New restaurant openings (or in fact any kind of opening) within Madrid are pretty much ten a penny. When strolling round any of the barrios, you’d be hard pressed to not spy an exposed brick or a jam jar cocktail vying for your attention, in what’s becoming an increasingly crammed marketplace.
However, there are some new spots that feel no need for fanfare and know full well that the masses are going to flock in their droves. Cannibal holds this covetable spot. The restaurant equivalent of someone tall, dark and handsome – Cannibal is poised to become the darling of the Madrid restaurant scene and you won’t just need to take my word for it; you could ask anyone who was there last Saturday (when it was packed to the rafters).
Madrid non-newbies will remember that the site of Cannibal once housed the infamous brunch spot ‘Cafe Oliver’ and when it closed its doors, many mourned the loss. So imagine my excitement whilst on my daily walk to work when I spied renovations.
Now painted in an inky blue hue, the newly opened Cannibal is hard to miss. The name alludes to what’s on offer dinner wise. The raw stuff. Tartare. Ceviche. Carpaccio. But don’t despair if you’re not a fan of the cold stuff, the menu offers a mean hamburger and THE most delish Peruvian Pork dish that was inhaled within mere minutes.
Now I could wax lyrical about just how good the food was – because it truly was. We’re talking last meal type claims (if like me burrata and steak carpaccio is your idea of food heaven). But it wasn’t just the food that had my company and me swooning; it was the service.
In a country where asking for the bill is usually met with a grunt, the team at Cannibal couldn’t have been more charming or attentive – much to the glee of my dinner companions. They happily talked through the menu with genuine interest, they were knowledgeable about ingredients and at no point were our glasses empty. I know this kind of vibe is to be expected in a country like the states, but in the land of jamon this is rare.
It goes without saying that the decor satiated my interiors porn thirst and it didn’t hurt to have a window seat on a balmy evening, where you would people watch over your dulce de leche pud.
Like all restaurants reviews, I’m always torn between spreading the word and keeping schtum for fear of a place becoming busier than the Bernabeu on a match day, but the secret’s out.
Embrace your inner cannibal and happy feasting. Who cares if it’s bikini season with food that good? That’s what kaftan’s are for.