History

歴史

Fukuroi, Shizuoka

On July 17, 2020, Pilar Akaneya opens, the first sumibiyaki in Madrid and one of the five restaurants in Spain that serves wagyū certified as Kobe Beef. Also, it is the first establishment in Europe that serves the Japanese muskmelon Crown Melon. This is the cover letter of a story that takes us back to its founders, Chiho Murata and Ignasi Elías.

Nine years have passed since the opening in 2011 in Barcelona of the first sumibiyaki in Europe, the iconic Carlota Akaneya. Ignasi assures that then he opened it only with his heart and, almost a decade later, "he had to pour what he had learned into a new project".

Part of the learning is due to his partner, Chiho Murata, a native of Fukuroi. His childhood memories include winters by the fire making mochi with his grandmother and gathering firewood with his grandfather to make his own charcoal. 20 years later, Chiho will become the filter for all the decisions of a sumibiyaki in Madrid.

"Pilar Akaneya was called to exist one day," Ignasi replies, alluding to Pilar, her mother's name. "I owed him," he smiles. This is also how Jordi Rivera sees it, director of operations and the main person responsible for the prophecy being fulfilled. "The piece that makes everything work", defines Ignasi. Jordi was a regular at Carlota Akaneya when Ignasi suggested opening a second restaurant with him. "I didn't expect it," explains Jordi. “If what Ignasi was looking for was heart, he was right because I put my soul into it”.

KOBE BEEF
Pilar Akaneya is one of 150 restaurants outside of Japan certified by the Kobe Beef Association, licensed to sell Kobe beef. There is confusion about the meaning of wagyū and Kobe Beef. "It's only 'Kobe Beef' if it comes from Hyōgo Prefecture, with the corresponding 'Kobe Beef' certification," Chiho clarifies. In the case of Pilar Akaneya, we are not only talking about Kobe Beef A5, the most exclusive cut of meat on the planet, but also about pairing it with grilled meat.

KISHŪ BINCHŌTAN
"I never thought I would have to do a charcoal tasting," confesses José Luís Fernández, director and chef at Pilar Akaneya. “I had heard of Carlota Akaneya when Chiho called me”, but I had never realized the importance of embers “until Chiho told me about the forests of Wakayama”. The restaurant offers the possibility of sublimating Kobe Beef with Kishū Binchōtan from Wakayama, “the best charcoal in the world”, explains Jordi. “Until now this was something possible only in Japan. Now, also in Chamberí”, he assures.

CROWN MELON
It is also the first time that Crown Melon can be tasted in our country. Viajes National Geographic was a direct witness of this fact with the realization of the splendid report The most expensive melon in the world lands in Spain, published on October 22, 2020.

Crown Melon is one of the most prestigious Muskmelon DO's in Japan and grows in Chiho City, Fukuroi. “Their farms are close to my house,” he explains. In Western culture it is difficult to understand that a melon costs more than 200 euros, which is the usual price of Crown Melon in Tokyo stores. The melon has become deeply rooted in the Japanese culture of luxury gifts, to the point that a copy of muskmelon auctioned in 2019 was paid $25,000.

Its high price and sweet taste are due in part to the "one tree, one fruit" rule. Halfway through the harvest, the farmer chooses a single melon for each tree, the one with the best appearance, and sacrifices the rest. The list of care and controls that this melon receives is only comparable perhaps to the attention that a mother gives her baby. ”They are like a dream in Japan, and now I find it shocking to have them here, in Madrid”.

April 2019 – Chiho with Take and Kenji Murata, at their house in Fukuroi, discuss an article about Carlota Akaneya in La Vanguardia

KOBE BEEF
Pilar Akaneya is one of 150 restaurants outside of Japan certified by the Kobe Beef Association, licensed to sell Kobe beef. There is confusion about the meaning of wagyū and Kobe Beef. "It's only 'Kobe Beef' if it comes from Hyōgo Prefecture, with the corresponding 'Kobe Beef' certification," Chiho clarifies. In the case of Pilar Akaneya, we are not only talking about Kobe Beef A5, the most exclusive cut of meat on the planet, but also about pairing it with grilled meat.

KISHŪ BINCHŌTAN
"I never thought I would have to do a charcoal tasting," confesses José Luís Fernández, director and chef at Pilar Akaneya. “I had heard of Carlota Akaneya when Chiho called me”, but I had never realized the importance of embers “until Chiho told me about the forests of Wakayama”. The restaurant offers the possibility of sublimating Kobe Beef with Kishū Binchōtan from Wakayama, “the best charcoal in the world”, explains Jordi. “Until now this was something possible only in Japan. Now, also in Chamberí”, he assures.

CROWN MELON
It is also the first time that Crown Melon can be tasted in our country. Viajes National Geographic was a direct witness of this fact with the realization of the splendid report The most expensive melon in the world lands in Spain, published on October 22, 2020.

Crown Melon is one of the most prestigious Muskmelon DO's in Japan and grows in Chiho City, Fukuroi. “Their farms are close to my house,” he explains. In Western culture it is difficult to understand that a melon costs more than 200 euros, which is the usual price of Crown Melon in Tokyo stores. The melon has become deeply rooted in the Japanese culture of luxury gifts, to the point that a copy of muskmelon auctioned in 2019 was paid $25,000.

Its high price and sweet taste are due in part to the "one tree, one fruit" rule. Halfway through the harvest, the farmer chooses a single melon for each tree, the one with the best appearance, and sacrifices the rest. The list of care and controls that this melon receives is only comparable perhaps to the attention that a mother gives her baby. ”They are like a dream in Japan, and now I find it shocking to have them here, in Madrid”.

Restaurant

レストラン

Kyoto barbecue

Pilar Akaneya is a popular Japanese cuisine sumibiyaki made with premium products from Japan. Inside, thirteen self-made barbecue tables stand on the floor of two adjoining rooms. The architectural proposal, designed by Chiho Murata together with the C97 architects' office, is inspired by Japanese functional minimalism and the classical aesthetics of Kyoto, where clean and simple lines, natural colors and noble materials such as wood, iron, clay prevail. , ash, cotton or rope.

At Pilar Akaneya, beauty and tradition combine to create an oasis of calm filtered by rice paper lamps and jazz music, a favorite among Japan's great chefs. A corner of Madrid where day and night are confused to slightly shake our notion of time.

Few things are as captivating as fire, intimacy and omotenashi, aspects that Pilar Akaneya strives to combine properly. Whether it's a first visit or not, stepping on Pilar Akaneya's dotted stone entrance and through its sliding door, the room staff wait inside to welcome you and make you feel at home, as well as in Japan.

Kitchen

Popular haute cuisine

If the basis of pleasure is the raw material, Pilar Akaneya's work begins with her relationship with suppliers and the choice of the best possible ingredient. The simplicity of the dishes highlights the leading role of the product and, in any case, is enhanced with a subtle touch. Little more is necessary when you have the opportunity and responsibility to work with certain gifts of nature. Everything must be of the highest quality and prepared to perfection.

The quality of the product is joined by the cooking method old-fashioned, with a charcoal that is dumped on the table manually in each service. “It is possibly the most sacrificial job that exists in restoration,” confesses Chiho. But also “the most romantic expression I have ever known”.

Pilar Akaneya does not know if the guest will have the opportunity to return, so she prepares tasting menus that ensure a wide assortment of flavors and textures from Japan, such as a previous dance around the barbecue fire. Each dish has a function within the whole, an intricate and woven story as the course progresses.

The Sansekai Menu reflects a more creative, spontaneous and intuitive personality. The inspiration comes from the food itself and the curiosity for any aspect of Japanese cuisine that provides balance, elegance and flavor to the dishes, with no other aim than to make those who taste them happy.

Chef

Pepe Fernandez

He was born in 1987 in Algeciras. His first contact with the stove was the stews of his maternal grandmother and his immense love for cooking. What marked him the most as a child was the slaughter of the pig: a harsh ritual that gave him what he now calls the flavor of his childhood: meat roasted over firewood and stuffed into bread.

At 15 he was a kitchen assistant in Tarifa. His summers were washing dishes, preparing salads, cleaning fish, grilling meats, and cooking rice. At 17, he combined his studies in Granada with the Alborán Hotel in Algeciras, where he worked as a waiter and learned the art of serving.

At 18, he paid for his studies by working in two bars in Algeciras. At the Ivory Bar he had Tili, his first teacher. At 23, he went to London as a chef to discover the bitter side of the job —poor service, poor product and low wages— and return to Spain five years later with a clear goal: haute cuisine and Madrid.

At school Aranda learned new techniques with Fran Rabazo. His talent earned him an internship and then a contract at El Club Allard —2 Michelin stars—, where Jose Carlos Fuentes, Carme Ruscalleda's right-hand man in Tokyo, introduced him to Japanese cuisine. There he led his own team and proposed his first dishes for a tasting menu.

Two years later, he signed for Étimo as kitchen assistant, with Begoña Fraire, where he applied techniques of cuisine française classic with top quality ingredients. From Jairo Calvo he learned precision and discipline in the execution of recipes and the treatment of the product.

It was then that he got the call from Chiho Murata and her proposal to direct Pilar Akaneya. He moved to Barcelona to train and work on Murata's ideas for Madrid, such as bringing Crown Melon, Wakayama charcoal and cooking with Kangen water. With the vision of creating the best sumibiyaki experience that Japan could offer, the commission to make the Sansekai Menu was born. “It brings together all the values I have learned. Chiho gives me guidelines and confidence. Working with her is easy and it shows in the result. I must confess that never before has working been so rewarding. To see the eyes of the clients shine, or to hear them say 'We have been happy'. There is nothing like it."

Furniture

Keshomen

化粧面

For the preparation of her barbecue tables, Pilar Akaneya chooses wood for its decorative surface, called keshōmen (化粧面), versus toughness or other attributes. Sometimes wood exposed to heat cracks, forming a large scar. As with the kintsugi (金継ぎ), Japanese technique for fixing ceramic fractures, the shokunin (職人) or Japanese master craftsmen respect the deterioration of wood and, to repair it, extol the damage instead of concealing or making up for it. It's the culture wabi sabi or the beauty of imperfection, where aging, wear and tear embellish the object, revealing its transformation and history, and that is precisely what has been achieved on Pilar Akaneya's tables by Julio Alonso, the only authentic shokunin in Spain.

June 2021 – Pilar Akaneya with Julio Alonso at his Hayabusa Studio, Yeles.

The true shokunin works in the style of Japanese craftsmen of the Edo period, called sashimono (指物), whose technique involves using only noble wood and joining the components without metals such as nails, screws or elements foreign to the wood itself, and with complex assemblies that do not even require gluing. Alonso, trained in Japan with Yutaka Mogami and Yuji Funatsu themselves, leading living figures in cabinetmaking and blacksmithing, respectively, has dedicated the last 20 years to the study and teaching of sashimono. Chiho Murata sees Julio as a national treasure: “He is the best Japanese cabinetmaker in southern Europe. We can only express our gratitude to you for having blessed our restaurant with your work. Julio is not someone you can hire. He chooses you."

Crockery

Earth, fire and water

土、火、水

There is something in Kyoto that inspires Pilar Akaneya. The very name of Kyoto makes you breathe more deeply. Its beautiful scenes, sumptuous cuisine, and calm rhythm make it easy for you to enjoy every moment. The Tawaraya ryokan, the Ogata restaurant, or strolling through Shirakawa Gion and Shinbashi Dori streets represent the very essence of beauty, sometimes unnoticed because it lacks all pretense. The simple and rustic architecture separates you from the overwhelming outside world and plunges you into an almost meditative state.

Pilar Akaneya transfers this harmony with nature to her cutlery and plates, using metals and simple woods adapted to each need and season of the year. It also uses carefully selected rustic ceramics created by Japanese artisans. Japanese handmade tableware stands out for its delicacy, resistance and exquisiteness in its forms. For him chef's menu choose unique pieces from the Yuu workshop in Barcelona, run by the artist Motoko Araki. Using traditional methods, Araki spends time crafting each piece. It begins with the good kneading of the clay in the original Japanese way and continues with the creation of the form using the wheel. Each piece is left to dry for 8 hours before being glazed and fired at a high temperature for another 14 hours. The resulting colors, shades and shapes give the Japanese tableware and the diner a feeling of beauty and Zen well-being.

Bookings

予約

Important

To book you must accept the following booking conditions.

  • Reservations prior to 9:30 p.m. correspond to the first shift and have a maximum of 2h 30m.
  • We keep the table for 15 minutes.
  • Reservation valid exclusively for the number of people specified.
  • The following must be respected Standards of Conduct
  • The Sansekai menu must be requested when booking and is subject to Special conditions
  •  

Frequent questions

Our menus are closed menus for 2 people and are based on a wide range of meats. We do not have vegetarian or vegan menus. However, if one of the two people is vegetarian or vegan, we can adapt the menu, prior notice, so that they can enjoy different dishes without meat or animal protein, and the other can enjoy meat normally. We cannot substitute meat for fish.

Of course. The menus consist of several shared dishes, so the adaptation applies to both diners. To adapt the menu, you only need to indicate your intolerance when making your reservation.

All menus are for a minimum of 2 people and the price of the menu is per person. However, if there is a minor among the 3 people, it is possible to share a single menu (for 2 people).

No. The restaurant has 13 tables distributed in two small adjoining rooms and we cannot guarantee privacy or the absence of noise. If you are looking for an elegant restaurant in its most classic sense, quiet and spacious, Pilar Akaneya is probably not up to your expectations.

It can be booked for a maximum of 6/8 people, depending on availability. Larger group reservations are not accepted.

The air extraction and supply system of the sumibiyaki They guarantee a constant circulation and ventilation of the air. In addition, the restaurant has the Zonair3D air purification system, the most advanced on the market. Contains viricidal nanofibers that filter microparticles and inactivate viruses, including Covid-19. More about this technology

Company events can be held for a maximum of 30 guests. If you are interested, write to us at reservas@pilarakaneya.com

We welcome all requests, but unfortunately we don't do this type of collaboration.

Contact

店舗情報

Address

Espronceda Street 33 Madrid 28003

Parking

2 hours of free parking for clients in Fernández de la Hoz 78

Schedule

Every night from 7:30 p.m. and noon on Saturday and Sunday

Telephone

Gifts

If you want to give a lunch or dinner write to us at reservas@pilarakaneya.com

Map