Monday, 26 December 2016

Taberna Real at Plaza de Isabel II

We stayed in Hotel Palacio de los Duques, which is only a few minutes walk to the coffin shaped (from the air) Teatro Real (Royal Theatre). The architecture of theatres of most cities are the jewels of their pride. Because of this expectation, Teatro Real is a letdown (at least its exterior), especially that part of it are wrapped in construction at the moment.

In front of Teatro Real is a little square by the name of Plaza de Isabel II (Isabella II Square). Isabella II is obviously has much smaller historical statue than Queen Isabella. This is reflected in the size of her bronze statue and square.

Statue, Isabella II, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, SpainStatue, Isabella II, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain

This is one of those charming little square in Madrid that draws more local crowd than tourists. There're still plenty of tourists though because of its proximity to major tourist locations. For those who like to seek out local colours, this is a good place to visit.

Opera metro station and Real Cinema, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain
The place could be conveniently accessed by Opera metro station 

Opera metro station, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain
The smoke came from the chimney of a bakery store in front of the metro exit.
White smoke, we have a new pope! (just a pope joke)


St James statue, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain
St. James
Since it was Boxing Day (an Aussie name for the day after Xmas. Different country may have different name. Some countries don't, and the generic name of the Day After Christmas could be used), and so we could expect some Christmas decorations still be there. One of that is statue of St. James (i believe. In the general sense, not in the religious sense). He's usually depicted holding a walking stick with a gourd (for holding drinking water) and wearing that hat. In Chinese culture, some Taoist sages or saints are often depicted holding a walking stick with gourd. An universal cultural symbols of arduous pilgrimage.





Like most tourists, we walked through this plaza to get to somewhere else. We were hungry and so we took a chance with any nearby restaurant.

Real Cinema, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain
Real Cinema is facing Teatro Real across the plaza 

At the plaza is Real Cinema and next to it is Taberna Real (Royal Tavern). So we gave it a try. We usually do research and seek out places to eat. But we were too hungry and avoid planning paralysis (at least writer's cramp). Sometimes acting on a whim is what travel is all about.


Receipt, Taberna Real, Plaza Isabella, Madrid, Spain


We ordered a cod and clamps, and an oxtail stew, my fave. And some extra bread (pan).

The seafood dish was not bad. The clams were quite fresh. The piping smoke was definitely enticing during this cold day. 7 / 10.

Cod and clamps, Taberna Real, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain


The oxtail stew was better. The meat retained its juiciness, and softness. As always, it's perfect to go with bread roll, which soaked up those thick rich soup. Nothing like a stew to warm the cockle of your heart. 7.5 / 10.

The price was €19 was more than reasonable. The lower Euro exchange rate recently also helped. I'll give it a 8 / 10 when taking the price into consideration.

Oxtail stew, Taberna Real, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain


Nothing could keep the stomach (at least saliva) juices flowing quite like some sour appetizer.

Pickled onion, dill and olive, Taberna Real, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain
Complimentary pickled olives, dills and onion.

Now that our furnace was filled with fuel. We were ready to move on.

The plaza at night during festive season, Plaza Isabella II, Madrid, Spain
The plaza at night during festive season


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