The Dining: DiverXo
Updated: Nov 8, 2018
It was difficult to decide whether to write about DiverXO. It felt like betraying a closely guarded secret. Much like The Fat Duck, it's not just about the food, it’s a theatrical experience in itself and one that is incredibly difficult to put into words. Getting a table at this foodie shrine is akin to buying a ticket for the Super Bowl, so plan well ahead, but know that it's worth it.
Pierced and bearded, 33-year-old chef David Muñoz has garnered three Michelin stars for DiverXo's remarkable Spanish-Asian fusion dishes by effortlessly mixing the flavors of Madrid, Tokyo, and Peking. This is machine-gun cuisine, gastronomic shock-and-awe, just about the most intense experience I can remember in any three-star restaurant of the 50-odd I have visited so far. It is the sort of meal that leaves you speechless but also slightly baffled, wondering what the hell just happened and it has 'genius' written all over it.
We hadn’t really known what to expect because the menu is not published, but the dishes, or canvases, are rebellious and playful but also deeply serious. This is Incredible food with powerful and pure flavours.
Nothing is offered à la carte; the restaurant serves three 11 course tasters. Menu highlights include a duck and mole potsticker, called 'Hannibal Lecter’, served with a splash of spicy tamarillo ketchup, carrot puree, carrot foam, baby carrots, some brown butter and a sprinkling of lapsang souchong dust; an oxtail sandwich; a huitlacoche taco; Uni with a black vinegar topping; a towering “dim sum” offered up smoking with dry ice, frozen “cotton candy” with violet-lime sauce, blueberry “bubble gum” balls that exploded in one’s mouth.
His intuitive technique always strikes the right chord. Sourced from more than 60 suppliers around the world, including a kind of ancient potato that grows in the Canary Islands and Perretxico mushrooms from the Basque Country, the ingredients provide unconventional flavour kicks and the tension achieved on the plate demands your attention until the very last bite. David Muñoz is an artist pushing the limits of fusion cuisine. Like all great cities, Madrid has levels and but this is a new world.
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