Tripea has been open six months in the Vallehermoso market, which was constructed in 1930 and is located in the Chamberí neighborhood. This market, like many others in our capital, was on the verge of collapse a few years ago; today, that couldn’t be further from reality, since Vallehermoso is recognized as one of the best culinary marketplaces in the city.
On the first day at Tripea, they filled all 18 stools at their only long table, and since then, not one day has gone by that they haven’t been full. From Tuesday to Saturday, they have 18 guests at lunchtime and another 18 at dinnertime, and that’s offering reservation-only service.
The magic is in the 8 dishes and a dessert, tasty and rich, but perfectly balanced and fussed-over technique-wise. All but the first of them (a tempura jalapeño filled with torta del casar, an Extremaduran cheese, and chorizo, with a jalapeño-garlic salsa and a shiitake ponzu sauce) come to the center of the table and are designed to share. The food is Peruvian, with Asian characteristics, but boosted by the character of here, the sofrito sauces and guiso stews, that are also the foundation of our cuisine.
For their single tasting menu, all the reservations start at the same time, so they can carefully orchestrate each one of the courses of the feast. Before making a reservation, on their website, we’ll be able to take a look at a full menu, which serves as a basis for what we’re going to eat and at what price.
They prepare everything day-of — the space in their vertical freezer doesn’t let them stock up much, but they don’t look to do that, either. They highlight the importance of the environment, the person-to-person relations, and the quality they get from them. Their providers are their neighbors — fish from Jose, poultry from, undoubtedly, Higinio Gómez. And the fruits and vegetables, from out front, are from Jose Luis.
Of all their dishes, personally, the curry cream chicken, with summer truffle, parmesan, and toasted peanuts, and the ostrich tartare dressed with lomo saltado-prepared beef and kimchi, rye bread, avocado creme, cocoa and chipotle balsamic are able to stop the world while you’re tasting them. I won’t tell you the rest.
And who’s the wizard behind it all? Robert Martínez Foronda. A very young chef, who’s been in it since he was 17 years old. Robert made his debut in the kitchens of Dario Barrio, and afterward he moved to Alboroque, with Andrés Madrigal. A phase at Celler de Can Roca took him out of Madrid for a few months, and when he returned, he worked with Andrés Madrigal on a new project located in Casa America. It was here that Robert began to feel like traveling far away, and he chose Lima. In Peru, he learned a lot, and when he returned to Spain, he immediately started in the kitchens at Nikkei225, together with Luis Arévalo. He participated in Nakeima from the start of the project and spent two years there, before finally returning to meet up with Luis Arévalo in the kitchens of Kena
After it all, it was obvious that his moment had arrived. With all his work experience, and counting on Tiradito as an investor group, he set out to lead and execute his vision of Tripea. On the team with him are Maru, Patricia, and currently César and Freyza as apprentices.
As I said, it was obvious, and even if the team at Tripea doesn’t believe it yet, when not even a month had gone by, they got a call to give them the Salsa de Chiles award for best foreign restaurant from ABC. This is only the beginning — Tripea, thank you for existing.
Menu price: 35-40 € (drinks separate)
Hours: Sunday and Monday closed
Reservations: +34 918 286 947
Text: Lucía Gomez Meca
Photos: Borja Llobregat