Authentic Chinese Food in Madrid: Ni Hao

Ni Hao Chinese Restaurant in Madrid

Rice Noodles
Delicous rice noodles (tallarines de arroz).

Chinese food in Madrid is almost always a terrible choice. I rarely order it, but every time a craving gets the best of me I regret it.  And while I did enjoy my meal at the famed parking garage Chinese restaurant in Plaza de España, the lack of ambience and space made certain I wouldn’t be back often. It took a friend’s invitation to have lunch with her at Ni Hao to remember to give Chinese food in Madrid another chance.

I realized that I had actually been to Ni Hao prior to last week’s lunch. It was actually one of the first restaurants I tried in Madrid, as my blogger friend Lauren had invited us. When I went with Lauren and her friends I remember walking in the door of the very nondescript restaurant and being relieved to see a room full of Asian customers. If anything, I thought, we were going to eat some authentic Chinese food. That night we opted for their hot pot, a cauldron of boiling broth in which we would poach meat, seafood and vegetables. It was delicious, but a far cry from the Chinese food I was used to eating.

Chinese Hot Pot
Typical Chinese Hot Pot.

On my last visit to Ni Hao we ordered the things that sounded familiar: rice noodles, pork dumplings, Chinese eggplant, and Szechuan chicken. It wasn’t the American Chinese Food we’d grown up on– it was far better.

Szechuan Chicken
Spicy Szechuan Chicken.
Empanadillas Chinas
Pork Dumplings (Empanadillas Chinas) with an amazing sauce.
Chinese Eggplant
My favorite: Chinese Eggplant (Berenjenas Chinas)

I can’t say that Ni Hao makes the most authentic Chinese food in Madrid, mainly because I haven’t been lucky enough to visit China yet. But I’ll bet by seeing its happy Asian customers that it comes pretty close!

Apart from the delicious food, the ambience and service are passable. The waiters have spoken decent Spanish every time I’ve been there, and even helped us choose a chicken dish the last time I went. The restaurant is simple (not at all romantic) but clean, and the value is amazing. We’ve never spent more than €25 for two people (including beverages).

If you are looking for some authentic Chinese food in Madrid at great prices, I strongly suggest you go downtown and try Ni Hao– and if you order something really good please let me know in the comments! I am always looking to try new dishes there but the menu isn’t exactly well explained!

Ni Hao Chinese Restaurant

Calle de Silva, 20 Madrid

Metro: Callao

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Hot Pot Picture by: naotakem

Comments

  1. Oh yum! I never got a chance to try their eggplant dish, looks nice. Thanks for the mention and glad you and Ale have gotten an opportunity to go back and try new things. I myself have never been to China either, but from the one unpronounceable tripe laden dish we tried – our runny sinuses told us it was authentic!

  2. Yup, it seems like every country in the world has their own bastardized version of Chinese food that they dare to call “Chinese food” (but really isn’t). The funny thing is that, frequently, it’s actually quite good–not necessarily worse than authentic Chinese, just different.

    For what it’s worth, I love Americanized Chinese food a la P.F. Chang’s, and to illustrate the concept even further my favorite dish is the infamously fake General Tso’s Chicken, which is entirely an American invention and not the least bit Chinese in any way, shape, or form. Ha! 😀

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  3. Looks delicious, I’m in the mood for dumplings and berenjena now!

    I’ve been a fan of the Plaza de Espana restaurante but every time I eat there they always push us out in the evening (although not during the quieter daytime). I plan to remember this sitio the next time I need a Chinese food fix!

  4. Hi! Just wanted to enlighten you with the best kept secret in Madrid: Don Lay. Paseo de Extremadura 30

    Having lived in london and New York, I too found it impossible to have even decent chinese food in Madrid, but some 5 years ago, I asked some chinese nationals that worked in El Dragon, and they told me that they celebrate their weddings there. i can also confirm that the Chinese Embassador in Spain recognizes it as the best chinese restaurant in Spain!
    Real, I mean Hong Kong quality, Dim Sum and it´s only cantonese cooking, so no Peking duck, but excellent duck. Also try the suckling pig.
    hope you enjoy.. i have for many years, and I don´t go anywhere else anymore!

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