Friday, 17 April 2015

Restaurant Review: Tuk Tuk, Madrid

Late last year, business partners Ric and Alan shook up Madrid's rather staid food scene by opening Tuk Tuk (in the trendy Malasaña barrio, Calle Cardenal Cisneros 6), serving Asian street food. It was a bit of a risk - Madrileños are not known for embracing exotic foreign food. While Madrid already had a number of Asian restaurants - lots of Cantonese, several 'Indian' (Bangladeshi, normally), a couple of Thai places - none of them was outstanding and none had the guts to serve authentic recipes. The curse of 'adjusting to suit local tastes' prevails in Madrid.

Tuk Tuk is different - the food is bursting with Asian flavours, served without pretension, and very affordable. The first restaurant became so popular they had to turn away more people than they could serve at weekends. Clearly the demand was there, so a couple of weeks ago they opened a second venue (in the gay Chueca barrio, Calle Barquillo 26) that can accommodate twice as many people as the first Tuk Tuk.

We went on a Saturday lunchtime a few days after it opened. The interior follows the design cues of the original Tuk Tuk - black and red, a big photo-mural of an Asian city street, Chinese lanterns and illuminated advertising signs. This location can hold about 60 people on three levels - the ground floor, a mezzanine and a basement. The basement is unusual in that it has natural daylight filtering into it, so it's a lot more pleasant than most basement dining areas.

We've eaten at the original Tuk Tuk several times, so our expectations of the food were pretty high. We were not disappointed. The menu isn't divided into starters and mains, it's divided into Rice Bowls, Thai Curry, Barbecue dishes, Noodles dishes, Noodle Soup, Salads and Soup.

To start, we shared a bowl of Hong Kong Char Sui - marinated Pork loin served with a dome of sticky rice speckled with black seeds (nigella, I think). Then we had Moo Ping - Thai skewers of marinated pork - and Tom Ka Gai, a delicious Thai chicken soup buzzing with the flavours of coconut, lime, lemon grass and only the chef knows what else. It was all superb.

So, give your taste buds a treat and go to Tuk Tuk.

1 comment :

  1. thanks keef........all we need now is to put our food in a pie lol !!!!!!!!!