1 review of Ramses in English
Quite clearly huge amounts of money - probably seven figures - have been spent on the interior decoration of this swanky, self-consciously fashionable and trendy place right opposite the Puerta de Alcalá, one of Madrid's most famous and emblematic landmarks. The iconic Philippe Starck is in fact the designer. Funky bar downstairs, then no fewer than three separate restaurants on successive floors, each more opulently and extravagantly designed than the previous one. On the top floor there are fabulous private dining areas. Is it worth going to? Well, it might be if, once past the silly bouncers, you could get a guided tour lasting just two minutes by one of the plastic women with rictus smiles who greet you, and then out like a shot. This place thinks it's an elite experience when it's just tacky, pointlessly expensive and totally without depth, charm or meaning. It's probably just right for Russian would-be oligarchs or even real oligarchs. There were actually women in there with leopardskin patterns on their clothes, botox faces, plastic paps and ultra-violet sunbed fake tans - the sure-fire sign of high-tack.
The problem is not the design, which has genuine moments of humour, warmth and harmony, or the lighting, which is intelligent and thoughtful here and there, but the food, which is complete rubbish. At least the food on the mezzanine floor restaurant (is it different further up - I am told it's more "high end" up there). It's just lazy, fussy, pointless and embarrassingly pretentious. It's a confused hybrid medley of Mediterranean, Japanese and who knows what. Uninspired, insipid, pointless. The table is backlit white, so you can't actually see the food, even though the plates are transparent. Which is why I have no photos to offer on this occasion, because I was hardly going to use flash and draw attention to the fact I was there, was I? And then of course they hit you with a silly bill for this vapid, gruelling experience.
One of the many exciting things about the credit-crunch and its concommitant consequences is that places like this will close, never to return again.
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Asador Fronton III Calle Montalban 9, 28014 Madrid
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