Situated just off of Gran Via, Maru is a central Madrid restaurant offering both Korean and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is quite cosy but big enough to be an ideal place for a group of friends or a family to catch-up over a delicious BBQ.
To begin, we opted for dumplings. They were crisp on the outside and packed full of succulent meat. Each was generously drizzled with a tangy sauce of soy and white wine vinegar and topped with crunchy seaweed. The balance of textures was perfect, salty and sweet flavours marrying together well. They were the type of food you regret agreeing to share!
A Korean staple is kimchi. Fermented vegetables (mostly cabbage) are seasoned generously with garlic, salt, chillies and other spices, of course not forgetting vinegar. It is delicious on its own, with a spoon of rice or mixed in liberally with any other dish. It is also incredibly healthy for you, not that we needed much convincing to eat more!
The seafood noodle soup was flavourful and light, filled with prawns, mussels and more. It would be ideal to share between a group of people as the portion was generous. The broth was seasoned well and was a real taste of the sea. With plenty of restaurants in Madrid offering seafood of some type, it makes it tough to stand out, but this soup was memorable.
The vegetarian Bibimbap was full of flavour. An assortment of crispy and tender vegetables mixed through fluffy rice and topped with a variety of crunchy vegetables and sauce. The best part is mixing through the crispy egg white and runny yolk through the rice as it continues to cook. Perfect comfort food and I could’ve happily eaten the entire portion.
The main event was the Korean BBQ. What is it about cooking your own food when you’re out that is so exciting? We opted for pork which was coated in a subtlety spicy and sweet sauce. After a short time on the BBQ and showing off our flipping skills, the meat was very tender and caramelised. A crispy Cos lettuce leaf made the base of the wrap, filled with fluffy rice, a layer of meat and smothered with an earthy but spicy sauce. The combination was very tasty and light, with the lettuce leaf adding a nice freshness and contrast.
Full to the brim by the time the dessert menu arrived, green tea truffles seemed the perfect way to round off the meal (see opening image). A sweet combination of rich chocolate and green tea made for a tasty bite. The truffles were rolled in matcha powder and served with whipped cream and caramel, which worked surprisingly well.
Maru also serve sushi and Japanese cuisine if you fancy that instead. Either way, make sure to add this place on the list of what to do in Madrid when you are craving some tasty, wholesome Asian food.
Address: Calle Reina, 37, 28004 Madrid
Monday to Saturday 1:30–4:30PM, 8:30–11:30PM