Wednesday 7 May 2014

Punto MX, Madrid.

Punto MX is said by some to be the best Mexican restaurant in Europe. I don't know if this is true or not, but I do know that it's the best Mexican food we've ever eaten. It's on a completely different level this stuff. The problem in the first place though was getting a reservation. It's one of the hardest restaurants to secure a table, especially at such short notice. It's fully booked for months apparently. But if I'm told I can't go somewhere, I become obsessed with getting that golden ticket. I got us into El Bulli, El Celler de Can Roca, 41 degrees and Tickets, all hard if not quite impossible to get a table.
It was twitter to the rescue on this occasion, I follow someone who works there and after asking a few times, he said he'd book us in. Normally you have to phone at midday on a Monday to try for a last minute slot. We were flying into Madrid and quickly checked into our hotel before getting a taxi to the restaurant. We arrived just as the doors were opening at 9pm. Nobody dines before 9 in Madrid and most eat a lot later.
We were shown the upstairs cocktail bar Mezcal Lab, before being ushered down to the smart basement restaurant below. It soon becomes clear that you're not in any old Mexican place. For a start, the service is excellent, at a Michelin star level I'd say. After a lovely little appetiser (a sign of things to come), they theatrically mixed Guacamole at our table with a pestle and mortar (€4 per person). It was the most beautiful guacamole I've ever eaten. I think it may have spoiled all future guacamole though. The tortilla chips also were quite different from any we'd had before.
Next came Red Chilaquiles. Morita chile sauce, Free-Range egg. (€16). This was a pleasant and pretty breakfast dish, if not mind blowing.
Green Chorizo Tacos with Avocado, San Simón Cheese. Crusted roasted chile salsa (€15) was superb, so intense in flavour. I could eat this dish every day of my life.  
The Bone Marrow charbroiled in ember oven, Crushed roasted tomato salsa, herbs (€19) was another total stunner. The fatty gelatinous bone marrow works so perfectly with the slightly acidic salsa. Mrs Bacon asked me if she could suck on the bone to extract those last bits of lovely meat. That's indeed why I married her, someone who is as gluttonous as I am.
90 day aged bullock tacos, northern style, was possibly my favourite dish of the night. The quality of the product here (and generally in Spain) is so high. This beef from Galicia is one of the best pieces of meat I've ever eaten. If has softer texture and a fuller flavour, it is unbelievably good.
The attentive team also mix a very mean cocktail, we finished sharing a spicy 'Mezcalinhas';  Mezcal, ginger beer, ginger and chille.
We're so glad we managed to get to experience Punto MX, we found it all to be absolutely fantastic, it's not cheap but the best things rarely are. It was a wonderful start to our weekend in Madrid. I hear DiverXo and StreetXO chef David Muñoz is a fan of this place, and it was to his restaurants where we would venture next on our Spanish journey.

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