We’re on our way north again, heading back to the UK for a little while. As we were passing near to Madrid we decided to take the opportunity to visit Crucina, probably Spain’s only 100% raw restaurant. Crucina is a combination of two Spanish words – the start of crude meaning raw and cocina meaning kitchen.
Crucina is centrally located in the Malasaña district of Madrid, less than 5 minutes walk from San Bernardo metro startion.
We arrived to a very warm and friendly welcome from Yorgo, one of the co-owners. The ambiance is great, smart and modern, although they do have plans to make the décor more unique and creative. The menu was of course in Spanish, they are planning to have English menus, but for now both owners speak English so they can translate anything you don’t understand. The menu is comprehensive: juices, soups, salads, starters, mains, deserts and drinks.
We started with juices – I had “Purificaverde” – Green Purification with spinach, cucumber, celery and lemon, very refreshing although a little bland (I’m used to much stronger wild green juices!). Jolita had “Anticolesterol” with carrot, ginger, apple and parsley, which was delicious. (We shared all our food, so got to taste twice as much!)
For starters, I had the “Trio de Tartletas”, three little savory tarts, each with a different filling. The ‘pastry’ casing was unfortunately a bit too hard, almost rock solid and I couldn’t eat it, although the fillings were really delicious. Jolita had the “Tabla de Kesos”, the cheese plate. In Spanish, cheese is spelled Queso, so the alternative spelling Keso is to denote vegan cheese! Two different nut based cheeses, some raw jam, and at least 4 types of raw crackers, it was all delicious.
I always used to love Moussaka when I ate cooked food, so when I saw it first on the menu, I just had to have it. After reading further it was a toss up between that and the Saag Hindu, but Jolita chose that so all was well. It turns out that Yorgo is originally from Greece, and he wants to include more Greek dishes in the future.
The moussaka was great – aubergine is not always the best thing raw, but they suceeded by cutting it very thinly and dehydrating – it was a bit chewy but good. The ‘meat’ was tasty and the ‘cheese’ and tomato sauces were delicious, overall a great dish, just slightly too salty for me (I don’t usually add salt to my food, so I’m quite sensitive to too much salt).
Saag Hindu was a spicy Indian dish made with spinach and ‘mango chutney’ (more a mango sauce than chutney) which was served with some spicy coconut based breads. This again was delicious, the spicyness was just right, tasted like food from an Indian restaurant!
I was getting a bit full by now, but the deserts sounded too tempting to pass over. We ordered the tiramisu and the “Pudin de Chia”. The chia pudding was good, but a little bland, although the strawberries and banana it was served with did go well with it.
The tiramisu was amazing! Excellent textures and flavours, definitely among the best raw deserts I have ever eaten.
In conclusion, if you are anywhere near Madrid this is well worth a visit. And their plan is to open another restaurant in Barcelona later in the year, so keep listening out for news of that.
Crucina, Divino Pastor, 30, Madrid. Tel: 914453364. Opening hours: Tues – Wed: 13:30 – 16:00, Thurs – Sat: 13:30 – 16:00 and 21:00-24:00, Sun: 13:30 – 16:00