Monday, May 19, 2014

My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 1): O'Pazo

After being fueled by that awesome lunch, we walked around even more trying to digest everything just in time to have dinner. Of course, we were still on NYC time and was having dinner relatively early for Spain's standards. But with jet lag, we had no choice on the first day. But that didn't stop us from having a nice dinner. Located out in the more residential area of Madrid, we went to O'Pazo in search of seafood. While the dress attire is officially casual, this restaurant is certainly not. While we were in our tshirts and jeans, most of the other patrons were dressed to impress. There were even some suits among the crowd.
The place looks really fancy and modern. Fresh seafood on ice is presented in front to showcase the catch of the day. I felt a little embarrassed at this point. I thought I had chosen a relatively affordable place to eat but instead led my friends to a fancy place with fancy people.

But after looking over the menu, the food was actually very reasonably priced. In fact, main dishes weren't much over 15-20 euros. And when the dishes came out, the serving sizes were grand. In the grand scheme of things, the place had the decor and atmosphere of something special but the price of the food and drinks were much more affordable. I was relieved at this point. Thank goodness!

When we sat down, they served us an amuse of smoke salmon which was so delicate and buttery. Smoky but the flavor of the salmon stood through. A really delicious start to the meal.

For my main course, the house specialty was sole. You can have it cooked 3 different ways. I picked the most simple way which was just sauteed and seasoned with salt and pepper. I wanted the fish to shine through. And boy did it blind me. First, the serving size was huge. I mean, this is a whole half of a sole served on a plate (really a platter) all to myself. As for the taste. Amazing. The fish was sweet, tender, and lightly crispy from the sauteeing. With no sides, I happily ate every piece of this delicious fish. Seafood at its best.
And here is the sole served a different way with crispy garlic and herbs. Again, a very large portion but this time the fish takes on the flavors of garlic, oil, and herbs. Delicious as well and perfectly cooked.
The only misstep of the night which I believe was a miscommunication due to the language barrier. One of my friends ordered the squid in its own ink but was presented with something completely different. After trying to explain what he ordered, they profusely apologized and brought his dish out shortly. A deep black pool of squid ink with whole squid lightly cooked. A bed of rice on the side to sop up all that sauce.
Another really good meal. The seafood was impressive and delicious. The serving sizes of each dish was enough as a meal on their own. We left happy and full. The metro ride home was a struggle to stay awake. Tomorrow is another big day.

Calle de la Reina Mercedes, 20
28020 Madrid, Spain
+34 915 53 23 33


  1. This sounds like such an awesome trip! I've been to madrid a few times- i also speak spanish fluently- and some of the best meals were very simple food. I found a very small place that specialized in only mushrooms! Forget the name now, but just literally a plate of various wild mushrooms sauteed with olive oil-one of the best meals i've ever had.

  2. Looks amazing...! Was your friend able to eat all that ink without staining his face? Haha


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