David Munoz - Restaurant DiverXO

by Ainhoa Barrio - 16 Feb 2014

david munozRestaurant DiverXO has become the hottest destination on Madrid's gastronomic scene.  In 2013, it was awarded its third Michelin star, thus becoming the only restaurant in Madrid to hold this precious accolade.

Since David Munoz and his wife Angela opened the doors to back in 2007, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength. Despite being located on a tiny back street of the capital, they soon found their venue sold out for every service. Forced by this success, they moved to a bigger location in the city centre where they have been delighting their guests ever since.

There are two gourmet menus to choose from, ranging from 95€ to 145€, varying only in the amount of dishes that are served. It is a fusion style cuisine, mixing the traditional Spanish dishes such as suckling pig, partridge or oxtail, with the most exotic Asian ingredients and styles like coconut sauces, dim sums and kimchis. These set menus are reviewed and change every season.

DiverXO has become so popular that reservations are opened only one month in advance without exception; first come first served, regardless of fame or social status. As a result, it isn't only the rich and famous that come to DiverXo to sample their delightful dishes; cooks and foodies from all over the world are travelling to Madrid to discover the variety of creative dishes that everyone is talking about.

Madrid-born David Munoz is the man behind the success of DiverXO. After attending catering college, he started out working in a number of restaurants in Madrid before he headed to London. During his time in the English capital he worked in various Asian restaurants and it was this experienece that inspired his creative fusion style.

His wife Angela, is in charge of the service and she carefully describes each dish to the guests. You can expect to try smoked sardines with a thick jalapeño sauce, a kimchi with yogurt, coffee and strawberries from Aranjuez or hake cheeks in a pil-pil sauce. Be prepared to encounter meat as garnish for a vegetable dish or to have a 'dessert' made up of fruit and vegetables or even mustard.

David and Angela have always aimed to combine the best ingredients with the best service. And although their restaurant has become very popular in a very short period of time, they are not afraid to address the economic difficulties. They have 28 staff for a restaurant that can serve 30 people per seating and they spend roughly 20,000 Euros on the best quality fish every month. It is clear that a bigger location is what they need and they are hoping that this third Michelin star will bring the investor they have been hoping for.

To supplement the small profit from DiverXO, David Munoz has now opened up StreetXO, a smaller version of the restaurant in the gourmet section of the biggest shopping center in Callao, the heart of Madrid. It is possible to try similar dishes right from the counter, equally fresh and elaborate and at more affordable prices.

StreetXO has quickly become very popular and they are planning an opening in London for 2014, in New York for 2015 and Singapore in 2016.

Despite the elaborate dishes and the utmost attention to detail on their service, David and Angela pride themselves on freeing the concepts of food, inviting their guests to open up their minds to what they are about to try. As you enter DiverXO you will notice their emblematic winged pigs on top of the tables,  the waiters wear really wide trousers in order to add to the relaxed atmosphere they want to inspire to their guests.

Ainhoa Barrio is a Spanish food, drink and culture writer who lives in Barcelona.

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