After the success of its pop-up restaurant, The Table By, Urso Hotel & Spa have launched a permanent dining experience in the form of Media Racion. On a recent visit to Madrid StyleNest couldn’t resist the chance to revisit the hotel and pay a visit for an evening of Spanish tapas and wine.
Based around tapas-style dining, Media Racion offers traditional Spanish food in the elegantly casual setting of Madrid’s first 5-star boutique hotel, Urso. The menu offers a selection of both mains and half portion dishes, as the name Media Racion implies, which can be enjoyed as a starter or shared among friends for a more casual dining experience. Created by chef Fernando Cuenllas, Cuenllas uses only the very best and freshest ingredients to elevate what is often served as bar food to something far more sophisticated.
Guests can expect plenty of traditional Spanish fare, from acorn-fed Iberican ham to croquetas, as well as some more luxurious delicacies such as caviar and foie gras. For those who are feeling adventurous there is also octopus, which be warned, does come as a large tentacle, however it was beautifully presented and the best pulpo we have tasted. Others may want to try callos, or tripe, which is also a signature dish of Cuenllas. There are also plenty of classic dishes including steak tartare, the always crowd-pleasing hamburger, and fish such as cod and hake. However, with the menu’s more modern twist on traditional Spanish gastronomy vegetarians are not left out, look out for dishes such as creamy vegetable tapas, and black truffle risotto, as well as a variety of salads and Spanish cheeses.
After opting for the creamy vegetables ourselves along with the classic Spanish jamon for our shared starters, followed by the octopus as well as the pigeon two-ways, which my dining partner loved, it was time for dessert. As with the rest of the menu there is something for everyone. Feeling quite full we chose to share the traditional Spanish bizcocho, which is usually a plain cake and yet here was served unusually with pistachio ice-cream, perfect with the chocolate sponge. There are also fruitier options of lemon tart and a “mango soup” with sorbet, for those looking for a lighter way to end their meal, as well as the intriguingly named chocolate y pan, or chocolate and bread, for diners looking for something a little more indulgent.
Service was impeccable throughout our meal, and really added to the experience. Our waitress could not have been more welcoming or knowledgeable about the menu, and was happy to spend time talking us through the more unfamiliar dishes as well as her personal favourites. A sommelier was also on hand to present her choice of Spanish wine from the restaurant’s collection, which has been chosen by Cuenllas, and a very personal touch was provided by the chef himself, who surprised us with an appearance at the end of our meal to ask if we had enjoyed ourselves. We had immensely and we couldn’t praise his dishes enough, we just hope our Spanish was good enough to let him know.
Media Racion,, Calle de la Beneficencia, 15, 28004 Madrid, Spain