There seems to be 2 types of Japanese restaurants in Madrid, on one hand you have the westernised sushi joints, which comprise of bland overpriced California rolls , in very tacky decor. These places are style over substance, expensive and overall bland. And on the other hand, you have the “authentic” places, so authentic it seems, that they scare westerners away. These places usually don’t even bother translating their menus into Spanish.But in what seems like 2 extremes, there’s one place that’s neither nor, a Franco-Japanese restaurant that seems to have found the Juste Milieu. Fusions of culinary styles and cultures are a hit and miss, you either end up with something upgraded, evolved, and refined, or a complete mess. Luckily for us, l’artisan is the former.
If you’re around the Sol area looking for somewhere to eat, it can be quite overwhelming, It feels like you’re walking down the coast in Mallorca, and every PR is trying at all costs to get you through the door. Now this is obviously quite off-putting because if they’re so desperate to get you in, it’s probably not that good. But amongst the cluster of places trying to attract a touristy clientele, one of very few restaurants stand out as authentic. The discreet and modest looking L’artisan actually hides quite the culinary experience inside! If you’re looking for something new, something special, and different, then you might find just here. Ran by a half Japanese half French chef, (important to point out, as the menu will make more sense), L’artisan seems to bring the best of both worlds to the plate.
There’s something quite lovely about the place, divided up into two parts, the upper and lower floors. If you do get the chance to be seated downstairs, you’ll dine in a lovely subterranean brick cellar at one of maybe 7 tables. From a very interesting and delicious looking menu, that offers a variation of asian and western dishes,3 dishes stood out: Sardines Tempura, Apple & Avocado Salad & the Butterfish in Saikyo Miso.You will want to try their special Japanese Mojito, it has quite the interesting take on it that might make you think of adding it to your occasional celebratory drink here and there.
With a creative and adventurous daily menu, from Ramen Mondays, to Sushi Tuesdays, Apero Thursdays and Brunch on the weekend, there is something to please everyone.
ps: You will want to try their special Japanese Mojito, it has quite the interesting take on it that might make you think of adding it to your occasional celebratory drink here and there.
If you’re interested in knowing more about this gem of a place, check out our page next week with our gastro articles. In the meantime, we recommend you give them a visit.