DiverXo. Calle del Pensamiento, 28. Madrid

There hasn’t been a restaurant in Madrid that I’ve been more excited about visiting than this one: David Muñoz’s famous laboratory of delights, located between the low-rent, but multicultural neighborhood of Tetuan and the more commercial, wide-building district of Cuzco. Odd location in some ways, but actually eccentric and off the predictable main drags of the city.
A gift of a birthday meal was just the opportunity to indulge. The 7-course meal costs 95€ while the 13-courser weighs in at 140€. But this is not merely a meal: this is Entertainment, Theatre, Art. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, like The Fat Duck (so glad I made the mission in 2008) or El Bulli (too exclusive for any restaurant to survive, and inevitably a mecca for expense accounts). And that’s the reason I won’t say a thing about the food, apart from the fact that it is sumptuous, sublime and extraordinary. This goes further than fusion, madder than molecular gastronomy, and more delicate than dainty dimsum, which they do exceptionally well, along with service, wine and ambience. So have a shower, dress up, and go.


Metro Tetuan/Cuzco





Diwali. Calle de Lope de Rueda, 19. Madrid

A cute little neighborhood Indian restaurant with high quality dishes made with the freshest ingredients, Diwali is quite different from the Lavapies Bangla joints to which we’re such devoted regulars. I’d like to come here more often, if only for their tasty, rich Daal Makhani (black lentil daal) and the tastiest little kebab starter I’ve ever had in Madrid. Prices can get quite high, but the menú del día at €10.95 is great value, and changes everyday; a little friendly cajoling can get them to mix and match options too. The friendly Punjabi manager makes sure that service is attentive. This is not a place for big groups, as the layout is slightly scattered with small couples’ tables.
Diwali’s kitchen also has a catering service for big parties.

Metro: Goya / Ibiza