As all chefs know, the best and freshest produce available in a big city is to be found in the early hours in the bustling markets, or straight from the slaughterhouses before most of the population even wakes. At Madrid restaurant Sala de Despiece (Cutting House), those sources of fresh ingredients are so important that they have influenced the entire design of the place, with architects OHLAB employing a market-style display section for fish and motifs from butchery to create an environment that is at once functional, fresh and fearless.
Whether delicately sliced or forcefully cleaved, meat plays a major part in the theatre of Sala de Despiece — founded by chef/owner Javier Bonet. Preparation is on view in the open kitchen, and waiters dressed in customary white butchers’ aprons attend the tables – leading to an iPad ordering process which is more progressive than traditional. A selection of fearsome abattoir and butchery tools are artfully arranged in a backlit display, with the rubber boots and hacksaw pretty grisly reminders of the bloody realities of meat eating. Although the dishes here do boast some tasty looking fruit and vegetables too, I’d suggest this place is for carnivores only.