Way back when, before the advent of gastrobars, gastro-streets, gastro-bloggers etc etc, restaurants made it by offering great food and service. Today, much has changed. Many seem to stay more than buoyant by offering fanciful decoration then attracting the right kind of influencers who go and post a picture or two; resulting in herds of people flocking to these lifestyle spots. Sadly, we all then later get surprised when we are served frozen croquetas and uninspiring versions of the famed med-cuisine.
Happily, this is far from the case with Restaurante Gala, whose culinary history dates back some 27 years. This restaurant has opted to stay safely in its lane by offering fresh market produce inspired by Spanish cuisine favourites, with a handful of influences borrowed from the likes of Italy and Japan. Of the many things to try on the menu, one must not miss the crunchy ravioli filled with octopus and seasoned with red curry or the red tuna tataki served with Tobiko eggs (flying fish roe), seaweed and a cold miso salad.
These dishes represent the changing times and the restaurant’s adaptation to these. However, to understand Gala’s true roots, the must try dishes would be the salmorejo served with sour apple ice cream with cinnamon. To be quite honest I hate salmorejo but this one from Restaurante Gala had me at hello. If it wasn’t for the people at my table, I would have shamelessly licked the bowl, (just ask Maria). I also loved the sirloin steak served with just the right amount of a mencia grape reduction and some fresh fries.
To be honest, the menu at Restaurante Gala is quite varied and the truth is you’ll want to try everything. So what they have done to help you out is create a section called “Caprichos Gourmet” which is the mini versions of their cocina de toda la vida. Here you find favourites such as croquetas, foie with spiced bread and aubergine membrillo and some kickass anchovies with tomato tartare. If this doesn’t quite quench your need to try it all, then the taster menu that is changed once a month is for you. This gives you the chance to try more items from the menu at a healthy price of 35€ per person.
So really, next time you’re in Chamberí, forget Calle Ponzano and make a slight turn to Calle Espronceda, 14 for an experience that will surely delight your taste buds. The average price per person is 40€. Go on, be good to yourself!!!
Restuarante Gala Details
Telephone: 91 442 22 44
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 13:30 to 15:30h – Tuesday – Saturday 21 to 23h