L’Artisan Furansu Kitchen is a non-veg Japanese and French cuisine restaurant in Madrid that serves vegetarian-friendly dishes created by a talented chef. This is the kind of place Wanderlicious loves! Multicultural flavors, a cozy ambiance, and a menu that everyone, omnivore and carnivore alike, can get excited about. I love reviewing restaurants that can be enjoyed by everyone and with everyone, especially friends and family who may not be plant-based. No one has to compromise on taste, options, or ambiance. L’Artisan was kind enough to extend an invitation to try their vegetarian (and vegan) friendly dishes, that did not disappoint! I left with a full belly and tantalized taste buds.
Restaurant, Concept, and Chef Behind L’Artisan
I don’t often venture to the Huertas neighborhood to eat, so it’s not surprising that I had never heard of L’Artisan, despite it being reviewed and raved about by other popular blogs. Opening in 2012, 12/12/12 to be exact, the kitchen has been evolving, experimenting, and innovating its dishes ever since.
Chef Stephane Shoji, born in Paris, and a “multicultural melange” of French and Japanese heritage, is the mind behind L’Artisan. The concept of L’Artisan isn’t one of fusing French and Japanese cuisine but that of “merging the discipline of traditional Japanese cooking with the flair of contemporary French cuisine.” Having worked in kitchens in Paris and Tokyo, Chef Stephane and his team create plates for the menu that are either French or Japanese, not both.
The restaurant has two floors and is composed of 3 dining areas: bar, kitchen, and “cave.” From the street, you’ll come upon the red doors where you enter into the bar area. It’s a simple space with Japanese decor that leads to a few tables in the back, near the kitchen, where you can view the chefs at work. Downstairs in the “cave” is where I ate, with exposed bricks and mood lighting this is the perfect place to take someone special or to just enjoy a nice dinner amongst friends.
The Vegetarian Food
The special tasting menu they created for me consisted of a 5-course meal. Soup, two starters, a main dish, and dessert. The soup changes daily but all the other items can be found on the menu as well as more vegetarian dishes not mentioned below. In addition to offering vegetarian plates, they can also accommodate vegans and celiacs, just let them know beforehand and they are happy to modify any dish that they can. Take a look at their menu for more info.
Many thanks to the culinary and socially connected Natalia Diaz from Project Chefugee who put L’Artisan on my radar and made this tasting happen. I thoroughly enjoyed trying each dish and savored every bite of this 5-course meal. I would recommend all the dishes below and if I had to choose a favorite, I think the vegan roll would be my top choice. That tahini sauce just takes you over the edge!
Soup – A creamy zucchini and mint soup with little bits of goat cheese. Tasty.
Vegan Roll – A fresh and flavorful roll made of sweet potato, avocado, cucumber, and flaxseed accompanied with a tahini sauce. My fave.
Green Apple Salad – Fine julienne cut green apples mixed with avocado, red onion, dill, and Japanese mayonnaise. Clean and crip! (vegan option available)
Bibimbap – A mixed rice dish that includes tofu, kimchi, bean sprouts, carrots, and hijiki on a bed of whole grain rice, topped with a slow-cooked egg. So filling. (vegan option available)
Rhubarb Crumble – A delectable rhubarb crumble topped with custard cream. Delicious!
Menú del Día
While L’Artisan is a fantastic option for dinner, I was told the restaurant is really known for their menú del día (weekday lunch special). What makes this menú del día truly unique is that each day uncovers a new menu, the options have gone unrepeated for the past 5 years. Chef Stephane bases the menú “on the ingredients available at the market that day.” Ingredients that he procures from the markets in the neighborhood. The menú del día is not limited to Japanese and French cuisines but incorporates cuisines from around the world that have influenced him during his stints abroad and global travels. You’ll get a starter, main dish, drink, and dessert or coffee for 15 euros. Of the three starters and three main dishes offered each weekday, one dish of each is always vegetarian.
Metro: Sevilla and Sol
Address: c/Ventura de la Vega 15
Price: 8€-15€ for vegetarian dishes
Hours: Monday – Saturday –13:30-16:30 and 20:30-0:30 (closed Sundays)
What to expect: A cozy, intimate, sophisticated, yet unpretentious restaurant. L’Artisan is not only a master of gastronomy but also of customer service. In addition to the impressive dishes, you’ll find staff members that are happy and helpful. You may want to call in advance to make reservations to ensure you get a table.
What else?: L’Artisan participated in the Refugee Food Festival this year, which is an event where restaurants partner with refugee chefs and invite them into their kitchen to create and serve their traditional foods. Keep an eye out as they may be partnering with more refugees soon. They also let me know that they can accommodate plant-based groups and can create a vegetarian menu for the gathering, lunch or dinner. Hmmm, maybe Wanderlicious should have a tasting night here with some of you? Last, try their Japanese Mojito.