When I landed in Madrid, I vowed to eat nothing but paella and churros until I left Spain. Perhaps not the most realistic goal, but I was determined! I think I lasted 4 hours on this diet of pastry and rice until the temptation of Madrid’s best vego restaurant won me over. After that, I was gone, gone, gone. I posted a snap of this meal on my Instagram, and you all went insane over it, so, as per popular request, here is my full restaurant review!
Yerbabuena Restaurant is certainly not what you expect from any restaurant; the decor is basic, and the color choice of the walls is, well, distracting to say the least. Perhaps the fluro green paint choice was their way of paying homage to their veggie-based roots? Either way, I wasn’t feeling it, and it made me nervous about my meal to come. A glance over the menu was enough to silence an concerns I had, serving everything from zucchini crepes to bolognese to tempura vegetables, the menu was an organised mess: and I was excited.
At first glance of my meal I knew I wouldn’t come close to finishing it, but after my first bite I knew I was going to try my hardest to come as close as I could.
I ordered the Tortilla Cannelloni with roasted potatoes and a side salad, whilst my friend ordered the Mexican Rollitos, which I thought was a brave choice, as we had no idea what they were! After our ordered were placed, we received our amuse bouche. For those unaware, these are small appetisers that aren’t ordered by the table, yet bought out complimentary at the chefs request. Ours were a cucumber stack, with an incredible fresh dressing that left me wanting more. They aren’t very popular in restaurants (I’ve perhaps eaten at 6 restaurants across Europe that serve them), so as you can imagine, I was so impressed with our host served these, and even more impressed when they tasted, well, incredible!
After a wait of about 15 minutes, the food arrived, looking nothing like I anticipated. The dishes were, well, huge! Bright, colorful, with the food almost jumping off the plate. They seemed to, interestingly, parallel the menu: the dishes were an organised mess. Not over reaching, or pretentiously trying to be something they weren’t, but instead, served with the humble touch of a home cooked meal. My favourite thing about Yerbabuena Restaurant was that you could tell the meals were prepared with love; you could tell the chef was excited about the food, you could tell this wasn’t a money driven restaurant, or another door on a busy street – this was a restaurant with a purpose, and passion, for good food.
When I cut into the cannelloni, which was more like an enchilada then the small pasta cannelloni I was expecting, I was surprised by it’s filling, and even more surprised by what I was tasting. By this stage I couldn’t remember what exactly I had ordered, but even if I could, I don’t think I would have expected it to taste like it did. It was savoury, for sure, but the layers of spices and herbs used gave me the impression this meal took hours of fine tuning and perfecting. The roast potatoes were perfect, and the green dressing across the plate balanced the heaviness of the meal perfectly. The salad was, surprisingly, not as simple as a garden salad; the dressing was a well balanced balsamic dressing, not too acidic or sweet, but strong enough to offset the taste of the vegetables. At first glance of my meal I knew I wouldn’t come close to finishing it, but after my first bite I knew I was going to try my hardest to come as close as I could.
Yerbabuena Restaurant is priced incredibly well, especially for Madrid. Each of our dishes were 13.5 and 8 Euros respectively, but they could have charged me double that and I still would have paid. My favourite parts of dissecting restaurant is finding things that each establishment does that set them apart from others, and what I loved about Yerbabuena was that their love for their restaurant spoke louder than our language barrier ever did. From the way the meals were prepared, to the way they delivered the bills with a bucket of lollies, everything about this restaurant spoke of love.
The food? Impeccable. Now, let’s do something about those fluro walls…
some deets // extra fun things
▲ Check their restaurant here for current menu and opening hours!
▲ Each month their website features new recipes for you to try at at home, straight from the chef’s kitchen! (told you it was all made with love)
▲ Yerbabuena is currently a Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant, however in the future we would love to see it move to a full Vegan menu. If you would too, let us know below!
Over to you, what is your favourite meal you’ve ever eaten overseas?
Could you last 5 days on paella and churros? Haha, let me know below!