Madrid: La Ochava & Valpan

Paella Valenciana
After checking in at AC Hotel Carlton Madrid, our home for the two nights, we walked towards Prado Museum where we booked for a 1:00 pm entrance. We bought our tickets online and printed them in Manila. We did this for all the museums we went to this trip.

There were serveral restaurants along the way but we chose to eat lunch at La Ochava because of the pretty pictures. Seriously. Nah we were just hungry and it looked like a decent place to eat.
La Ochava

We thought that paellas were their specialty that’s why we ate there. When we walked around the area after lunch most of the restaurants and cafeterias had the same sign!!!
La Ochava-001

La Ochava-002

Some tapas on the bar.
La Ochava-003

Even though it was so hot outside everyone sat outside. You know why? Because it was even hotter inside. We noticed that the restaurants, pastilerias, boticas (drug store), small groceries in the area didn’t have air-conditioning. How can they stand it?
La Ochava-006

La Ochava's menu
La Ochava’s menu
La Ochava's menu-001

The jamon Iberico was smokey, mild and even the fat was yummy and I never eat the fat of anything. It was a good thing we were given free bread which went well with the cured ham.
jamon Iberico €16
jamon Iberico €16

I live in the Philippines and we’re known for our seafood  but I’ve never seen such huge mutant fried squid rings in any restaurant in Manila. Unbelievable but for it’s size it was very tender. I just didn’t like the soapy after taste. I was the only one who thought that so the others just enjoyed eating my share.
Calamares Fritos (fried squid) €10
Calamares Fritos (fried squid) €10

The fried fresh anchovies I liked much better although they were big and I had to remove some of the bones. A squeeze of lemon was all it needed. It reminded me of our local tawilis.
Boquerones Fritos (fried anchovies)  €8
Boquerones Fritos (fried anchovies) €8

The rice of the paella was harder and drier than I was used to but the flavor was good. It didn’t have any socarrat (tutong) or crispy crust though.
Paella Valenciana
Paella Valenciana

We then walked to the Prado Museum which is one of the finest museums in the world.
Prado Museum

If we didn’t have our tickets already we would have to line up under the hot, hot sun.
Prado Museum-001

Prado Museum-002

This was the last shot I got since photography wasn’t allowed indoors. Let me tell you I’m not an art lover and museums aren’t really my thing but since we were there I had to go. But after looking at the beautiful art works from artists around the world I discovered one I really liked. I was fascinated by the triptychs of Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch (El Bosco).
Prado Museum-003
Prado Museum

Nearby are the Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen museum. If you are an art lover then our hotel is a good location since all three museums are within walking distance.
Reina Sofia Museum
Reina Sofia Museum

We had the option of going to the Jardin Botanico which we passed on the way back to the hotel but it was too hot and we were suffering from jet lag.
Real Jardin Botanico
Real Jardin Botanico

Real Jardin Botanico-001

I really thought it was a statue until Rochelle noticed his eyes following me. He was sooooo good at standing still.
human statue in Madrid

We were hot and tired and needed something to cool us down. Luckily there was a pastry shop near our hotel. Coffee and sweets should do the trick. Valpan has several stores in Madrid.
Valpan Pasterleria

OMG!!!!!!!!! I had a hard, hard, hard time not buying those chocolate covered palmiers. My reasoning was if I never tried it then I won’t know what I’m missing.
Valpan pasterleria-001

Valpan Pasterleria-006

Their espresso was very good but it was too hot and we wanted cold coffee so we asked for a glass and some ice.
Valpan Pasterleria-007

They were sooooooo stingy with the ice. The lady gave me 2 ice cubes and when I begged for more she grudgingly gave me 1 more. Naturally it just melted in my coffee and didn’t cool it at all. In the US when you ask for ice they give you a HUGE glass full. Same in Manila.
Valpan Pasterleria-008

We don’t know what any of the bite sized pastries were called and we just pointed out what looked good. This was our favorite. The middle part wasn’t whipped cream but similar to marshmallow fluff.
Valpan Pasterleria-009

Valpan Pasterleria-011

We got a second fluffly pastry.
Valpan Pasterleria-010

La Ochava
Calle de Mendez Álvaro, 2
28045 Madrid
telephone: 915 270 255

Valpan
Paseo de las Delicias, 7
28045 Madrid, Spain
telephone: 915 271 660
website

5 thoughts on “Madrid: La Ochava & Valpan

  1. When I travel always bring along a thermal bottle with ice from hotel in it just in case no where to get a soft drink. Just two ice cubes is indeed very lame. I also pack me a thermal bag for to keep drinks and other things cool.

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