Restaurants of the World: Cinco Jotas bring Jamon Iberico for Everyone
May 9, 2018
Iberico Ham is famous throughout the world, and there is none finer than that served by Cinco Jotas Restaurant, located in Calle Jorge Juan in the beautiful city of Madrid. In this recently renovated location, this creative restaurant serving the worlds best Iberico Ham takes you on a gastronomic journey of the humble pig through its processing to its maturity after 5 years of expert curation.
The process used by Cinco Jotas has been in operation since 1879, such is their passion for producing the finest and most flavoursome cuts. Whether enjoying the sunshine on their garden-terrace, or on the ground floor in the magnificent marble-clad bar, the taste of perfection can be experienced seated at one of the small and intimate tables, whilst nibbling on a sample tapa of this mouthwatering delicacy. Just imagine the work that has gone into producing this ham, including measuring its dryness inside a wind tunnel!
Only the finest chefs can practice their magic at Cinco Jotas and to see them in action is a sight to behold, as they carve the ham into the most delicate slices, with utmost perfection. There is no doubt that the carving is intrinsically important – knives are artfully sharpened and polished so that the ‘Master Carver’ need not apply any pressure as he slowly but rhythmically slices his precious produce. But it doesn’t stop there – the plates of meats are beautifully presented with swirls and cones of all the different types of cuts from all parts of the ham to show the varying textures and flavours of each piece, to titillate your tastebuds.
There is no need to worry – try the tasting plate so that you don’t miss any of this delicious ham and take advantage of their expertise and advice when choosing the best wine to accompany it. From start to finish, this amazing delicacy and its carving process creates a calm and relaxed environment full of fascination, almost akin to watching an artist or sculptor create their next masterpiece.
On the glorious sunny day that we visited the restaurant, we were determined to try as much as we could of the delicious menu. After beginning with the different ham cuts (Cana de Lomo and Cana de presa), we experience the varying textures and flavours. Some cuts were thicker and stronger on the palate, whilst others were thin and incredibly soft, with a delicate taste. Once we had whet our appetites, we continued the tasting menu – it is fair to say that acorn-fed pigs, that roam free in the meadows of South Western Spain, evoke so much flavour, and we didn’t realised how many dishes could be made with such a range of tastes. Our next course was a fantastic ‘twist’ on Steak Tartare made with Iberico Sirloin, which was unbelievably tender but full of flavour and served with little toasts for contrast. Absolutely delicious.
Next up was Grilled Pluma and Grilled Presa, which is presented with 3 different garnishes – as strange as it sounds, French fries were served with cumin and caramelized peppers, but needless to say, everything was lipsmackingly good!
We cannot recommend this ‘taste of Spain’ highly enough. Cinco Jotas offer other experiences such as tours of their drying cellars (with sampling of course!), and masterclasses in carvery. You are also able to purchase these wonderful hams from the shop, so you need not lose the memory of this great experience.
One thing is for sure – the passion, pride and artistry of Cinco Jotas is clear for all to see, and everyone to savour this proud heritage.
Written by Rafa Zurita for Luxuria Lifestyle