Club Allard, Madrid

When I went to Madrid in January on a gastronomy trip, I dined at four restaurants with Michelin stars in four days. Of the four, the restaurant which surprised and impressed me the most was Club Allard.

I had eaten at Club Allard before and also loved it. That was when Diego Guerrero was still head chef. Now Maria Marte, the then sous chef, is the executive chef at Club Allard. She is continuing with Diego Guerrero’s high standards and developing the menu further.

Read about Maria Marte and her fascinating journey from pot-washer to two Michelin Stars here.

The other three restaurants I ate at on this particular trip were:
Punto MX
Terraza del Casino

Tasting Menu at Club Allard

When we were led into the dining room, we were greeted by Benito Durán, the maitre d’ and Juan Antonio Herrero, the sommelier. We knew we were in good hands with these two experienced professionals.

We had booked for the Revolution Menu, the long tasting menu and wine pairing to go with it. Juan Antonio Herrero really pulled out all the stops with the wine pairing.

Toni did his little speech about how we are from a wine-producing area and we drink a lot of Spanish wine and how we like to be surprised. Our sommelier really took on the challenge and gave his absolute best to try to surprise us with an interesting wine selection. And he did a great job.

Our waiter was also phenomenal: he was able to answer every question we had and we could see that he was really passionate about what he was serving. He was never intrusive or over chatty, but he always invited us to ask him anything about the dishes, as though he wanted to do more than tell us simply what we were eating.

maria marte

Maria Marte’s signature dish: the famous Flor de Hibiscus

For example, when we were served the hibiscus flower with pisco sour, we didn’t know what pisco was. Not only was our waiter able to tell us that it is a typical spirit from South America, but he was able to explain to us exactly which town the particular brand that they had used to make the foam that graced the top of our flower was from. And then he produced the bottle and served us a shot so that we could try it on its own. Now there’s service for you.

In fact, this hibiscus flower with pisco sour was one of my favourite dishes in the menu. It was just a palate cleanser between the main courses and the desserts. It was fresh, fruity and vibrant. If you read my post about Maria Marte the head chef, you will also know that this is what she considers to be her signature dish.

In fact I enjoyed all of the dishes on this tasting menu.

Club Allard 2015

The meal got off to a Club Allard signature start with the edible menu.

Club Allard 2015

The card placed on the table was made of ‘potato paper’ and soon a mascarpone sauce appeared for us to dip the card in and eat our words!

This is more for show than for flavour, and actually, even though the card is edible, it is pretty inedible. I remember that the previous time I ate at Club Allard I didn’t really like the potato paper much.

But it’s fun and it’s the way the meal at Club Allard always starts. I bet that Maria Marte has really struggled with whether to keep it or get rid.

Club Allard appetisers

The meal continued with some amazing appetisers.

Among the best were:

The smoked sardine with cream of celeriac and apple.

club allard

Smoked sardine with cream of celeriac and apple

The flowering usuzukuri.

Club Allard 2015

Flowering Usuzukuri

And my absolute favourite, which I could have eaten again and again:

The cup cake of egg and truffle.

Club Allard 2015

Cup cake of egg and truffle

The cupcake was bitesize – well, a large bite – and we were supposed to eat it in one go. The egg inside exploded in the mouth and all the flavours were amazing. I loved this dish.

Two ‘risottos’ a la Club Allard

I loved the way that the chef played with the diner, serving us a false risotto. In our case it was two false risottos because the one on the menu was cuttlefish, which I don’t eat. I thought it was great how they changed my dish but kept it as close to the theme as possible.

Club Allard 2015

Toni’s ‘arroz del mar’ (rice of the sea) made with cuttlefish

In Toni’s ‘risotto’ dish, the cuttlefish was chopped into tiny pieces and mine was the same but with amazing wild mushrooms. There was not a grain of rice on either plate.

Club Allard 2015

My ‘risot con setas’ (wild mushroom risot)

Venison loin with sweet potato and chestnut

Next came a tree trunk!

Club Allard 2015

Venison loin with sweet potato and chestnut

It was an interesting presentation because the sweet potato was also styled like a hollowed out tree trunk stuffed with chestnut.

The amazing loin of venison was cooked to perfection and deliciously tender.

More main courses

There were still more main courses to come, including: onion soup, oven-baked turbot with smoked arbequina and mini seasonal vegetables, and ‘roasted black‘.

Wondering what roasted black is? I’ll leave it as a surprise for when you go to Club Allard for an interesting lunch…

Club Allard 2015 Club Allard 2015 Club Allard 2015

Amazing desserts at Club Allard

And then came the desserts….

The desserts at Club Allard were to die for. I loved every mouthful.

We started with the signature dish that I mentioned near the beginning of this post; the hibiscus flower with pisco sour.

Then we had a dish called petals.

Followed by chocolate roses. This just got better and better and more and more original.

Club Allard 2015 Club Allard 2015 Club Allard 2015

And finally, to finish off: The Blackboard. Complete with delicious edible chalk that we could even draw with!

These were fabulous fun desserts and even though I was stuffed I could have eaten them all again!

This whole menu was the absolute star of this Madrid Gastronomy trip and if you can only eat in one Madrid restaurant then I recommend Club Allard.

And if you enjoyed reading about the restaurant, please make sure you check out the story from pot washer to Two Michelin Stars: amazing journey by Maria Marte, head chef at Club Allard.

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.



Filed Under: featuredFine Diningfood and drinkmadridMadrid Gastronomyspain

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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