La Castela Chipirones Encebolladas (Food of the Week)

Seafood Madrid

La Castela is a Madrid seafood destination for plates like chipirones encebolladas.

“Oh, baby!” The high energy-server wearing glasses with diamond-shaped lenses shouts this every time he delivers a plate at La Castela, a raucous tapas bar with serious food located due east of Madrid’s Parque del Retiro. The enthusiasm was warranted in almost every case, particularly when he laid down a plate of Chipirones Encebolladas (11€).

La Castela dates to 1989, when the high quality tapas bar replaced an institution called Bodega de Méntrida. The new incarnation retains much of the original charm, complete with marble high-tops and counters, a zinc bar, green menus, and shelves of liquor and conservas.

Chipirones Encebolladas consist of tender squid cooked a la plancha and plated in a shallow pool of brilliant green olive oil, with a thatch of melted leeks in the middle and squid ink drizzled on top. Cebolla means “onion” in English, so of course the leeks play a strong supporting role. Every dish at La Castela comes with a basket of crusty bread, and these ingredients are beautiful toppings, since the oil, ink and leeks sink into the bread. This was a spectacular seafood preparation that would thrill diners in a high-end restaurant just as much as it did in a boisterous bar where most people stand.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment