Sergi Arola GastroMadrid | Spain

  • added: Jan 25 2010
  • author: foodsketches
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Editor's choiceHidden jewel
Sergi Arola forms part of the artistic chefs’ elite. He is a native Catalan who successfully started his career in Barcelona and in 1997 came to conquer Madrid. He was the first chef to combine concepts from the highly innovative Catalan cuisine with various approaches from international gourmet world including molecular cuisine. As any true artist, Sergi experimented a lot with taste pallets; combinations of different textures; not to mention an immaculate presentation of each dish.
During the last week in January 2010 madridfusion took place in Madrid, Spain. This is a gastro event dedicated to food lovers: there are special events such as demonstrations of  masterpieces by the world renowned chefs; people test local delicacies at the chosen locations; visit various restaurants in Madrid & order from a degustation menu offered only during the days of this gastro festival. In the last few years Madrid brought a few remarkable chefs on the world scene. Locals seem to be interested more & more in exotic flavours; unique combinations of Spanish classics and international specialties.

An excellent example of such combination is the restaurant run by Sergi Arola called Sergi Arola Gastro. Sergi Arola forms part of the artistic chefs’ elite. He is a native Catalan who successfully started his career in Barcelona and in 1997 came to conquer Madrid. He was the first chef to combine concepts from the highly innovative Catalan cuisine with various approaches from international gourmet world including molecular cuisine. As any true artist, Sergi experimented a lot with taste pallets; combinations of different textures; not to mention an immaculate presentation of each dish. He has received many awards, among which are the National Gastronomy Prize as well as two Michelin stars.

Sergi Arola Gastro is a unique place for any food lover. Book well in advance! The restaurant has an amazing bar and we recommend trying some of the house specialties there! After a nice drink, you can slowly drift into the main restaurant. It is not too big and has a very intimate atmosphere. Lights are dimmed and main interrior colour is beige with soft browns. The menu is always seasonal and changes every month. The same is almost true for the wine list. Sommelier is on the constant hunt for new flavours; new names and interesting taste discoveries. The restaurant also has a very impressive loose teas selection which is a rarity across many European destinations. Each tea is served in its own traditional way.

Menu comprises of a few degustation choices: you can go for Sergi’s menu (a selection of nine seasonal dishes prepared by the chef); Gastro menu (small portions of all available starters, mains and deserts); or the Basics menu (a selection of seven dishes). Each of these menus can be accompanied by sommelier’s wine selection (which is a real treat for your taste buds!). Once you have made your choice; you can be sure to await mouthwatering amuse bouche. Some of the examples are banana crisps served with ponzu-soya sauce;  chestnut soup with sweet potatoes, bacon ice cream and barbecue sauce. Among the starters we were struck by the taste of the stuffed squid with vegetable and monkfish liver – an intricate twist of taste! The combination of duck liver sweetbreads and Asturian haricot puree also deserved a special praise.

The restaurant proved flexible in preparing a special request salad that was not on the menu, the salad was delightful and came as a combination of various green salad leaves, fresh peas, slightly seared asparagus, thin carrot curls and a few bright spots from tomato pulp, within this fresh garden salad were a few pansy petals. Imagine the presentation somewhat like a sophisticated painting; a few strokes by an avid artist!

Entrees were unusual and delicious: low tempered sole and coat in crispy black olives with artichokes barigoule. The texture of the fish melted in your mouth as it was cooked at very low temperatures - a feast of flavour! Another entree was sirloin cooked on low heat and stewed  with turnips from  la Cerdaña, carrot & salsify. The meat was cooked perfectly and the sauce provided a smooth and rich accompaniment. Selection of deserts was even more irresistible. Try sponge cake with berries and balsamic vinegar ice-cream - a brilliant combination of flavours. We are still longing for that vinegar ice-cream!

An exceptional experience at the end of the dinner was the printed version of the tasting menu we had that day. What a wonderful surprise and clearly a very unique touch to an unforgettable evening. It was evident that the artist put his heart and imagination into every of his creations. We left inspired to experiment and be brave with new ideas... 

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  • C/ Zurbano 31
    28010 Madrid
  • +34 91 3102169
  • http://www.sergiarola.es
  • Monday to Friday (also holidays):14:00-15:30 and 21:00-23:30
    Saturday: 21:00-23:30
  • Restaurant
  • Fusion
    Molecular
    International