Monday, April 16, 2018

Punto MX: Modern Mexican Gastronomy in Madrid

The only Mexican restaurant in Spain to have a Michelin star, chef Roberto Ruiz's Punto MX has become a culinary beacon for those who esteem Madrid as a global food capital. Opened in 2012, this once local restaurant has become one of the hottest dinner tickets in all of Spain, with at least a 3-month wait list. Merging Mexican culinary traditions with the latest avant-garde cuisine, chef Ruiz uses only local organic produce and modern techniques, which result in extraordinary culinary innovations and authentic Mexican flavours for a constantly evolving symphony of tasting menus. Punto MX even owns a private organic orchard just north of Madrid that grows over 25 different special Mexican seeds, corn, chilis and herbs that supplies the coveted restaurant on a daily basis, and the corn tortillas are handmade every day by María Fernández, Roberto’s wife who follows a thousand-year old recipe and makes 350-400 each day which are served at their peak, not more than seven minutes after cooking. Having successfully secured a reservation months before, we were excited to finally sample chef Ruiz's award-winning Mexican cuisine.

Seated in the elegant downstairs restaurant, we were presented with a choice of 2 different tasting menus, featuring 11 and 13 dishes respectively. In an effort to show some culinary restraint, we selected the more modest 11-course tasting menu but including the Bone Marrow show-stopper that is charbroiled in an ember oven and served with an array of garnishes including Maria's handmade tortillas. Offering a staggering selection of tequilas and mescals, plus a menu of signature cocktails including the Mezcaliña and the Cadillac Margherita, that are sure to cure any pains. Punto MX is magic – pure Mexican magic in Madrid, and there are just too many reasons to love this heartwarming and utterly delicious culinary powerhouse celebrating the very finest dining exponent of Aztec culture and tradition.

Michelin star chef Roberto Ruiz

The cool modern interior of Punto MX

El Chicano cocktail, a mixture of aged 10-year-old mezcal and gin, with lychees and jalapeño peppers, which, like all fresh chiles, come from Punto MX's own organic garden

The Punto MX Cadillac Margarita

Handmade Mexican votive

Corn with corn cream salsa on corn crisp

Mole Coloradito with romanescu sauce and flash fried kale

Albariño Do Ferreiro

Cecina cured beef on Hoja Santa leaves and fermented chilies served on a hot stone

Guacamole, Smoked Marlin and 36-month old Parmesan with pomegranate seeds

And served with handmade tortilla chips

Chilpachole, a thick soup with Shrimp and Chicharron 

Poached Marinated Octopus

Zucchini Flower Huitlacoche Quesadilla

And served with a handmade corn and zucchini flower tortilla 

Iberic Pork Taco with Green Tomatillo

Grilled Sole with Meneaos Beans and Pickled Red Onions

A lovely Spanish Rioja by the glass

Rubia Gallega Beef with charred poblano files and green tomatillo sauce with hoja santa

And served with an Onion, Tomato and Tortilla Salad

A cart of Tequilas and Mescal is presented to enjoy with the Bone Marrow dish

Amores Mezcal from Mazatlan

"Kapowee!" Smokey but powerful

Bone Marrow Charbroiled in embers oven served with crushed roasted tomato salsa and herbs

Crushed Roasted Tomatoes

Fresh lime

Mixed herbs

Woven silver basket arrives at the table...

...with warm soft tortillas

A scoop of marrow is placed on the tortilla and garnished with the condiments

Tortilla with charbroiled bone marrow with roasted tomato salsa and mixed herbs

The unctuous marrow is marvellously paired with the roasted tomato and tart herbs and served on warm tortillas for a grand finale to our stellar Mexican dinner

Citric Dessert pairing

Lemon Meringue Shortbread

After the two desserts, a platter of small bite size sweets arrived, 
including this perfect raspberry on a leaf of mint on ice

Cream filled profiterole

Chocolate Truffle coated with nuts

Sugar cone with orange cream nestled in a bed or corn kernels

The bill arrives in a handsome lacquer wooden box

3 hours later and 400 euros lighter, we were the last to leave Punto MX
enormously impressed and slightly tipsy...

Punto MX Guacamole 

Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of chef Roberto Ruiz

1 avocado 

1 tsp chopped serrano chile 
2 tsp finely julienned cilantro 
2 tsp finely chopped sweet onion
A few drops of avocado oil
Pinch of salt
A few drops of fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

We start by putting a pinch of salt in a molcajete or mortar and diced avocado. To the avocado add a teaspoon of chopped serrano pepper. We add two measures of onion, well chopped too. And another two teaspoons of cilantro. We add the squeezed lemon. A few drops are enough. Using a pestle, slowly crush the guacamole from the walls towards the centre, so as to extract the flavours, but so there are large pieces left. We do not want a porridge. A splash of avocado oil, just a few drops to give body to the mixture and emulsify. Garnish with a couple of tablespoons of pomegranate to finish. Serve with crispy warm tortilla chips.

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