Sagar: From ‘Pesadilla En La Cocina’ to one of the top Indian restaurants in Madrid.

Updated: Sep 16

During the COVID-19 pandemic Sagar took on the role of food provider to the poor and needy in Guindalera, placing a sign outside their restaurant offering produce to neighbours of limited means. Owner Kumar tells me that, if he’d had the resources, he would have liked to have placed a fridge outside the restaurant for people to take what they needed, like a lot of establishments have done in Dubai. "The most important thing is that nobody goes hungry," he tells me. The good relationship with the local community is evident from the moment I take my seat on the terrace. An elderly lady leaving her building over the street from the restaurant greets the waiter like a member of her family, asking how he was doing and showing him her dog’s groomed appearance. The friendly ambience continues inside, where statues of Buddha and Hindu gods such as Bala Ganesh are coupled with a staff happy to help with whatever needed plus stringent hygiene practices given the ongoing pandemic. The menu's focus is on Northern Indian cuisine and is varied and delicious, with gluten intolerances and allergies taken into account. Dishes can be tailored to palates desiring highly-spiced options and their most popular dishes are Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Biryani.


Almost as soon as Sagar was opened in 2012 by husband and wife team Kumar and Indra, renowned Spanish chef Alberto Chicote popped round with his TV crew to feature the restaurant on Pesadilla En La Cocina. And the experience was life-changing. The resulting programme, emitted on laSexta channel showed that there was room for improvement in terms of decor and cooking styles and Kumar was up for the challenge. The restaurant was given a face-lift and the cooking team focused on using fresh ingredients instead of resorting to frozen produce - with an impressive result. Clients have flocked to the restaurant ever since, attracted not only by the varied menu but also because of the fame generated by appearing of the often-repeated episode of Chicote’s popular programme. And in spite of being slightly off the tourist beaten-track, thanks to ranking in the top 10 of Madrid’s Indian restaurants on TripAdvisor - and was even garlanded with the 2020 Traveller’s Choice award, ranking it in the top 10% restaurant in the world.


Sagar: Desde ‘Pesadilla en la cocina’ a uno de los restaurantes indios mejores de Madrid

Durante el pandémica COVID-19 Sagar ayudó a mucha de la gente pobre del barrio de La Guindalera, ofreciéndoles comida gratis. El dueño, Kumar, me dice que si tuviera los recursos, pondría una nevera fuera del restaurante para la gente pobre, como muchos establecimientos hacen en Dubai. “Lo importante es que nadie sale con hambre,” me comenta Kumar. La buena relación que el restaurante tiene con la comunidad local es obvio desde que me cojo un asiento en la terraza. Una señora mayor sale de su edificio al lado del restaurante y saluda al camarero como si fuera un miembro de su familia, enseñándole el corte de pelo que lleva su perro. El ambiente amable continua dentro, donde estatuas de Buda y dioses Hindúes como Bala Ganesh están a juego con un personal disponibles a ayudar en cualquier momento, más una higiene muy exigente para estos momentos de pandemia. La carta, que tiene un enfoque del norte de la India, es variada y delicioso, con intolerancias al gluten y alergias tomado en serio, más hay opciones muy picantes para los que lo desean. Sus platos más populares son Chicken Tikka Masala y Lamb Biryani.


En cuanto se abrió Sagar en 2012, Kumar y su esposa Indra dejaron entrar a su restaurante al famoso chef español Alberto Chicote para filmar su programa ‘Pesadilla en la cocina.’ Y la experiencia les cambió la vida. El programa que salió en LaSexta demostró que hacía falta un cambio de decoración y de estilo de cocina. Así que se cambió la decoración y se enfocan en utilizar ingredientes frescos en vez de congelados, con resultados impresionantes. Los clientes vienen no solo por la carta variedad sino por la fama que le ha generado el programa de Chicote. Y, a pesar de estar un poco fuera del centro de turismo de Madrid, ha sido clasificado como uno de los mejores diez restaurantes Indios por TripAdvisor - e incluso ha recibido su ‘Traveller’s Choice’ Award 2020, siendo en el top 10% en todo el mundo.





 

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