Restaurants of the World: Amazonico is breaking the rules in Madrid
April 15, 2018
In the uber-chic street of Calle Jorge Juan, Madrid, you will come across Amazonico, the latest but probably most exciting venture of partners Sandro Silva and Marta Seco. They are no strangers to the restaurant world, owning El Paraguas, Ten con Ten and Ultramarinos Quintin, but without doubt, this relatively new jungle-themed addition to their portfolio, is second to none in the gastronomic arena.
As I walked through the door, it was just like entering a jungle paradise, you could almost believe you have been transported into the middle of the dense and atmospheric Brazilian rain forest. Great attention to detail has been paid to the décor to create that jungle theme, such a success!
From the moment I set foot in the restaurant, I was overwhelmed with the friendly service from an army of waiting staff, who pitched their attendance perfectly – courteous but not obtrusive. I was engulfed in the atmosphere from the very first minute, I could almost breathe in the aroma of this warm and tropical restaurant and was instantly swept away to a far-flung Brazilian destination. Everywhere from the ceiling to the walls you will find vegetation and stunning exotic plants and flowers indicative of this jungle destination. The lighting was perfect, creating this exotic and romantic feel, without being too dark, something that often happens in themed restaurants.
The excellent bar serving amazing cocktails is just the start of my journey and not to be missed, but underneath this jungle haven lies even more excitement. One of the hot spots of Madrid is a vibrant jazz club, offering the sounds of not only Brazil, but also Spain and an eclectic mix of other music, performed by a variety of artists, depending which night you choose. The sound is pulsing, but not explosive on my eardrums…perfect. Expect to rub shoulders with celebrities and politicians who flock to enjoy this secret hideaway, but never fear, I was treated exactly the same in terms of service and friendliness. If you ever get tired of the music, go outside to a delightful leafy courtyard, for a little quiet time. For me, this restaurant offers a mix of vibrancy and tranquillity all at the same time – Sandro and Marta have thought of everything.
I was carried away with all this venue had to offer, but let’s be honest, I did come here for the excellent reputation that is bestowed on the food. The aroma from the kitchen has already stimulated my tastebuds, so I happily took the menu with anticipation. I was not disappointed, and whilst the menu is not extensive, every item on there had me smacking my lips and had me excited for the feast ahead.
The choices come from all areas of the globe, from Brazil, Argentina and Peru to the Orient and mystic India, with their huge choice of spices and seasonings. The only dilemma I had that evening was what to choose! Again, the excellent service means that there is no hurry to pick any of your fancies, sit back and enjoy a drink and soak in your surroundings.
After some crisp vegetable crudities and dips, it was time for the main event, and I just couldn’t wait. Should I have an exotic and fruity salad, typical of the Amazon, with mango, avocado and a delicious dressing (kalamansai sauce), or go for the beautifully authentic sushi? Or perhaps the spicy samosas or crispy spring rolls for a taste of the East? I could easily have eaten all of the starters! If you love meat, you could try the solomillo or a spicy starter using chorizo sausage – I was so spoilt for choice.
Looking into the open kitchen, you could see the huge skewers of meat, typically beef and pork. The beef has many varieties, including kobe and wagyu. My party could just not decide, so we all chose something different and each had a taste of what was on offer. The fish was also amazing and so fresh – you really have to try the ‘Espeta Malagueno’, a traditional Spanish regional dish, served in a way I have never experienced before. A small oven area in the kitchen is created using sand, and the wild sea bass is cooked on a simple bamboo spit, which imparts an incredibly delicious flavour to the fish. I would suggest that you try sharing as many dishes as you can, to experience all this restaurant has to offer.
This restaurant, its flavours and unique style of cooking is a truly great way to spend an evening with friends or family. Even the huge, gloriously colourful stuffed peacock on the bar was looking envious of the food on our table. A true delight in Madrid, and not to be missed.
Written by Rafa Zurita for Luxuria Lifestyle