Sergi Arola Restaurants in Madrid

Food Chronicles

Vi Cool and El Pollo Gamberro

 

Sergi Arola Restaurants in Madrid

Sergi Arola is a Catalonian chef who has risen to fame as one of Ferran Adria’s most popular disciples.

In the cosmopolitan capital of Madrid, Arola has five restaurants including his namesake Sergi Arola, a gastro vermut bar in the basement below, two Vi Cool locations for his innovations with tapas, and a takeaway roast chicken concept.

High quality, Michelin-star chef eats for every budget.

 

Vi Cool

Vi Cool reinterprets traditional tapas in a contemporary, relaxed, and stylishly cool atmosphere.

My first exposure to the restaurant was not even in Spain. It was in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the location has now closed, but the tapas and those signature patatas bravas left a lasting impression.

So naturally, Vi Cool in Madrid was a necessary visit.

There are two locations: one in the Huertas neighborhood and the other in the Salamanca neighborhood.

The menu features all of Arola’s signature creations from cocas, his Catalan style pizzas, to Bravas de Arola, his famous reinterpretation on the traditional patatas bravas.

The sophisticated approachability, the playful presentation, and the taste of quality all speak for themselves.

The tapas experience is already fun. Vi Cool makes tapas even more fun.

 

El Pollo Gamberro

Arola’s latest venture in Madrid is an affordable roast chicken takeaway shop.

El Pollo Gamberro is located in the hip Chueca neighborhood, where the gourmet chicken shop fits in perfectly for a younger crowd and families looking for high-quality food at good prices.

The menu features roast chicken offered as quarter cuts, halves, or a whole. The skin is beautifully browned and the meat is succulent, tender, and flavorful from the herbs.

The rest of the menu provides more chicken selections like wings, croquetas and salads. Plus, there are sides and sauces to pair perfectly with the plates.

At the counter, you can order for takeaway, for a casual dine-in, or call in for delivery if you are within 6km of the store.

Adding to the fun down in the basement, Arola’s love for music is present at Let’s Dog – a lounge serving gourmet hot dogs in an underground brick cave setting which hosts music and DJs.

 

Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 1 Vi Cool
Vi Cool Lagasca in the posh Salamanca neighborhood. The interior is fun, cool, relaxed, and yet sophisticated for the neighborhood. Weekday lunch offers a “menu del día” with a cold and hot tapa, an entrée, and a coffee or dessert – a fantastic deal
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 2 Vi Cool
Bread service, the Catalan way of pan con tomate, with whole garlic cloves and tomato puree to spread on the bread. The simple, fun presentation sets the mood for the meal
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 3 Vi Cool
Ensalada de tomate y atun ahumado. Tomato salad with raw tuna. This dish perfectly shows off the quality of Spain’s ingredients. Tomatoes are succulently sweet, red, and plump during the hot summer months
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 4 Vi Cool
Portobello carpaccio. Thinly sliced Portobello mushrooms topped with grated cheese and chopped pine nuts. Another plate proudly showing off the country’s ingredients by presenting them in their raw form
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 5 Vi Cool
Buñuelos de merluza en tempura con mayonesa de vermu blanco. Las bravas de Arola. Fried cod with mayonnaise and Arola’s famous patatas bravas. In any of Sergi’s restaurants, you must order the Bravas. They are his signature creation of a potato sphere with brava sauce inside topped with homemade mayonnaise
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 6 Vi Cool
Alitas de pollo con salsa “Kimchi” y cebolleta tierna. Chicken wings in kimchi sauce and green onions. You can’t go wrong with chicken wings. This is another worthy tapa with an Asian inspiration for a slightly spicy kick
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 7 Vi Cool
Arroz con langostino. Rice with langoustines. For the lunch of the day entrée, there was a choice of this rice dish or a burger. Both are a great choice and excellent value. The rice and seafood were perfectly cooked with a pronounced taste of the langoustines
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 8 Vi Cool
If you do not want dessert, you can have a coffee or tea. This shot of espresso is brought to you by Nespresso. As a frequent luxury traveler, Nespresso machines and pods are often in my hotel rooms, so much so I have one at home. So to have it in a high-quality restaurant is also a familiar treat
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 9 Vi Cool
Copa catalana. And if you want dessert, you can have a cup for the crema catalana topped with a Maria biscuit. The presentation all the way to dessert is consistently fun and playful and completes the meal on a happy note
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 10 El Pollo Gamberro
El Pollo Gamberro. Located in the Chueca neighborhood, this roast chicken shop focuses on takeaway and casual dine-in on high bar stools. Downstairs, the basement hosts Let’s Dog for gourmet hot dogs along with evening music and DJs in the underground brick cave setting
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 11 El Pollo Gamberro
The takeaway counter. Here you order your choice of chicken dishes, including salads which are prepared in the display below. While waiting for your meal, you can also enjoy a drink, like a cold glass of draft beer
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 12 El Pollo Gambero
And with your beer, you can have a showdown with a massive chicken. The shop’s chicken theme complete with egg cartons by the windows adds to the young, family friendly atmosphere
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 13 El Pollo Gamberro
Croquetas de pollo. Croquetas are a staple tapa throughout Spain, so naturally the restaurant offers a version using their chicken
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 14 El Pollo Gamberro
Alitas de pollo con salsa “Kimchi”. The same dish in his Vi Cool, and perfect with beer and for takeaway. All the dishes are served on a bed of mixed greens with a balsamic glaze which enhances the quality of the presentation and the eating experience
Foodicles Sergi Arola Restaurants 15 El Pollo Gamberro
A quarter of roast chicken. You have a choice of a whole, half, or quarter chicken, as well as a choice of varying flavors of sauces. The chicken is tender and succulent from the quality of the chicken and the roasting process

 

Vi Cool Lagasca
Calle Lagasca 32
Salamanca
Madrid, Spain
+34-914-355-701
1pm to 4pm and 8pm to 12am

Vi Cool Huertas
Calle Huertas 12
Huertas
Madrid, Spain
+34-914-294-913
1pm to 4pm and 8pm to 12am

El Pollo Gamberro
Calle Barquillo 34
Chueca
Madrid, Spain
+34-915-323-363
Tuesday to Thursday, 12pm to 4pm and 8pm to 11:30pm
Friday to Saturday, 12pm to 4pm, 8pm to 1:30am
Sunday, 12pm to 5pm
Closed Monday

 


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