[Spain: Madrid] 3* DiverXO by Dabiz Muñoz

Rating: 5/5

Recounting my best meal in Madrid at DiverXODabiz Munoz’s avant-garde wonderland where pigs can fly! The chef had just won the top spot on the Best Chef Awards two years in a row. It’s also the only 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid. The chef is known for breaking the rules in all aspects so expect the unexpected when dining at his restaurant. Surreal and theatrical with creative surprises at every turn, the best way to savor the experience is just to sit back and enjoy the ride!

Before each dish, we were given a card with all the ingredients listed out but somehow, each dish managed to surprise us in its final form. When we found out that our first course was pigeon, we knew that this was not your typical meal. Usually served as a main, Dabiz shows that he doesn’t adhere to a typical meal progression. He cares more about temperatures and flavors so we started with a COLD POACHED PIGEON macerated for a week with Palo Cortado wine. Served with smoked caviar, plankton, wine macaroni, grilled egg yolk and a delicious fermented chili paste.

The second course was the 45 DAYS AGED NIGIRI featuring the Pyrenean ecosystem. The chef is quick to point out that he’s not trying to make authentic sushi but rather his own interpretation. The sushi rice is presented 3 ways - steamed gnocchi, shari and fried with pine oil. Served with a 45 days Pyrenean trout and a flavorful River crab chupe with truffle.

With the next course, we were taken on a journey to Southeast Asia with inspirations such as a TAIPIRINHA with Thai rum, ginger-lemongrass liqueur & mint-basil-cucumber froth, LAKSA with mini roasted hams, BBQ bacon & wild trout roe, and GREEN CURRY with tear peas, jalapeño peppers & matcha green tea curry. Usually I’m wary of European chefs doing Asian fusion but the chef demonstrates his understanding of southeast flavors with these fantastic creations!

Then we had the RED TUNA with cured tuna belly and tuna marrow marmitako (Basque tuna stew), but what stole the show for me was the rich homemade tomato consommé cooked for 24 hours!

UPSIDE DOWN WORLD…FROSTED SALAD FROM THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE AND THEIR SEA SIDES - usually vegetables are served as sides but here it’s been flipped around where the salad was the star with three types of grilled fishes (turbot, sea bream & red mullet) as the sides.

Warm Sashimi with Upside Down Fried Baby Eels where the angulas were cooked by pouring hot oil over them (as opposed to the traditional way of cooking them in oil) in order to preserve their texture and flavor!

Served with Galician clams veloute “al riesling”, enoki mushrooms, baby octopus and grilled semi-roasted beach “sepieta” shirasu seasoning.

FOIES.. FROM THE SEA AND THE LAND with grilled duck foie, sea urchin and green tomatoes & “Serrano” chillies gazpacho

TONGUES... FROM THE SEA AND THE LAND with duck tongue, sea urchin tongue and aged sherry vinegar.

FRIED EGGS WITH "PUNTILLA" AND BLACK PUDDING with crunchy bittersweet lily bulbs

Many of Dabiz's dishes were inspired by his travels and one of the highlights was definitely the gorgeous GALICIAN LOBSTER WAKING UP ON THE BEACHES OF GOA with lobster slow roasted in tandoor, buffalo milk skin, lobster head vindaloo, and lobster claw panipuri presented on an elephant! 

ARAGÓN FOREST MOISTURES with Iberian Agnei lamb skirt steak, lamb fried milk, stewed lamb cheek and white truffle

QUAIL ORTOLANS SHABU SHABU with a sour & spicy thickened juice and tempura of its legs

For our transition from savory to sweet, we were served this RAW PURITY “SWEET CHILLI PRAWNS”. The chef had discovered Melipona honey from his travels to Mexico last month and managed to find a similar honey by a small producer in Menorca. The honey is full of umami and acidic flavors due to the Tramontana wind in the area, and would served as the base of the sauce of his take on sweet chili prawns. First he scooped the carabinero prawn onto the palm of our hand which was then covered by the honey, and dressed with ginger, lime, coriander, dried chili from Basque Country, and deep-fried tempura toppings. The end result was just a perfect and ingenious transition to the dessert portion of our menu!

The first dessert was the TOASTED BUTTER RISOTTO WITH TUBER UNCINATUM where rice pudding had been cooked like a risotto and paired with a cherry ice cream ball which was meant to be cracked opened to mix with the rest of the dish.

The second dessert was the BLACKCURRANT BUBBLEGUM with coconut ganache, black garlic, licorice and coconut-yuzu ashes ice cream.

We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and I was so surprised to see this giant cake presented to us - but don’t worry as it’s just a showpiece and there was actually a small chocolate cake hidden inside.

Thank you Dabiz and the team for the wonderful celebration!

NH Eurobuilding, C. del Padre Damián, 23, 28036 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 915 70 07 66


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