The Spanish take their rice seriously; a popular British chef caused an emotional (and hilarious) reaction from the Press here, when he dared to include chorizo in his recipe – not a traditional ingredient. Although Madrid isn’t the home of paella, it’s everybody’s fav Spanish food, and on the list of what you want to eat when you’re visiting Spain. When it’s good, it is pretty unbeatable, but the difficulty can be in finding a good one away from the coast.
My favourite place for rice is Mano a Mano – it’s never let me down in all the years I’ve been going there. Go there if you’re not in a hurry. Get the full experience, and settle down for a long “sobremesa”. This word isn’t easily translated, but it refers to the long leisurely lunches that can last 3 to 6 hours. Paella is cooked to order, so be patient; good things are worth waiting for.
They have a selection of rices to choose from. Last time I was there we had cod, cauliflower and artichokes – it was incredible. There is an excellent veggie one, and various soupy rices called “caldosos”, that come in little cauldrons. We had razor shell clams to start, and the fresh fruit lasagne to finish. I’m not usually a fan of dessert, but the ones at Mano a Mano always tempt me. This restaurant is the place for a blowout meal!
Best of all, there is a wonderful terraza; just bliss on a summer evening.