According to the Chinese horoscope, this February 12 begins the Year of the Golden Ox, 4719 of the Chinese calendar. The most important festival on the calendar of this community was celebrated in style in the Madrid neighborhood of Usera, the chinatown largest in Europe, where a good part of the 40,000 residents of Chinese origin that the city of Madrid has. This year all the festivities will be virtual, but this does not affect the food.
Although in Spain we have enjoyed Chinese-style restaurants for decades, it is in recent years when the large Chinese community, which now has a second generation, has opened premises designed more for its own consumption than for ours, something that we must celebrate, as these restaurants offer us the possibility of trying their authentic cuisine.
These restaurants, known in popular slang as “Chinese Chinese”, They are usually cheap and, although sometimes it is difficult to order the order (there are establishments where the menu is not even translated, or is poorly translated), they are the best we have in Madrid. We have also included in this list some Veteran haute Chinese cuisine restaurants, more accessible for the uninitiated (but also considerably more expensive).
Happy Year of the Golden Ox
The New Year in China is normally celebrated with family gatherings around food, especially since the celebrations with firecrackers were prohibited in the big cities. In rural towns or in areas located on the outskirts of urban areas this tradition continues, and it is still customary to use gunpowder as a center for celebration.
In both areas, in order to celebrate the new year, it is traditional to hang red lanterns, burning incense and doing recreational activities aimed primarily at asking for luck for the year that begins. The color red is everywhere and in all restaurants hang paper lanterns, red lanterns and motifs that remember the beginning of the new year.
After the celebration or family reunion, the tradition is to go home to sleep, without having much of a party. After all, the celebrations last a few days in which the family is visited, gifts are given and it is eaten almost continuously. In case you dare to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Madrid City Council has once again organized some virtual activities this year, but there is no better plan than visiting one of these restaurants.
1. The Bund
El Bund Restaurant is one of the best restaurants to meet and enjoy authentic traditional Cantonese, Shanghai and Sichuan cuisine in an elegant setting. Located in the Arturo Soria area, near the Chinese Embassy, this restaurant is also famous for its fresh pasta dishes prepared at the moment and for the quality of its dim sums.
Calle de Arturo Baldasano, 22. Telephone: 911 15 18 13
More information | The bund
2. Guo Rong
In the heart of the Usera neighborhood we find this gigantic restaurant that could well be in Beijing itself. Although in his huge letter there is everything, it is the ideal place to try in Madrid the fish and shellfish Chinese style, one of the best kept secrets of the gastronomy of this country that we have only recently been able to taste in Spain.
They are wonderful spicy periwinkles and any seafood or fish in sauce. Among the Chinese community the restaurant is famous for its shrimp stuffed churros, that although it is not in our opinion the best they have, it is mandatory to try.
It should also be noted that it’s a very cheap restaurant. Serve as proof that the cans of Mahou are worth only a euro and a half.
Calle de Dolores Barranco, 52. Telephone: 917 92 32 46
This spacious restaurant with two rooms is located on Reina Mercedes street and offers a wide variety of menus and a quality menu throughout the year. Although they also have a menu for a European Chinese restaurant, with nods to other Asian cultures and it is possible to have regular neighborhood Chinese dishes, If you want to eat Chinese dishes that the Chinese eat, it is also an excellent option. That is why his biggest clientele comes from his country.
In this time of celebration, they have two tasting / celebration menus, one for the end of the year and one for the new year, which is worth trying. For about 30 euros per person, a succession of dishes from Sichuan cuisine, such as jellyfish salad, crawfish in spicy sauce, lacquered duck or sea cucumber soup. The reserves of these Menus are for group tables, from eight people.
Calle Reina Mercedes, 22. Telephone: 915 36 35 50
More information | Furusato restaurant
4. Good Taste
The Buen Gusto restaurant, on Santa María de la Cabeza street, is well known in Madrid for its quality and its traditional dishes. With a somewhat old-fashioned decoration, its menu with photos of the dishes it offers and a very Chinese atmosphere, it is one of the restaurants preferred by both the Chinese in Madrid and the locals.
All who come to test their dishes with fish and seafood, mushrooms, Chinese noodles, the classic shark fin soup and other preparations they are usually very happy with the result. They also prepare your dishes to go if you order. Another option to enjoy a traditional Chinese restaurant.
* Paseo de Santa María de la Cabeza, 60. Telephone: 914 67 69 48
More information | Good Taste Restaurant
5. Lafu House
I already told you some time ago about the Casa Lafu restaurant and its fantastic hot pot or HuoGuo, in which diners try to cook different foods in one of its two compartments, one very spicy and the other less. The quality of its products, a place that is always full and a setting reminiscent of Shanghai or Shichuan venues spread over two large rooms, it is an excellent option to discover an authentic Chinese cuisine and loaded with flavor.
Calle de la Flor Baja, 1. Telephone: 652 73 49 34
More information | Lafu House
6. Don Lay
Don Lay is the most expensive restaurant on this list, but he serves the best roast duck from the city. Recently reopened in a new location, near Avenida de América, the establishment is destined to be the benchmark for Chinese haute cuisine in Madrid.
They tell wonders of their dim sum, its aubergines and fish dishes, which we will surely talk about in a future chronicle.
On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, the restaurant also has some special dishes, such as turbot, which are served with their sautéed loins accompanied by vegetables, in addition to their skin and fried bones. This special menu will be available until February 8.
Calle de Castelló, 117. Telephone: 910 91 63 19.
More information | Don Lay Restaurant
7. Jin Jin
On San Bernardino Street, in the Malasaña neighborhood, this Chinese restaurant called JinJin is one of those recommended by connoisseurs of traditional Chinese cuisine, if you want to taste Chinese cuisine “authentic“Although it also has Chinese cuisine menu for Spaniards, the attraction of this restaurant is to go and try its Chinese cuisine for Chinese, such as duck tongues, roasted aubergines or their dishes of tofu with ancient egg among many other possibilities. Another of its advantages is its price, which is very cheap for a restaurant in Madrid.
Calle de San Bernardino, 1. Telephone: 915 47 34 21
8. Hui fon
Another of the Chinese restaurants that is worth visiting in Madrid is Hui Fon, where we find good fish and seafood dishes, or the traditional Pekingese duck, served on wafers crepes with Hoisin sauce, bean sprouts and vegetables. The scallops with snow peas or the seafood with ginger are also delicious. Although it also has a menu adapted to European tastes, most of its customers lean towards traditional Chinese dishes.
Calle Maestro Arbos, 3. Telephone: 915398108
More information | Hui Fon Restaurant
9. Sichuan restaurant
The name of the restaurant says it all: this is an establishment specialized in sichuan cuisine, one of the largest provinces in mainland China, known for its especially spicy cuisine. Among its specialties, we find the spicy sauteed beef, made with fermented chillies, or the sea bass dou-ban (in the photo), an exquisite preparation of steamed fish with spicy sauce. Warning: food marked “spicy” really spicy.
Caballero de Gracia Street, 8 914 26 64 53
More information | Sichuan Restaurant
Directly to the Palate | Discovering the Huoguo, the hot pot or Chinese hot pot at Casa Lafu
Directly to the Palate | El Bund restaurant, the Chinese restaurant chosen by the Chinese in Madrid
Images | Pixabay, Pintxo, Pakus, Peter Morgan, Google Maps Streetview