Paipái Restaurant is the project of Chef Fernando Ruiz Jimenéz, a Le Cordon Bleu alumni who spent several years in South America and Japan. You can enjoy a delicious and creative fusion style menu at the restaurant located in Plaza del Peru,4 Madrid.It has been 2 years since its inauguration and it is a pity that I have been that late to discover it.
I have been to Paipái with a group of friends and we prefered to share several plates in order to be able to taste as much varieties possible. If you prefer to order a starter, main course, dessert and a drink for yourself , that would cost you around 25-30 Euros. The highlight of the Paipái for me is having opportunity to enjoy high quality food in a friendly and modern atmosphere.
I can tell that Chef Fernando is quite friendly in addition to his culinary talent and experience. As our group was composed of semi-professional gastronomy lovers or better to say “foodies”, we requested to meet with the Chef of the restaurant. The chef greeted us warmly and told as about his experience in South America and the details of his experience at Le Cordon Bleu. Furthermore recommended us some specialties of the menu in addition to our orders. He deserves special thanks for serving me the special versions of each course modified as “without gluten”.
The restaurant has different types of tables both for bigger and smaller groups. While the tables located at the entrance part enjoy the daylight via large windows, the interior part is enlightened adequately. The decoration of the restaurant is modern, causal and warm. In my humble personal opinion, the decoration and the design of menu fall a little bit behind the high quality of the food. As you can see in the photos that I shared below, the quality of paper, graphic design, neatness of the menu needs a little bit more elaboration.
Coming to the most crucial part of the experience, the food: As I wrote above, Paipái has a fusion style which combines the traditional Spanish courses with tastes of Asia and that makes everyone, who likes the combination of sweet-hot-sour zests, happy
First we ordered the salad of kinoa served with watercress and grilled octopus served with the mashed purple potatoes. Usually the quinoa, which is the best friend of the people with gluten intolerance, does not cheer me up as I have already had enough of it. However the quinoa salad of Paipái was beyond my expectations with its significant taste strengthened by several species and tomato sauce.The purple potatoes was a wise choice to empower the visual aspect of the dish and add an different flavor , yet the grilled octopus could not achieve to tell a memorable story to our tastebuds.
All of us gave “thumb ups” to the he next course, red curry with shrimps and baby squid served with jasmine rice.
Meanwhile we met with Chef Fernando Ruiz and it was the best thing we did that canceling our initial orders and leaving ourselves to the guidance of the Chef. Following the recommendations of Fernando, we were first served the “False Nigiri” which is composed of the foie, chutney of mango and truffle served on a piece of brioche. ( I was so lucky to be served with the non-gluten version of the same dish.) I always believe that Chutney, which is spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar has great success on balancing the fatty ingredients and the “False Nigiri” was an evidence of my claim.
The second recommendation of the Chef Fernando was Bao with roasted suckling pig with chipotle. Bao is an Asian sandwich which can be defined as steamed buns filled with meat. Recently, it is quite popular in Madrid and some restaurants such as BAO BAR that are serving only the Bao is getting very positive critiques. Unfortunately our hatred relationship with gluten avoids me to follow this recent trend. Again, I owe thanks to the Chef for serving me the non-gluten version of Bao in the form of corn-tortilla. Despite the fact that I could not taste the original Bao, I can tell by looking at the facial expression of my friends that it was quite tasty and I enjoyed my Baoish Corn Tortillla.
Our last main course, the Veal Rib with the sweat-sour Korean sauce, was the recommendation of Chef Fernando as well. The slow cooked ribs were served with Potatoes Parmentier. (a kind of mashed potatoes with leeks) As the Korean sauce contained flour, I tried my best to eat as less as possible which was a futile attempt. I don’t regret for not missing it despite the fact that I suffered for 2 days afterwards. I would give a 10 out of 10 in terms of its taste, however I believe that the culinary team of Paipai are capable of finding a better way of presenting the asparagus. ( For instance transversal- vertical cut may be an option)
While I confined myself to eating some ice-cream, my friends enjoyed carrot cake, brownie and cheesecake. The impression I got my friends was that the desserts were delicious but not as perfect as the starters or main courses of the menu.
In a nutshell, Paipái is a hidden gem of Madrid that you can enjoy well elaborated and delicious food for a reasonable price. I strongly recommend Paipái with a 9 points over 10 in terms of food quality despite the fact that there is room for improvement in terms of visual presentation of the dishes and the decoration of the restaurant. With touching up some details, I have no doubt for its further and better success.
Enjoy your meal at Paipái! /Been provecho!