You can probably count Madrid’s Japanese restaurants on one hand, but when it comes to exquisite dining from the land of the rising sun one name stands out above all the rest.

Kabuki (www.restaurantekabuki.com), tucked away on the lower-ground floor of the five-star Wellington Hotel in central Madrid near Retiro Park attracts those who want to enjoy the unique flavours of Japanese cuisine with a Spanish twist. It’s this gastronomic creativity and merging of cultures from the hand of Chef Ricardo Sanz that has seen the Michelin Guide award the restaurant a coveted Michelin star for many years.

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Kabuki’s minimalist décor provides a sophisticated setting where diners can focus their attention on the exquisite food. Those who want to be close to the action and watch the chefs hand-slice the fish to prepare the sushi and sashimi should book a place at the Sushi Bar. The tables, which are spread over two levels, provide privacy and the perfect setting for those seeking romance. For small groups of up to ten there is also a private dining room. Kabuki’s fame has spread, and the restaurant is now extremely popular with both locals and visiting Japanese. Bookings are highly recommended.

Chef Ricardo, who learned his art during a four-year apprentice in Tokyo from the master sushi chef, Masao Kikuchi, presents an amazing menu which includes a number of delightful dishes where the flavours of Spain and Japan are combined with great effect. A good example is Usuzukari de Toro, a delicious combination of tuna loin and pan tomaca – a traditional bread and tomato dish from Spain’s north-eastern region of Cataluña. Sashimi of tuna loin is dressed with extra virgin olive oil, a drop of soy sauce, fresh tomato pulp and tiny bread crumbs to provide a wonderful fusion experience. It gets top marks from both Spanish and Japanese diners.

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For those who are concerned about declining tuna numbers, all the tuna used in the restaurant comes with a certificate showing that it has been sourced from sustainable reserves. Sushi lovers are really spoilt with some totally tantalizing flavours. The nigiri topped with a quail’s egg and black truffle is divine. Chef Ricardo’s creativity continues with the larger dishes. Chunky tuna with teriyaki sauce, and thin, extra-rare slices of beef drizzled with ponzo sauce – a citrus juice and soy sauce blend – are ‘must trys’.


While Japan is not famed for its desserts Chef Ricardo has once again created some sweet treats which are the perfect marriage of both cultures. To cleanse the palette and provide a refreshing end to the meal try the apple jelly topped with juicy whole litchis and crowned with passion fruit pulp.