Craving to nibble on some fine Asian dishes? Go dine at Kintaro, where you’ll find infinitely scrumptious Japanese and Chinese food, and horrendous service.
“This place is like heaven.” “Oh my God.” “This is the most amazing place I’ve ever been to in my entire life.” “It’s like paradise.”
That’s what we were all saying the first time we went to Kintaro, an all-you-can-eat buffet of delicious Japanese and Chinese food costing 15.80€ per person (9€ for lunch during weekdays). In fact, this article is the fruit of a collaboration between four friends (Edison, Kyle, James and Daphne) who regularly dine at Kintaro together.
Kintaro has its own peculiar charm. You sit beside a conveyor belt that sends out different types of Asian delights, from spicy tuna rolls to roasted duck, all night long. And there’s no waiting; the food just keeps coming. It’s like diving into a grown-up carousel, where sweet and savoury exotic treats circle round and round you all within arm’s reach.
We’ve developed a special technique when it comes to eating at Kintaro: first, pack in as many sushi rolls, plates of beef and dumplings as possible; then, move on to dessert — ice cream and fruit; and then there’s round two of the same process, followed by round three if we’re really in the zone.
Prior to this recent expedition to Kintaro, Edison and James had just helped Kyle move out of his apartment (carrying boxes up- and downstairs for hours definitely builds up an appetite) and they were famished. Thus, an all-night buffet was a godsend.
But for anyone with an appetite, Kintaro is close to heaven indeed. When we were university students in Madrid, the habitually philosophizing, dreadlock-sporting and hacky sack-playing crowd called this place home — it was the hotspot when the typical gluttonous cravings could no longer be quenched by junkfood. Just imagine.
Now, the only reason you should ever go there is if you love eating good quality Japanese and Chinese food, for hours upon hours, because that’s all Kintaro has to offer. Although the food options are tantalizing and the atmosphere sufficiently refined, the service is appalling. If you’re not a champion eater, you’re either going to feel guilty about not knowing how to pace yourself, or because you went to a place where the waiters tried to push you out as fast as possible.
During this last visit to Kintaro, the service got particularly ugly, as three different waiters decided to take turns asking us if we were done, every minute. Given this is a buffet, the waiters’ asking us if we were finished a million times was virtually our only contact with them, and it was exasperating. By the end, we felt like a screeching broken record saying “no, we’re not done yet,” over and over again. To say nothing of one of our fellow diners who at one point wanted to punch a certain waiter that had just gotten asked his fifth consecutive “Are you done?” We’d like to add that this attitude displayed by the waiters is nothing new, though usually they are not as obnoxiously insistent.
Another friend told us a similar story. One time, while she and her friends were evidently still stuffing themselves, the waiter came up to them out of nowhere and planted the bill on the table, catching them completely off guard. The restaurant wasn’t closing, so it felt like they were being kicked out. To make matters worse, the waiters came every other minute to see if they’d paid.
After reading this, you may be wondering, why on earth would someone go here if the service is so bad? Precisely because the food is so exquisite and abundant. So, if you can put up with the bad service and are craving for an unlimited amount of Asian cuisine, go check it out!
Address: Calle de Fernández de la Hoz 70
Metro: Gregorio Marañón
Price: 15.80€ for an all-you-can-eat Japanese/Chinese dinner buffet, and 9€ for lunch (the slightly over-priced drinks aren’t included in either case)
More Asian restaurants featured on Naked Madrid:
- Ramen Kagura – Madrid’s (almost) perfect ramen bar
- Sumo – This Japanese restaurant’s name says it all
- Tuk Tuk – Asian-inspired street food
- Chuka Ramen Bar – Madrid’s hottest ramen restaurant
- Hattori Hanzo – Japanese food, straight up. No sushi.
- Nippon 2 – top quality yet affordable sushi, finally!
- Soy Kitchen – a fusion of Asian flavors
- Karachai – A cozy and elegant Thai restaurant in Alonso Martínez