Tripea: the gastronomic menu with the best value for money in Madrid

35 euros It's what the tasting menu of Tripea costs: a journey through the Peruvian-Asian cuisineSpanish-based, original, fun and well executed, which in this price range is, these days, the best that can be found in the forum.

The business model that follows the restaurant, located in the effervescent Vallehermoso market, is similar to proposals such as Tres por Cuatro or the neighboring Kitchen 154: the cost savings of not having a proper place and having a more casual service (not bad), lets put the rest in the kitchen. And this is where Tripea shines.

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The chef's curriculum Roberto Martínez Foronda, alma mater of the restaurant, is one of those who remove the hiccups. In Spain he learned the trade with giants like Darío Barrio, Andrés Madrigal and Joan Roca, before leaving for Peru and soaking up the Nikkei cuisine in temples like Malabar and Maido. Back in Spain he founded one of the most beloved spaces in the capital, Nakeima, and worked alongside Luis Arevalo in Kena. With these teachers, it was his turn to lead a restaurant. And, just over two years after its opening, we can confirm that Martínez has been an applied student.

Arepitas with sweet corn cream and beef jerky.

It has not been easy. Working in the tiny space that the kitchen occupies, serving tables located in the middle of the market aisle, requires a bulletproof organization. “You may have worked in a thousand kitchens around the world, but each one is different,” Martínez explains to Direct to the Palate. “We have had to develop a work plan based on space, because it is very complicated, and it has cost. There has been a lot of trial and error. ”


Humble ingredients, luxury cuisine

The arepitas are inaugurated with sweet corn cream and cecina, very good to open mouth, which is followed by a Thai-inspired salad, with green papaya, fried ear and Iberian mayonnaise, which, with small variations, is one of the Fixed menu. A great contrast of flavors, in which the fat in the ear and mayonnaise counteract the acid in vegetables.

Green papaya salad, fried ear and Iberian mayonnaise.

We continue with a lollipop aguachile with shrimp and octopus, an exquisite dish, which shows Martínez's passage through the Latin American kitchens "We wanted to take the Mexican technique, the elaboration, adapting it to a typical Peruvian dish, which is a pacifier, a hot dish," explains the cook. "It has a lot of similarity, it is still almost a tiradito."

Aguachile of pacifier with shrimp and octopus.

Now comes another plate of mexican inspiration, a mole of pig's trotters with goat cheese. Again, a humble ingredient, becomes a plate to suck your fingers. But even better is the following proposal, an idea of ​​Martínez's partner, Pablo Lopez, which was the best dish of the night: a sui generis version of the revolconas potatoes, in which these are replaced by the male banana, accompanied by Iberian gill, truffled mayonnaise and chifles. A piece of stew in which the technique of this popular Castilian dish is applied to the male banana, with a stir-fry of ajipanca, with a lot of garlic, chili pepper, and the jowls itself, with whose fat the banana is cooked. To herd the dish thoroughly.

Bananas of male plantain, accompanied by Iberian gill, truffled mayonnaise and chifles.

We now turn to another classic guisote of Peruvian cuisine: a chili pepper, but made with curry and accompanied by rice. It should be noted that most dishes are accompanied by some carbohydrate - chifles, rice, noodles ... - which replaces bread. It is also the diner who mixes everything at the table, as in the last salty menu proposal: mussels, presented as a hot wok ceviche, with yellow pepper, and accompanied by noodles.

"I like to interact a little", Martínez explains. “Many people tell you that we don't have bread, but the idea is to put a garnish according to the plate. Of course, with bread everything is good, but it is also good with noodles”.

Mussels with yellow pepper and noodles.

The secret to adjust prices

To design a menu of 35 euros (mandatory at dinner, optional at meals, where you can order single dishes), you must also be very careful with the selection of the genre. And Martínez has found a balance between humble and more noble products, all, yes, very well executed.

"It's not a menu with which you earn a lot of money, I don't have crazy earnings, neither is my end, ”explains the cook. “Obviously, a business has to be profitable, and there is no other, but in the product we work there is a lot of elaboration, and the menu is compensated, with more quality products and other more normal ones, but that have an extra elaboration that implies a work and development ”.

For those who want to pay tribute, the restaurant also offers dishes off the menu, which can be added to the menu. In our case, we wanted to try the Locust, which is served grilled accompanied by a homemade crustacean American. It is delivered in a hot pan on the table and, again, with noodels as a garnish. It was very good, and only increased the account by 12 euros per guest, although the menu is one more than satisfied.

Lobster with American crustaceans.

Another dish that is offered out of order, on request, is a whole fried goat, with the sauce of a sauteed loin, accompanied by vegetables. We aim it for future visits.

To finish the menu includes a dessert: a version of the apple tatin cake, which was fine but did not raise passions.

Adding the wine (a Martinez digs, at 21 euros per bottle), the account amounted to 60 euros. Taking into account that there are bottles of wine from 17 euros, you can eat and drink fancy, for less than 50 euros, a price almost unbeatable in Madrid for a meal like this.

Great food, tiny kitchen.

Tripea has already received the attention of the media and even the Michelin Guide, which has granted one of its Big gourmand, so it is logical to ask about the moment when Martinez decides to make the leap to an independent store.

“I want to have a place outside and keep this,” acknowledges Direct to the Palate. “But everything comes to its time. I'm not in a hurry, but I don't want to stop. We all want to earn more money. It's reality".

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What to ask for: The menu of 35 euros, seven passes, is unrivaled and is gradually changing depending on the season, but at noon you can try all the dishes for even less money. The food that Martínez prepares is great to accompany with a sparkling wine.

Practical Data
Where: Vallehermoso Market, place 44 (C / Vallehermoso, 36). Madrid.
Half price: 50€.
Reservations: 918 28 69 47 and on its website.
Hours: Closed Mondays and Sundays.

Video: KA-MC Tripea Video Oficial by CREA FAMA (January 2020).