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Rogelio

DiverXO

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DiverXo is the restaurant that has been the talk of the town lately. Well, until the arrival of Gastón Acurio from Lima.

David Muñoz comes from a good school, formed at Viridiana, our own local fussion restaurant for the last 30 years, wanted to move forward so he headed to London to work at Hakassan and Nobu.

Back in Madrid he has just opened a little restaurant in a hiden street from a not very fashionable area. The decoration is almost non existent, but the service is very helpful and dedicated.

His cooking wouldn't probably be surprising at NYC or SF but in Spain is really shocking as he revisit traditional spanish dishes with a chinese/asian twist. Dishes are risky and higly ejoyable even if not all of them succesf, but when he does you can see that here's a clever cook with perfect technique and clear ideas.

Let's go with the menu:

Aperitif were yuca noodles with peas

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Not really interesting to write about

Next came an spanish toltilla maki

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With poached potato and onion, quail egg yolk with chilli and red bean emulsion. Served with a tea with rum, cocoa and chilli.

The dish was funny as it was like eating a Japanese maki but tasting like an spanish omelette.

Rabbit and carrot dim sum

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Made with carrot skin and stewed rabbit with five chinese spices and a carrot salad.

Served with a litchis tea.

Iberic pork pancetta

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Dong Po style with tupinambo purée and pak choi (chinese cabbage) in a crunchy greek kataifi dough.

This was the first dish that knocked, soft and tasty iberic pancetta perfectly cooked with a surprising twist.

Mediterranean prawn

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Cooked other way round, with juice from its head, yuzu and hot butter.

This was probably the best dish of the night. Amazing prawn carpaccio where the fried heads are thrown over so it gets cooked on the plate. Terrific.

Bienmesabe de cangrejo. Adobed soft-shell crab and deep fried andalusian style.

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With fried rice noodles and emmental cheese sauce.

I enjoyed this dish as the taste was like andalusian adobed cazón (shark) though some complained because somehow the flavours hadn't properly penetrated the shell.

Tuna tartare with empanadilla (Fried dumpling) of Torta de El Casar

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Good tartare but somehow lacking of the twist from the other dishes.

Tobanegg

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Free range egg cooked in Toban with smoked tea steam chives and wood ear mushroom. And flying fish eggs.

This was a failed dish. The waiter explained that the egg was cooked three ways but in the end the egg was broken and eating all at once so you can not appreciated all the work behind, also the other elements created a confusing mix without a proper and leading taste. In the end a very baroque dish.

Skate

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Roasted with string beans and XO (Spanish version) sauce (dried tuna, pata negra ham extract and scallops)

Amazing dish with a delicious sauce. I’ve always found that skate has great texture but soft flavour and this dish was superb mixing both.

Veal sweetbreads

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With a soft coriander curry and basil stuffed endives.

Another weak dish, the curry was too soft for me.

Gallician red cow

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With mojo Nikkei, this is a canarian sauce with tender barley and broccoli cus cus.

Superb meat with a complex and delicious sauce

Black Cod

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With cider and Chinese honey and mussel socarrat rice.

Even though it was frozen black cod the dish was delicious, the rice was cooked in the socarrat style created by Raul Alexandre from Ca Sento

Celery sorbet

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With white chocolate ice cream apple and olive oil.

Delicious and refreshing, though I don’t see the point of the chocolate on this dessert.

Overall it was a great meal, with ups and downs but very good level and some outstanding dishes. I’m willing to repeat.


Edited by Rogelio (log)

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Intriguing report, Rogelio. I would not say that the food you showed wouldn't be surprising in San Francisco or New York. It appears to be a very unique and individual style, though that is not to say that it would be out of place in either of those cities. perhaps the restaurant that I am most reminded of is Ame in San Francisco, though that has more of a specifically Japanese emphasis. What is interesting here, though is the overt influence of Chinese cuisine. It has been said that Japan and Spain are natural allies when it comes to cuisine as there are many similarities between the two culinary cultures. I'm not aware of the same degree of relationship between Spanish and Chinese culinary cultures. This appears to blend those two along with some Japanese into an interesting combination.

On a separate note, when is Arcurio supposed to arrive in Madrid or has he already?

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Well, I meant the now so popular fussion cuisinne in the way of Nobu, who hasn't got a branch in Spain. And DiverXO is a clear example of this trend.

Gastón Acurio opened about a month ago, I'm visiting it this week and will report back.

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New visit to DiverXO and even better impressions than the first time. The few dishes that didn't work on our last visit have disappeared or have been improved and the new ones are really terrific.

New dishes are:

Priorat wine dim sum

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Tasty dim sum with all the earthiness and powerful tones of a good red wine from Priorat, Nita in this case.

New Tobanegg

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As the former version didn't work David has opted for slow cooking the egg and serve it with a toban with the smoked tea steamed chives and wood ear mushrooms as a side dish so you can dip them on the egg. Now it works really well.

Cantabric hake with beef tongue and enoki mushrooms.

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With a punchy Japanese mustard. One could think that the soft flavours from the hake would be overpowered by the strong taste of mustard and beef tongue, but somehow they don't making a delicious and exotic sea and mountain dish.

Marinated foie grass with cockles

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This is the only dish that I didn't understood, I can not say that it was bad but seafood and foie grass is not a combination that works for me.

It seems that the restaurant is getting a lot of credit from public and media and if they keep moving forward we will soon be looking at a world fusion food reference.

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Thanks, Rogelio. The food looks great with beautiful presentations. What else was in the wine dim sum besides wine?

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Thanks, Rogelio. The food looks great with beautiful presentations. What else was in the wine dim sum besides wine?

Black cod and yoghourt.

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DiverXo seemed to be the restaurant to dine at during Madrid Fusión as getting a table was impossible without a longstanding reservation. It was the place where all the visiting chefs either went to or tried to dine at. Alas, I will have to wait for my next visit to Madrid.

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It is a very interesting place, I tried it a few weeks after it opened, overall very good, I believe you better be a bit adventurous with mixed flavours (I am not the best example of that). Since my wife is asian we managed to talk to the waiter and David let her go into the kitchen, she was surprised to see a small place with just 1 or 2 people!. I still miss having stronger spices on my dish in any Madrid restaurant, I guess bit by bit the Spanish public is getting used to spices, but it is going to take a long time to reach the level of other European/North American cities.

I still remember the spanish omellette dimsum or something like that, memorable!

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if you want it spicier and hotter try Sudestada, especially their curries, although in a totally different, much simpler style of cuisine.

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Thanks Pablo, I tried Sudestada shortly after it opened, quite nice, but I was still missing something (maybe it´s me). I have had decent, no short off spices in Oam Thong. I think Sudestada will open a newer and bigger place soon, not too far from Diverxo I believe...

I will try to go back to Sudestada!

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I think Sudestada will open a newer and bigger place soon, not too far from Diverxo I believe...

In fact, not too far from the old Sudestada.

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Sudestada, Diverxo, Oam Thong, La Gorda provide no-holds-barred spices and chilies for those who love them - certainly not any tamer than anything in New York, London or Hong Kong!

Sudestada's opening olf the new, larger place at Calle Ponzano 85 (a block away from the new, interesting, Japanese-Peruvian 99 Sushi Bar) seems to have been delayed. They're still working on the premises.

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They have three tasting menus ranging from 50 to 80€ plus VAT, plus wines...

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is there anywhere in madrid to experience cutting edge food like this in a imformal/cheaper location?

on a student budget, but i really want to try this type of cooking.

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