diverxo – contrariness
DiverXO, located in the centre of Madrid, is one of the newest top restaurants in Spain. The restaurant only opened in 2007 but in a few years’ time it received recognition from the culinary world. However, it was only after the release of their famous PR movie that the restaurant became a real hype. In the movie one can see Executive Chef David Muñoz’s approach on gastronomy: turn food into sensational works of art, where experience is key, and where boundaries of contemporary gastronomy are erased.
The restaurant today is located inside the NH Hotel in the beautiful Collection Building in the centre of Madrid. Just like the food, the interior is not made according to any rules or trends. Pigs, with wings, are spread in the dining rooms, and so are black butterflies and giant ants. Guests will also notice huge ice creams, a table with ten table legs, futuristic chairs, a giant preparation kitchen with hoods in the shapes of blocks, and lots of neon lights. A crazy ensemble, indeed.
One might also say that Executive Chef David Muñoz is somewhat crazy himself. This ‘enfant terrible’ was born in Madrid and gained experience in London at top Asian restaurants like Hakkasan and Nobu. Today he uses this experience to create a very special kind of fusion cuisine, where he mixes Asian, French and Spanish influences. Besides DiverXO, David also manages a street food concept called StreetXO, located in the El Corte Ingles shopping centre in Madrid.
At DiverXO the chef and his team create an extreme experience cuisine. Next to the surprising interior, the service and the food are very unique as well. The service is dynamic and young chefs and waiters are serving guests in special uniforms and glasses… without glass. The dishes are called ‘canvases’ and most of them are prepared at the table, in several servings. Flavours are equally extreme and combinations are often simply weird. However, at DiverXO some ingredients are not meant to be combined but have to be eaten separately – even if they are served on the same plate. This is just one example where Executive Chef David Muñoz breaks the boundaries of contemporary fine dining and it illustrates the philosophy of DiverXO perfectly.
Dishes like the “Round trip to Singapore passing for the Costa Brava” combine Chili Crab with Andalusian seasoning, an Asian Southeast “Suquet” with Canary chips, cocotxas and cockles, ginger and kefir lime. The dish comes in different servings and proves that the chef masters the art of combining unusual ingredients and preparations and this way redefines the term ‘fusion cooking’. Another dish is called “Welcome to the Paris of the 70’s Dabiz version” and is described as “ too many complements to be appointed. Baby lamb infused with lemongrass and spices of Southeast Asia. World complements with France soul”. For this dish, a small show is presented at the table. The curtains close, a big girandole and a special music box with French chansons appear. A letter is brought, which explains a part of the dish: 9 different oysters. The oysters are complemented with the baby lamb, that is cut at the table. Quite the experience.
While not all flavours & combinations might appeal to everyone, DiverXO truly is a remarkable restaurant. In this restaurant experience dining is brought to life and fusion cuisine is reinterpreted. Innovation, surprise and creativity are key concepts and combined with the sometimes shocking, yet delicious dishes, this restaurant is a must for everyone interested in gastronomy.
DiverXO scored 87 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
By Sven & Adriaan
C/ Padre Damian 23
Phone +34 915 70 07 66