Friday, 23 July 2010

My Madrid: My new friend Nina

My longest-standing friend is called Nina. We bonded over our packed lunches on a school trip to Blackpool Zoo aged 5. Given the positive connotations of the name, I've been meaning to try the namesake restaurant on Manuela Malasaña for the past few months, but it wasn't until last night that the appetising menu and minimalist surroundings finally tempted me inside.

Unlike the usual rough-and-ready-but-still-trendy dining options in Malasaña (yes, I admit it, it's probably my favourite barrio, although it had to fight with Lavapiés for that hallowed title), Nina is an oasis of exposed-brick and dimily-lit chic, offering surpisingly reasonably-priced modern Spanish/Mediterranean dishes accompanied by an extensive wine list. They may not have had the cava we initially chose, but the 2008 cabernet sauvignon rosé we ordered instead was a delicious substitute - in fact the best rosé I've ever tasted - that went down far too easily.

Once the difficult decision of what to eat was made - the menu features pastas, fish, meat and a summer specials section, in addition to starters and platters to share - we were presented with a basket of warm bread and a serving of gazpacho to whet our appetites. Appetites suitably whetted, I tucked into my tuna and courgette milhoja (layers) with asparagus, roasted tomatoes and a romesco sauce, while my date for the evening K polished off a cod fillet glazed with honey alioli. As can be expected such stylish surroundings, the portions were just-so rather than ginormous, but for €12.90 you can't exactly complain. Much as I love Albur across the street for its down-to-earth atmosphere and great Spanish grub, Nina's tuna options undercut its neighbours' by at least €4.

The New York cheesecake was a definite cut above many Spanish dessert offerings (no frozen La Mallorquina offerings here, oh no) and brought our evening to a tasty conclusion. Given the relaxed ambience, attentive service and high-quality food and drink, I can only say that Madrid's Nina is now a firm Malasaña favourite.

  • Nina is at Calle Manuela Malasaña 10 (metro Bilbao).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...