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“Our first and perhaps best dining experience in Spain!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Samarkanda

Samarkanda
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Ranked #614 of 10,333 Restaurants in Madrid
Price range: US$21 - US$42
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1,096 reviews
448 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 555 helpful votes
“Our first and perhaps best dining experience in Spain!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2012

After spending an afternoon traveling from Marrakech, Morocco to Madrid, and settling into the AC Carlton Madrid, we wandered out into the evening, hoping to come across some good options for dinner. We passed a couple of ok looking possibilities, and then approached the Atocha train station. I suggested we go inside, because Atocha is a beautiful station, and my girlfriend Therese had never seen it.

As I expected, she was delighted by the wrought iron construction and the botanical garden in the main waiting room. Therese mentioned how in Germany there are train stations that are similarly attractive where you can actually have a very nice time.

On our way out of the station, we noticed Samarkanda. Once again Therese referenced German train stations, saying that many have restaurants that are quite exceptional. So we decided to give Samarkanda a shot. And lo and behold, we had quite a good meal there!

The only thing I remember specifically about the meal was my appetizer, a blanched tomato stuffed with tuna. The tomato had been hollowed out and filled with tunafish, with its bottom removed, and it rested in a lovely tomato/olive oil sauce. It was very tasty.

We ordered a bottle of white wine which was quite good. The rest of the food was also delicious - I just don't remember what we ordered. And the dining room was very attractive.

A telling detail was the fact that on a Friday night when the station was very quiet, this restaurant was very busy, including numerous tables filled with Spanish families and groups of friends (perhaps locals but no way of knowing for sure). So one gets the sense that the secret has been found out - Samarkanda makes coming to the train station a transcendant experience!

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Charming_Karl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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425 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    85
    209
    78
    35
    18
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“nice locatiopn shame about the food”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2012

A surprising location - the old railway station with a mini rain forest in the middle really caught the eye. The restaurant itself seems like an afterthought and really doesn't take advantage of the architectural possibilities. Instead it perches above the trees but there is little sense that consideration was given to use the height or breadth of the space itself. Vety quickly one feels one could be anywhere! Then the food - I was with a quite large party and the starter was a preset selection of very run-of-the-mill tapas. Nothing stood out and there was no apparent attempt to deliver any signature dishes. The main meals all sounded great, lengthy and florid descriptions. I chose the baby squid cooked in their own ink. Chewy, poorly seasoned and desperately needing some additional flare. The waiters seemed stressed by a table for 15 but as the rest of the restaurant was virtually empty it was hard to see what then problem was. I would not recommend this when there are so many fabulous places to eat in the city.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank William E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
70 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Excellent colonial style atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2011

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Madrid. Not only for it's food which is excellent, but also for it's location. Situated in the heart of Madrid, at the end of the old Atocha railway station, it evokes the golden age of travel I always associate with the orient express.

The restaurant is not cheap, but you get money for value and a nice secluded place for a "quiet" meal, During the week you will find that most of the patrons are business men, but on weekends it's taken over by families, so take your pick

Last thing I highly recommend the chocolate soufflé

  • Visited December 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Endevaour61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ferrara, Italy
Level Contributor
47 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“very good food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2011

good food,excellent service, very nice place. it's in the atocha train station and it was open till after midnight, there are no dangerous places.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank sara m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“What a rip-off”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2011

The restaurant itself is lovely, but the service was poor, it was expensive and the quality was not what we would have expected for the money. While many restaurants bring bread without it being ordered - and charge for it whether it is eaten or not, we felt that 4.60 Euros for two hard rolls without any butter or oil was way too steep. The staff looked bored, my hamburger and my partner's steak were both virtually raw and there was a distinct lack of any form of potatoes or any other vegetables. We had been looking forward to going for a special meal on our last night as the restaurant was recommended in our guide book, but it was a complete disappointment and my partner was ill afterwards. Would not recommend.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank AnneMcMunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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