[Spain: Madrid] A Disappointing Night at 2* Smoked Room by Dani Garcia

Rating: 3/5

Our meal in Madrid at 2* Smoked Room by Dani Garcia was unfortunately a disappointment. There were lots of Japanese influences (nothing inherently wrong with that) but as our group was from Asia and would visit Japan often, we were probably more critical of the Japanese elements in the menu than their usual audience and there were some dishes that worked for us (smoked eel nitro tomato) and some that didn’t (kombujime tuna belly). For a place called smoked room, I was also expecting more smoked and chargrilled flavors in the dishes.

The biggest issue for us though was the service. They would over-explain every dish (ie. Japanese ingredients) without knowing their audience. It was clear that they had a script that they needed to regurgitate verbatim. Perhaps we were nitpicking, but I was in a similar situation at another 2* restaurant in Madrid; the staff there was flexible and adjusted their explanations accordingly. They also started to clear dishes before everyone at our table had finished and then when we got up to leave, there was no staff to be seen anywhere - not really up to our expectations for a 2* restaurant.Our menu:

Roasted yeast butter and grilled avocado

Shrimp from motril, noisette butter and smoked pepper

Seaweed stew, smoked caviar and mint

Smoked aged hamachi, roasted tomato essence and yuzu

Smoked eel nitro tomato, red bell pepper caramel and "ajo blanco malagueno”

Seaweed steamed langoustine, smoked mayonnaise and nantua dipped claw

Dashi tomato

Charbroiled clams in tosazu beurre blanc and fresh wasabi

Kombujime red tuna belly, smoked saffron bouillabaisse and tear peas

Roasted duck with carrot purée, sake infused crêpe suzette and yuzu berigarde sauce

Duck ravioli, chilimole sauce and dry aged pork belly carbonara

Japanese dried persimmons with Comte cheese and melanosporum truffle

Fig aspic, vanilla and fig leaves ice cream

Apple, shisho and yoghurt

Petit fours

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