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Navaja (CLOSED)

Restaurants Malasaña
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Such lovely folks working in a spot where it’s so difficult to get a table. You’ll definitely want to book in advance if you want to eat in the little dining area at the back, but there are usually availabilities if you arrive before the mealtime rush. Nowadays word of mouth travels fast among foodies, and when a new restaurant opens where there’s a lot to talk about, chairs are occupied all day every day. On any given Thursday, for example, you might come across a clientele that includes trendy locals from the neighbourhood, some fortunate tourists, groups of young friends, and Alejandro Amenábar.

You’re met with wood and walls with an industrial touch, humble flatware and drinkware, a marked Galician accent among staff, and a very lively atmosphere and music. They deserve a hand for the balance they’ve managed to attain between a certain sophistication, a modern ambience and a deep appreciation for the rural and the home-made. For example, you may find you’re invited to a taste of liqueur after your meal. You may think such a gesture is a bit modern, but what’s more traditional is that they then leave the bottle so you can serve yourself a touch more if you like. It’s a detail not often seen around town. And so you know, they also make a selection of cocktails to liven up the night.

Simple and far from fancy, the small menu reveals an ode to things done right, based on good products and lovely wines. Anything goes here where the northernmost of the Atlantic meets techniques and flavours from Far Eastern and South American latitudes. Perhaps their gastronomical offering isn’t the most original, but it is an admirable entry into fusion cuisine. Highlights include the Nikkei ‘navajas’ (razorfish), the Peruvian ‘tiradito’ raw fish dish with aji amarillo, and the generous serving of Peruvian ‘estofado norteño’ (northern stew). Be sure to leave room for dessert because their Ton pay (wonton, lemon mousse, pisco and coconut foam...) is delicious.


Address: Valverde, 42
Transport: Tribunal (M: L1, L10)
Opening hours: Daily 1pm-2am
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