Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Hakkasan
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.
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.
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.
Kabuki
Kabuki is where Japanese and Mediterranean culinary traditions come together with come seriously exciting Spanish styled sushi…
Vincci SoMa
Cluny
Just off the thronging Plaza Santa Ana, this understated tasca has put the spice in Spanish cuisine. Sample the edible flowers salad with mushrooms and vanilla dressing or the succulent and tasty Basque Kokotxas (hake steaks).
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.
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.
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.
Pan de Lujo
Alberto Chicote provides top quality dining in Madrid's exclusive Salamanca district at a reasonable price.
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.
19 Sushi Bar
Despite its location, Madrid abounds in excellent fish, and 19 Sushi Bar is no exception. In addition, this stylish restaurant is just minutes from the bustle of Gran Vìa...
Dassa Bassa
This stylish, vaulted white-brick basement restaurant is popular with models, aspiring actors and general jet-setters.
La Broche
A disciple of Ferran Adrià, Arola is one of Madrid's few chefs to elevate the restaurant business to the status of creative art. Two Michelin-starred La Broche will leave your senses heightened, particularly with its 10-dish taster menu.
Don Pelayo
Both the décor and the dishes on the menu deceptively make this restaurant appear run-of-the-mill. But Don Pelayo's secret is the twist it gives to Spanish classics: potato croquettes combined with cocido broth, for example.
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.
Iroco
There's nothing particularly marking out this restaurant from the rest; nonetheless, it has become the place to be seen, and is therefore popular.
Brasserie de Lista
Popular with business people at lunch time and more intimate for evening pintxos, this bistro's specials are grilled meats and oven-roasted fish, with a good selection of wines and beers to accompany both meat and fish. French slant.
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.    
El Jardin Secreto
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
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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