendy Indian restaurant makes lighter versions of the classics, and is probably one of the few decent Indian restaurants in Europe outside of the UK. Expect a Bollywood feel and a decent after-dinner bar, all with a resolutely Indian touch.
Montana
Delicious food as beautifully presented as the clientele. Many of the fresh ingredients come from the owners' farm just outside Toledo, and although the cuisine borrows Italian and Oriental influences, ingredients are genuinely Spanish.
Midnight Rose
A thrill for both the eyes and the tastebuds, surprising starters at the Midnight Rose include 'oreo-biscuit' appetisers actually made of black olives and parmesan. Other dishes on the menu include sushi; popular with the fashionista crowd.
Matilda
The most feminine restaurant in Madrid, Matilda is decorated with Robert Garver photos and fresh aromatic flowers on every table. A fusion menu has spicy Cajun sirloin steak (solomillo) and an exquisite coconut shrimp dish.
Mama Campo
Found in the Plaza de Olavide area, Mama Campo encompasses a restaurant, a cantina, a shop and a space devoted to encouraging kids to eat healthily.
Madrilia
Madrilia provides high-quality Italian cuisine suitable for either a light lunch or a romantic dinner. Any of the pasta from the mains are recommended, with the chef particularly noted for the magret duck tagliatelle with vegetables.
Luna Mulata
A sophisticated, multi-use space. Head chef Inés Montiel has gone for fresh and imaginative creations, such as pineapple shrimp rolls or duck magret with mango.
Lhardy
Super luxurious piece of old-school elegance. On the ground floor and bar area, traditional tapas are served, and the second floor houses an elegant dining room with chandeliers, mirrored walls, antique display cases and 17th century oil paintings.
Le Marquis
The food may be so-so, but the decor sets Le Marquis apart - nowhere else in Madrid will you find a chair trussed up in a corset. Fetishism needs darkness to thrive, so definitely a dinner-only option.
Le Garage
Set in what was previously a car park, the interior is now reminiscent of a New York loft. The cuisine is a curious mix of Japanese and other dishes such as langoustines flambéed in cognac.
Le Dragon
A menu crammed with traditional Chinese favourites prepared in a lighter way, and beautiful interior design adherent to feng shui. A beautiful place worthy of the attention of Salamanca's beautiful people.
Laydown
Hake steaks marinated in lime juice or succulent ribbon fish go down perfectly between sips of an amazing list of stimulating cocktails. Look out for troupes of belly dancers who come out on certain Las Mil y Una Noches theme nights.
Larios Cafe
Cuban restaurant, bar, club and lounge rolled into one, with ultrachic, New-York style furnishings, Larios Cafe is a great place to sip a mojito any time of the day.
La Viuda Blanca
The vibe here is relaxed; informal waitresses crack jokes whilst still providing a punctual service. A light lunch menu offers three courses of small dishes such as breadfruit stuffed with goats' cheese.
La Tasquita de Enfrente
Chef Juanjo López’s La Tasquita de Enfrente is a popular restaurant in the Malasaña district offering contemporary Spanish cuisine.
La Piazzetta
La Piazetta and La Dolce Piazetta are two new top-notch Italian eateries situated amidst the perennial buzz of the Plaza Chueca. One is a smart restaurant; the other caters to the sweet tooth.
La Musa
The first of Madrid's restaurants to make bare, red-brick decor a vanguard fashion statement, replacing the wine tavern classics. Try the charcoal-flavoured partridge with crispy pig's ears.
La Mordida
Stuffed with trinkets harking to Mexico at La Mordida, the chef's collection of street fighting masks sit proudly on display along the downstairs stairwell. Traditional cocktails are prepared by expert waitresses and food is very reasonably priced.
La Isla del Tesoro
Vegetarian house specials such as boletus mushroom raviolis or mojito sorbet are not to be missed. An amole wine list includes many organic labels and some surprising gems, such as a 2000 Barranc dels Closos from Priorat.
La Finca de Susana
With a wonderfully cheap lunch menu, speedy service and elegant surroundings, the team behind La Finca de Susana have hit on a winning formula. Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere is buzzing - and a short wait for a table is common.
La Chantarella
Inventive combinations such as couscous with foie gras or a surprising egg dish cooked with Emmental cheese make this one of the city's favourite eateries.

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