Recently I was at an Indian restaurant with some fellow guiris. We requested our curry “picante,” which quickly made our waiter swivel around. “Do you want that Spanish-spicy or SPICY-spicy?” she queried.
“PICANTE-picante!” we replied in unison.
Langostinos crudos marinados
It’s true that Spanish food isn’t very spicy. To indulge a spicy-food craving, head to Oam Thong for Thai in Madrid. This is the restaurant that adds a lot of spice to the Prosperidad neighborhood. The menu has some exotic offerings, and is anchored by a huge range of curries, from duck to chicken to tofu. It’s clear that some Thai-Spanish fusion is also present; some dishes include rabo de toro (bull’s tail) and venado (deer). The starters, including marinated shrimp, vegetable rolls laced with the sweet taste of coconut milk, and satay chicken skewers with creamy peanut sauce are also stellar, and start the experience with a punch.
Appetizer plate: Satay chicken, vegetable rolls, and chicken in pandan leaves
One of the items that I went crazy for was the pineapple fried rice. How can you not love rice that’s been stir-fried in fish sauce, tossed with veggies and scrambled eggs, and served in a hollowed out pineapple?! The balance between sweet and salty was perfection.
Pineapple fried rice
Spicy green curry with chicken and eggplant
The main dishes don’t shy away from the heat, and luckily there is a scale to help you pick out your desired level of spiciness. Watch out for a dish named “El infierno de ternera”–supposedly only 25 people have been able to finish it. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of grown men sweating, gesticulating, and chasing the dish with water while their friend cries out “Dude, you’re crying!” This dish has to be next on our to-try list.
Address: Calle del Corazón de María, 7
Metro: Cartagena (a 5-minute walk) or Avenida de America (a 15-minute walk)
A meal here with an appetizer, main course, and drink will run 20-30 Euros, but the restaurant frequently offers deals through websites like El Tenedor and Groupon. Alternately, check out the menú del día, which is a cool 11 Euros.