Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Indochina
Mixing recipes from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, dishes include house specials, oxtail stew with bitter hot sauce, Thai noodle pasta with almonds and shrimp, and green Papaya salad drizzled with cashew sauce.
Casa Lucio
Casa Lucio has garnered a reputation for outstanding Spanish cuisine - even prompting the poet Rabal to pen a ditty about its scrambled eggs! Try the salmorejo (a thick gazpacho with grated ham) followed by a bonito (barely seared, delicate tuna).
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.
Las Carboneras
Las Carboneras is run by three dancers who aim to showcase young, up-and-coming performers, fusing avant-garde style with the best of today's flamenco.
Citra
The house specials are jacket artichoke soup; salmon slices with vanilla sauce; grilled wood pigeon with sheep cheese (idiazabal); and gnocchi and radish sauce. The most interesting thing is the way in which savoury is mixed with sweet...
Diurno
Painfully trendy and modern, Diurno has a diverse offering ranging from salad and a sandwich to a DVD rental or tub of Ben & Jerry's.
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.
The Westin Palace
The Westin Palace is a landmark in Madrid worth seeing even if you aren't lucky enough to stay there, thanks to its ornate lobby and glass atrium. The restaurant, Asia Gallery, serves what is considered some of the finest oriental food in the city.
Entre Suspiro Y Suspiro
The menu offers expertly prepared fish dishes such as salted cod (bacalhao) or grouper (mero) as well as seasonal mushroom dishes and spicy tiger prawns. Try the house vuelve a la vida (back to life) which mixes all of the above in chilli sauce.
Cafe Central
A must for jazz lovers, Cafe Central is in an area serried with bars, restaurants and other jazz clubs (Cafe Jazz Populart). Stop by for a mix of international and homegrown talent.
Suite Prado
This self-catering hotel offers very bright and large suites with separate white marble bathrooms, lounge area and kitchenette. Each has an independent dining room, sofa beds and large, comfortable armchairs.
Club Hípico
A family company with extensive experience in everything related to horseriding and stabling.
Chi Spa
One of Madrid's chicest spas, Chi opened in 2003 to much acclaim. This small and welcoming spa is in the heart of Salamanca, and, as you can guess from the name, has an Oriental theme.
Isolée
Europa Decó
It doesn't get much more exotic than this: African masks on the walls, totem poles from Papua New Guinea, table mats and plush seats upholstered with Vicuna skin resembling a smooth crocodile texture. Fish is definitely the speciality.
Café Oliver
Cafe Oliver serves straight Italian, Moroccan, French and Spanish dishes without being too experimental and losing simple flavours. Main courses offer juicy entrecote steaks with Sant Marceliny sauce and a selection of wholesome salads.
Corral de la Morería
Billed as one of the world's best flamenco shows, Corral de la Moreria features in the New York Times' '1000 places to see before you die.' Choose between dining or just a drink.
Club MUSÉE
Forget what you think you know about city-centre clubbing and turn your nocturnal attentions to Club MUSÉE, arguably the hippest place to open in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Like, ever.
José Alfredo
This bar is often busy, but the people to be seen make up for that - whether they're the pierced and tattooed yet friendly waiting staff or the occasional Almodóvar starlet...
Ananda
A summer hotspot, this super-trendy club is the venue of choice for Madrid's international glitterati who come to take advantage of the beautifully decorated outside terrace.
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.
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.
Acquafredda
Owned by Madrid's principal Italian restaurateur, Ignazi Deias, Acquafredda is a 'multiespacios' which offers the chance for both eat-in, take-away, and plain-and-simple pleasurable browsing. Bookings are a must at dinner.
Spa Relajarse
Intimate little spa wonderfully decorated and positioned in the middle of Madrid, perfect to detox and relax.
Club de Campo Villa de Madrid
Designed by Seve Ballesteros and Javier Arana and considered to be one of the best golf courses in Spain, Club De Campo offers amazing views of the Royal Palace from its high perch on the western outskirts of Madrid.
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.
Entre Tapas Y Vinos
Modern minimalist interiors and seating arrangements encourage a quick meal. The lunch and dinner menus consist of combination tapas, toasted baguettes and more substantial fish and meat dishes.
Al Norte
A mouthwatering a la carte menu celebrates Northern Spanish cuisine with flair - there is even a romantic menu for couples and highbrow debating sessions known as ‰ÛÏtertulias‰Û on Monday nights.
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.

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