Archive for the Malasaña (Universidad) Category

Madrid – Tapas Bars in Malasaña

Posted in Madrid, Madrid Comunidad, Malasaña (Universidad), Spain with tags , , on February 27, 2016 by gannet39

Malasaña is my next favourite barrio in Madrid, after Chueca. It’s more studenty and hipster whereas Chueca is a mix of avant garde and traditional.

The two neighbourhoods are separated by Calle de Fuencarral. At 78 Calle de Fuencarral you can see the stunning doorway of the Museo de Historia de Madrid,

Barrio map here, Madrid map here.


Here are a couple of my favourite places to eat and drink:

Ojalá (Intermediate A), 1 Calle San Andres,

This is my favourite in the small group of five La Musa hipster bars. I like it because the service is good and the food and drinks are great (fashionable ‘cocina creativa’), plus the basement has been turned into a beach! You can take your shoes off and feel the sand under your feet if that is your inclination.

I had the Banh Mi for €6 which was excellent (A+) even if it was nothing like the original Vietnamese/French fusion sandwich as it was made with soft Chinese-style dumpling dough rather than a baguette.


Like many trendy places in Spain they have an extensive G&T menu. I had the Seagram G&T for €7 and the Martin Miller G&T with cinnamon sticks (pictured) for €9, both excellent (A) and served in glasses the size of goldfish bowls.


Definitely somewhere I will return.

Musa Malasaña (Intermediate A), 18 Calle de Manuela Malasaña,

Another member of the hipster La Musa group, darker, quieter and more romantic than the bustling Ojalá, but still another good spot for ‘cocina creativa’.

To begin I had the Jabali con Alioli de Miel y Sobrasada, or wild boar with honey alioli and raw pork sausage, for €6. It was good (B) but if the website is correct, it’s longer on the menu, perhaps because it’s not particularly pretty to look at.


I was intrigued to know what the Empanadillas Japonesas were (€6) so I took the plunge only to discover that they were normal Gyozas (A) which are fried dumplings filled with pork mince and spring onion.


I also had Berenjas Fritas con Melaza, or deep fried slices of aubergine drizzled with molasses (€3.25) presented in a ceramic chip cone. Love the concept (A+).


I continued my exploration of their G&T menu with a Bulldog G&T for €8 and Tanqueray G&T for €9 (both B).

The soundtrack was a fine selection of House music (A). Service was pleasant again. I’d love to go again, preferably with some company.


Madrid – Malasaña – Hooked on TriBall

Posted in Centro, Madrid Comunidad, Malasaña (Universidad), Spain, Tri Ball on April 15, 2011 by gannet39

TriBall (Calle Ballesta and the two parallel streets next to it) is the red light district off Gran Via which has been rebranded. The regeneration of the area is being spearheaded by new artists and designers.

From 2010:

Casa Perico, (Intermediate A), 18 Calle Ballesta, Tel. 91 532 8176

Great place in a dodgy area, enter from the other end of the street from Gran Via if you want to avoid the hissing hookers on Calle Desengano. Supposedly open at 9 but they weren’t ready for me and I had to come back at twenty past. Only two other customers (Monday after San Isidro) but expect it to be rammed at weekends, people travel a long way for the food here.

They have a four course Menu Degustacion for €36 but there needs to be two of you. The first course component changes every day. Sadly I was by myself so couldn’t take advantage of this bargain. Instead I had the Reuvuelto de Morcilla de Pinones con Trigueros, scrambled eggs with black pudding and wild spinach which was wonderful (A). Next were the Filetes de Tapilla de Cebo, two very tender and rare (poco hecho) fillets of beef (A) accompanied by the best chips so far on this tour (A+). My only complaint was the plate was cold.

To finish Natillas Caseras (B), custard with cinnamon. A wonderful half bottle of Rioja Crianza ‘Vina Salcida’ ’05 (for only €5?!) and a fragrant orujo des hierbas provided the liquid refreshment. Pleasant service and bizarre decor: collections of soda bottles, wire baskets, castizo  (a word used in Madrid to mean the rough local equivalent of a cockney) outfits on the wall. Will definitely come here again when I’m in town next.

L’Ardosa, 13 Calle Colon, Metro Tribunal

A beautiful old tiled taverna (since 1882) with great atmosphere just up the hill from the Perico above. The front room is decorated with old lithographs and shelves of dusty bottles and there is a secret back room which can only be accessed by ducking under the bar, although you will probably be beaten to it by a romantic couple, the place was full of several of them when I went.


A chupito (shot) of orujo costs €2 and they have draught beers, including Guinness.

Anthony Bourdain shot a video about Tortilla here apparently so that might be something to try.

There are many other good drinking spots along nearby Calle Paz including one of my favourites, El Pez Gordo at #6 which is a chilled jazz bar. They have great olives!


From 2012:

Taberna Agrado, (Intermediate C), Calle Ballesta 1, Tel: 91 521 6346

Really don’t understand all the fuss is about this place. The fact the chef is British and cooking Spanish food seems to have caused something of a stir in the food press, especially Time Out who pile on the praise in their 2012 guide.

There were a few people there when I arrived, mainly British tourists who, like me, were clutching their TO guides. You’d think with so many Brit customers that they’d start serving food a little earlier to feed them, but nope you have to wait till 9pm for the kitchen to open, despite most Spanish places opening at 8.

The bare unadorned underground room had nothing attractive about it so I sat outside on the street terrace waiting for the waiter to finish his cigarette and stop texting his friends. Twenty minutes later I was starting to get a bit hungry and thirsty so I went inside to see if I could get some service.

When he finally came I ordered their famous Hamburguesa de Buey Corta made with Iberico ham and overlaid with cheeses, as recommended by my adoring travel guide. It was too greasy for me to finish more than half of it (C) and the slightly overdone fries it came with seemed to have a strange after taste (C). It took me a while to realise it was the house ketchup, seemingly laced with turmeric and other spices that was causing this (D).

For the pleasure of eating this in a plss-stained alley surrounded by middle-aged hookers, I was charged an extra 20%, taking the total to €18 for a burger and chips. My fault, I should have looked at the small print in the menu, but as far as I’m concerned this place is extortionate and crap. You can go elsewhere and easily have a much better experience for your money.

Public at 11 Calle Desengano is probably best avoided. For reasons why, see my review for La Finca de Susana here.

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