For the last two weeks, the Lavapiés area of Madrid has been running a food festival called Tapapiés. 62 restaurants and bars around the neighbourhood offer a small plate of food for €1 or a plate and a small beer for €2. Each dish is a fusion of different cuisines from around the world. We managed to visit 13 venues:
Dish: golden chicken marinated in spices with peanut butter sauce and coconut milk over rice flour bread, beetroot and fried onions.
Origin: Indio-Bangladeshi and Thai
Basically satay chicken, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. The rice flour bread and beetroot was a strange mix to my British tastes, but I enjoyed it.
Venue: LA DE ESPRONCEDA
Dish: Mini venison hamburger
There was a little bit too much bread to meat, but how can you not enjoy food that makes you look like a giant?
Venue: EL ECONÓMICO SOIDEMERSOL
Dish: Stirfry with chicken, rice, carrots, red and green peppers and teriyaki sauce.
This dish was a little cold, as it had been sitting out for a while behind the bar, but tasty nonetheless.
Dish: Tortilla corn, beans, meat, tomatoes, cilantro, spices
Origin: Mexico/Burkina Faso
This was one of the more interesting dishes we tried, with the mixture of more common Mexican taco with the meat filling in a Burkina Faso style. Again the mini taco and tiny glass of beer made me feel like a giant.
Venue: O PAZO DE LUGO
Dish: Secret burrito – Flour tortilla, Iberian pork, green asparagus, red onion, green and red pepper, garlic, leeks and salsa.
I’m always suspicious of anything described as “secret” or “surprise”, but these were really tasty.
Dish: Bull’s tail wrap, with a goat’s cheese sauce
This is by far my favourite dish in the entire evening. I hadn’t had bulls’ tail before, but it was very nice, and had a sweet after taste. Highly recommended.
Venue: LA LIBRERÍA DE LAVAPIÉS
Dish:Cream cheese, sardines, apple and pomegranate on toast
I think this was my second favourite dish, with the pomegranate really adding something to the dish.
Dish: Fish egg tart with cod, salmon and mussel
Origin: Basque country
This was actually the last dish we ate, and one of several seafood dishes, with various fish and seafood on a stick, with a crisp pastry tart.
Venue: TABERNA ENCANTADA
Dish: Toast with anchovies, tomato puree, basil and olive.
I don’t normally eat anchovies, but the sweetness of the tomato puree really offset the taste of the fish. One of my more favourite fish dishes of the day.
Venue: ALMA CAFÉ
Dish: Mixed meat, with vegetables and legumes on toasted rustic bread
I enjoyed this dish, and we noted that it was one of the best we’d eaten so far, but was overshadowed by the bulls tail later in the day.
Unfortunately I failed to take a photo of a few dishes, so these are from the Tapapiés site rather than my own:
Venue: GANDHI BAR
Dish: Crispy spinach rolls, cauliflower, red and green peppers, potatoes, carrots, peas, onion, garlic, wheat flour and mild spices.
We actually ended up eating a samosa instead of the roll pictured, because this was the only place that had several options on offer, but it was served with a number of dips, and a nice example of indian cuisine.
Venue: EL PALADAR DE LAVAPIÉS
Dish: Cod, walnuts, almonds and cranberries, milk, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
Origin: La Mancha
This was our first dish of the day, and our first fish dish. The mixture of fish and nuts was a great introduction to the festival.
You’ll notice some cards in a couple of the photos; these were scratch cards you could use to win some prizes. You could also use them to vote for your favourite venue with the associated code on each card, you typed into the website. Sadly, we failed to win anything. 🙁
This was definitely one of the better ways of spending an afternoon, sampling cuisine from around the world, and for very little money. We ate 13 dishes and drank 7 small beers for a total of €20.