Nakeima has the essence of Fooding, 100%. In Nakeima, we don’t eat, we feel the food. It’s so much more than lunch or a dinner. It’s a pleasure for all of our senses. If we were giving out Fooding Madrid stars, Nakeima would have three.
At Nakeima, one doesn’t go just to ‘see how it is’, since being one of the just 20 diners they let in per meal requires effort. You have to wait in line for about an hour and a half.
But, really, it’s worth it.
It’s like this: There are only two meals a day; one for lunch, that starts a 14:00, and one for dinner, that starts at 21:00. At each meal there’s space for 20 people – not a single one more – and they don’t take reservations of any kind.
So? Well, you have to arrive pretty early in order to line up outside the door. Of course, it depends on luck and the day, but an hour an hour should be enough. We repeat: an hour and a half should be enough, but it depends on the day! So don’t blame us if you get there and there’s no room left.
Attention! This is important. One person in line can reserve for a maximum of four people. So, if you’re five people, you’d have to have at least two people waiting in line.
Half an hour before mealtime (13:30 for lunch or 20:30 for dinner), the waiters come outside to take down your name and the number of diners in your group. After they take down your name, you can go take a quick walk (or beer) before coming back at 14:00 or 21:00. And, if you’ve managed to make it inside… allow yourself to get taken away by the amazing service and ENJOY!
The space itself is small and works kind of like a dumpling bar. Two high tables and eight stools surrounding the bar is all you’ll find on the lower level. We recommend the stools because you’ll be able to chat with the waiters… they’re super friendly, nice and can tell you secrets about the food.
Waiter: “Are any of you allergic to anything or do you not like something?
Waiter: “Ok”, he says, while writing down what they’re going to serve…
If you like to allow follow the restaurant’s recommendations, that’s how it will go. But, there is a blackboard with the menu (which, of course, they change pretty often) if you prefer to choose yourself.
What we tried:
Gunkan de ensaladilla rusa y erizo de mar
Russian salad gunkan with sea urchin
This had an intense flavour, with that enjoyable sea-flavour of the sea urchin. It made it a great way to start a meal with so much ‘rock and roll’. The only thing was that, perhaps, it was a bit big to eat in one bite.
Dumpling de carrillera
Beef cheek dumpling
Flavour country! This course was chosen by one of our group as her favourite because it tasted like a ‘mother’s homemade stew’.
Wonton de gambas
Super crispy and delicious. We definitely would have eaten a few more…
Dumpling de papada ibérica
Iberian pork cheek dumpling
Really savoury with a strong taste that left us with an amazing aftertaste.
Bao de carrilleras
Beef cheek bao
Like the dumplings, they had that ‘grandmother’s cooking’ type filling that made us fall in love…
Nigiri de gambas al ajillo
Prawns ‘al ajillo’ nigiri
Nigiri de papada ibérica
Pork cheek nigiri
Nigiri de sargo
Nigiri de pargo con lima
Red snapper nigiri with lime
Ensalada de callos thai
Thai beef tripe salad
Really surprising! Never would we ever have thought that beef tripe could taste like this… INCREDIBLE.
Tallarines de sepia al wok
Cuttlefish noodle wok
An explosion of flavour in every bite. Astonishing!
Bundwich criollo (hamburguesa de chorizo criollo y huevo en pan chino)
Creole Bundwich (Creole chorizo and egg on a Chinese steamed bun)
“It’s for getting your hands dirty!” they screamed from behind the bar. No problem. Total enjoyment.
Mind-blowing. They make the dry ramen right in front of you. First they serve just the noodle and then they add the toppings. Unbelievable when you mix it at all…
Postre de piña asada con cremoso de whisky y chocolate blanco
Dessert was roasted pineapple with a whiskey and white chocolate cream… and an secret ingredient. They dare you to guess it… AND WE DID!!!
Nakeima is not just a lunch or a dinner, it’s an adventure. And if you like to experience food, we recommend that you not think twice and go LIVE IT.