Sobrino de Botin
In the last night of our trip in Madrid we decided to celebrate by dining in Restaurant Botin (Sobrino de Botin), the oldest running restaurant in Spain and in the world as listed in the Guinness Book of Records. This establishment traces way back to 1725 and it is founded by a French man named Jean Botin. It was originally named Casa Botin but it was renamed to Sobrino de Botin when it was inherited by Jean’s nephew, Candido Remis. This restaurant is so old that even Heimngway wrote about it in one of his books!
Just because it’s old though doesn’t mean that it’s dilapidated and creaky. Restaurant Botin has gone through a lot of maintenance and upgrade work on it’s 4-story building. The only thing that feels old is the ambience but that’s kinda intentional since the main draw of the place is the fact that it’s the oldest restaurant in the world.
Anyway, let’s get to the food! Restaurant Botin’s has several specialty dishes but they’re most renowned for their Cochinillo Asado or Roast Suckling Pig. Think of it like a variant of Lechon here in the Philippines! Each order will set you back a whopping 24 euros (around P1,500) and it’s only supposed to be good for one person.
There were 5 of us so we were originally thinking of ordering 1 plate each. However since we had three ladies in the group we decided to order 3 of the Roast Suckling Pigs and 1 of the Roasted Lambs (another one of their specialties). We also got one of their mushroom scrambled eggs.
So how did the food taste? Insanely good. Among the three my favorite was the roasted lamb. The meat was so soft, tender, and juicy! The flavor just exploded with each bite! I was actually hoping that they served rice in this place but unfortunately they served the dish with potatoes and bread (ugh, sayang haha). The scrambled eggs were also the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my life. It had a very unique flavor that would make me want to keep on coming back.
As for the Roasted Suckling Pig, it was good… but it ain’t got nothing on the really nice lechon we have here in the Philippines (like the Zubochon or Cebu Lechon). It can definitely beat the crap out of the generic lechon being served locally in the eat-all-you-can buffets like the one they have in Saisaki or Dad’s. My palate though still heavily favors the distinct flavor and kick of the Cebu Lechon compared to all the lechon I’ve tasted so far in my lifetime.
Dining in Restaurant Botin is an experience in itself and we highly recommend that you guys visit if ever you’re in Spain. Just three tips — make sure your bags are close to you. One of our friends who ate here before lost his bag. Secondly anticipate a big bill since the specialty dishes here go for 22-25 Euros. That’s per person. Lastly, make reservations. The place is always packed and you’ll end up waiting for a while if you don’t call in advance to reserve.
Calle Cuchilleros, 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain
+34 913 66 42 17
(It’s a short walk from Plaza Mayor)