Pay good attention to this name: Quispe. It has been open for less than 2 months but it’s already the new benchmark for tapas, with pisco bar included. They have invented an entire menu full of dishes made with traditional ingredients. If you’re on the hunt for the new trendy fusion cuisine restaurant in Madrid, you’re already late in booking.
Their menu is divided into 3 large blocks: signature tapas, cold kitchen and hot kitchen. In my experience, the ideal is to be able to try at least one dish from each part. And if it’s accompanied by any of the creations of their Pisco Bar, much better. It’s been open less than 2 months, but they are ready to conquer the stomach of the most demanding foodies. The trick is very simple. A large part of the staff has already worked as a team in the first restaurant they opened in Formentera in the summer of 2017. Now, to raid the capital they have polished their menu and have new, fresh sap ready in the best Asian restaurants in Spain.
The place is on a side street of the Plaza de Santa Bárbara, but don’t be scared by the possible bustle. It’s located on the first floor of an old building, and both its clientele and its atmosphere are relaxed and sophisticated. The decoration of Quispe is contemporary and very stylish, with large tables of wood and light in abundance. The nod to Peru is in its colorful (and comfortable) cushions and the friendliness of all its staff.
At lunchtime, you will be reading the menu for a long time. That’s because almost all of their dishes are recipes that Quispe’s team has created, and it will cost you to choose. There aren’t a large number of options on the menu, but the creativity of their recipes will complicate your choice of dishes. Apart from the “classic ceviche” and the “lomo saltado”, it’s certain that you’ve never tasted the delicacies on the menu.
I’ll tell you what I ate so you can discover Quispe. I started with “maki acebichado”, with shrimp, avocado, tuna, acebichada sauce and togarashi. They put soy sauce and wasabi, but believe me: their makis are perfect without any added sauce. They are juicy, and since the acebichada sauce is a little spicy, they are a work of art without adding anything else.
The next thing that came to the table was its “lomo saltado”. Sirloin steak with Creole potatoes and rice with corn; one of the most typical dishes of Peru. In the hands of Quispe, a classic that has been renewed and improved, and a sauce that’ll make you clean the plate completely to not waste a drop. It may be the least avant-garde dish, but don’t miss it for anything in the world.
Well, it’s worth a visit to Quispe just to try the dish I’m going to talk about next. A delicious creation that reinvents the way to treat the most typical ingredients of Peru. It’s the “quinotto de pulpo”, with a mixture of flavors and fantastic textures. It consists of grilled octopus, quinotto with squid ink, rocoto mayonnaise and pomegranate chimichurri. A fantastic surprise for the palate.
I don’t want to repeat myself, but there is another dish that you can’t miss: the “couum de Lucuma”. Yes, it’s a chocolate coulant, but mixed with lucuma, a Peruvian fruit that they import fresh every week. Don’t miss the opportunity to try this mix. It’s the star dessert of Quispe, and with all the reason in the world…
I’m no expert in Peruvian cuisine, neither in the traditional nor in the avant-garde. But I know when I enjoy a good meal, and when I discover one of the best restaurants of 2018. Quispe is a gastronomic surprise whose fame is going to start spreading like wildfire.
Phone: +34 618.104.22.168
Opening hours: Thuesday 20:00 to 0:00 h, Wednesday and Sunday 14:00 to 1600 h, Thursday 14:00 to 16:30 and 20:00 to 0:00 h, Friday and Saturday 14:00 to 16:30 and 20:00 to 2:30 h.
Address: Orellana, 1, Madrid.
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