Salamandra is located in Plaza de España, a huge square known locally for years as White Elephant Square. For many years after its construction, most of the apartments and commercial premises remained empty. Today, it is only many that remain unoccupied. It does, however, lend itself to tranquil dining.
This was my first time in Salamandra, as it also was for my four dining companions. We chose to dine outside on the terrace – generally the preferred option since the pandemic. With our initial drinks order came a complimentary tapas of paella.
After due deliberation we decided upon a ‘share all’ approach and ordered a variety of starters and main courses. We had: aubergine and nut croquettes, a tableau of Iberian meats and cheese, pulpo a la gallega, pork sirloin served with jacket potato, clams, scallops with prawns…A nice selection. A bottle of white wine provided the liquid accompaniment to our meal.
The service was very good, presentation good, overall food quality good (although, for me, the pulpo could have been a little more tender. It wasn’t ‘chewy’, as sometimes happens, just not as ‘melt in the mouth’ as in some other places). The square was, as usual, quiet which made for a nice, relaxing meal and conversation didn’t require raised voices.
It worked out at €30 per person, so not the cheapest option, but the impression is that they are aiming for the upper end of the market, ‘fine dining’ as it is usually called. I would say they are well on their way to achieving that goal.