Sabor Sichuan (Taste of Szechuan) 川百味

Sabor Sichuan 川百味 (Taste of Szechuan)

Calle Gabino Jimeno 6: Usera, Madrid


Wanzhou Kaoyu 万州考鱼 Sabor Sichuan 川百味

Do you like Spicy Food?

Madrid is a fabulous city for eating out. For the adventurous, boundless opportunities for exciting dining exist all over the city. However, those who crave spicy food, and I mean really spicy food, are often disappointed by the dearth of options.

川北凉粉 spicy mung bean noodles Sabor Sichuan 川百味

Some Peruvian restaurants make brave attempts to keep up their spicy tradition, but most succumb to the whims of their autochthonous diners by watering down the kick. Kitchen 154, a mecca for spicy food in the market of Vallehermoso, does a pretty good job. Cruel, there own chili brand, is pretty fiery .

四川凉面,cold Sichuan noodles Sabor Sichuan 川百味

This after all is the country were the giant Tabasco Sauce company has almost given up the ghost. Sales in Spain are about its worst in Europe. Spanish tolerance of hot spice or chili is pretty low.

Sabor Sichuan 川百味

Thank heavens for Sabor Sichuan (Taste of Szechuan). This small little restaurant in the barrio of Usera , south of the River Manzanares, and  in the heart of Madrid’s China town is a godsend.

青椒皮蛋 green peppers and 1000 year old eggs Sabor Sichuan 川百味

If you have ever been to Sichuan or Chongqing and continue to crave that lip burning and tongue numbing Mala 麻辣 spice then Sabor Sichuan is Continue reading “Sabor Sichuan (Taste of Szechuan) 川百味”

Bolivia Invades China (town)

Bolivia Invades China


China Town Usera Madrid IMG_20190210_115953_1Download

Earlier this year, Madrid’s barrio of Usera; a  gritty, slightly run-down area, and home to a totally authentic Chinatown, was turned into a riot of color and boomed with the sound of South American music as Spain’s Bolivian community danced up Calle Dolores Barranco, one of the main arteries in Usera, and the beating heart of Madrid’s Chinese Community.


Bolivians In Usera

Only a few weeks before the Bolivian parade,  thousands of Madrileños (people who live in Madrid) had lined the same street to watch Madrid’s Chinese community celebrate Chinese New Year and welcomed in the year of the Pig. It appears that the two communities are going to battle it out every year to see who can put on the best show in Calle Dolores Barranco (both parades were pretty good).


Bolivians dancing up Calle Dolores Barranco, Usera Madrid

I must admit, though I am a great Sinophile, I think the Bolivians edged it this year with a display of extravagance and vibrant music that lasted three hours compared to the much shorter Chinese New Year Parade. I am sure the Chinese comunity are going to up the ante at next year’s New Year parade.


Bolivian Dancer in Usera, Madrid,

For people who don’t know Madrid; Usera is a District south of the Manzanares River that cuts through the city. It’s quite close to the historic center and near the hotly promoted Madrid Rio green area. This area was created by putting the enourmous ring road, the M30, underground and building a park above it. In the last decade Usera has become home to thousands of people from China.

Gongs and Drums. Calle Dolores Barranco Usera, Madrid

They have created a Chinatown were any Chinese citizen could probably live without ever having to venture any further out into Madrid. All services and whims that a Chinese person would want are catered for so that they need not feel they have left China.

Chinese New Year Usera, Madrid

There are numerous streets where nearly all business signs are in Mandarin characters. From restaurants, supermarkets and hair salons to real estate businesses, lawyer’s offices, and churches, the presence of the Chinese community is everywhere. Unlike other Chinatowns in Europe, such as London’s Chinatown which is more orientated to tourism, the Chinese community in Usera, live, work and have their businesses in this area.

Taiqi students Chinese New Year Usera, Madrid

The two main streets are Manuela Usera and Dolores Barranco. These two streets are intersected by many much smaller streets that undulate between them. Basically, from Calle Olvido, closer to the river, until almost Calle Mariano Vela near the park, Olof Palma.

Guizhou Fish, Sabor Sichuan, Usera, Madrid

Usera is also home to a large Latin American population, especially from Columbia, Ecuador and Bolivia. This year, the Bolivians put on a fantastic show with their colorful carnival parade.  The festival was called FIACBOL, Carnaval Boliviano en Madrid 2019. In 2018 the FIACBOL parade took place in the Paseo de la Castellana, one of Madrid’s main streets.

Bolivians dancing up Calle Dolores Barranco, Usera Madrid

More recently young Madridleños have begun moving into the area as rising rents and house prices have pushed younger people further from the city center

Chinese Lanterns floating on the lake in Pradolongo Park Usera, Madrid

And yes, the word gentrification is being banded around and there are rumors that Calle Dolores Barranco could be pedestrianized in order to make way for a touristy Chinatown. The neighbours are not impressed. Calle dolores Barranco is a busy commercial street where people live and make a living from small businesses. The last thing that the street needs is to be turned into a gaudy tourist trap. Let it be and keep it authentic.

Sichuan Spicy Sweet Patato Noodles: Sabor Sichuan, Usera, Madrid

If you missed this year’s parade but fancy seeing traditional Bolivian and other South American dancing just go along to Parque Pradolongo, the fourth biggest park in Madrid, every Saturday and Sunday afternoon and you’ll be treated to quite a show.

Bolivians dancing up Calle Dolores Barranco, Usera Madrid

This park is where Madrid’s Latin population practices their traditional dances. A visit to Pradolongo makes for a great off- the – beaten track excursion when visiting  Madrid.

Bolivians dancing up Calle Dolores Barranco, Usera Madrid

You can finish the excursion off with a fantastic meal in one of the many fabulous Chinese restaurants in Usera, where every culinary corner of China is represented.

Spicy prawns in the Restuarant Jin Lai Usera
Bolivian dancers in Calle Dolores Barranco Usera Madrid

Taihu Brewing 臺虎精釀 comes to Madrid

The quiet and attractive barrio of Pacifico just outside the historic center of Madrid may not the place you’d expect to find one of the most exotic beers from Taiwan’s famous Taihu Brewery. But just step inside the amazing and cozy beer shop, Espuma, (C/. Juan de Urbieta 13, Local 16, 28007, MADRID, Metro L1 y L6 Pacífico y L1 Menéndez Pelayo.), and you’ll find yourself immersed in the world of craft beers.

Espuma, the shop

Espuma, the beers

The owners are real experts on craft beer and brewing and have started to make their own delicious beer Wit-toria. Apart from the many delicious beers for sale in bottles and, increasingly, in attractive tins, they always have two beers on tap for customers to try.

Taihu Smoked Plum Lichtenhainer臺虎烏梅

On this particular day when I visited Espuma, they had on tap Taihu Smoked Plum Lichtenhainer 臺虎烏梅. It’s a beer that doesn’t leave anyone indifferent: you’ll either love it, or find it downright weird! For me, it was weird on the first sip; then love on the second one.

Pulling a pint of Taihu Smoked Plum beer in Espuma

It’s the use of these smoked plums that gives the Taihu Smoked Plum Lichtenhainer 臺虎烏梅  a smoky fruitiness that no other beer can match; furthermore, it has a refreshing sour tartness that quenches any thirst, even when it is 35º outside. I hope the barrel, the only one they have in the shop, won’t run out too soon!

The flavor of  sour plums, smoked or sweet, is one of my favorite flavors from China and Taiwan. These sour plums, together with rock sugar and other ingredients like sweet osmanthus, are used to make a refreshing cold drink known as Suanmeitang 酸梅汤 often sold in street markets. Even though it is called a soup in Chinese, it is actually a drink. Besides refreshing, Suanmeitang is also believed to be good for your health, as it improves digestion and may inhibit the buildup of lactic acid.


酸梅 Sour Plums

Espuma came across the beer at the Founders Madrid Beer & Music Fest in the Patio of Conde Duque Madrid where Taihu Brewing had a stand. Intrigued by the unusual flavor, they decided to purchase a barrel and take it to their shop.

About this Beer:

Here are some professional reviews of the beer from

(Click here for Spanish version)

A Taiwanese twist on the German classic. The 40% Cherry wood smoked malt and 40% malted wheat lend smoke heft and body to the palate. We quick sour with a house culture, kefir-derived lacto blend down to 3.2 for a robust tartness. The Taiwanese smoked plum adds a deep fruity/smoky balance on the nose and a refreshing grassiness on the finish, complex but crushable.

The type of beer used in the Smoked Sour Plum is the Lichtenhainer. This description comes from

“Lichtenhainer is also a pale beer brewed from lightly smoked malt, though only barley malt is used. The approximately 8º Plato wort is very lightly hopped and only boiled very briefly and exposed to either a spontaneously appearing or deliberately started lactic acid bacteria infection that gives the beer its weakly sour taste. The mostly young beer, which isn’t expected to be clear, is usually served from a barrel.”

Combining both smoky and sour tastes in one beer is unusual—but not unique. At least not in the past: In the first half of the 19th century, Berliner Weisse was also brewed with smoked malt”.

About the Brewery: Taihu Brewing (臺虎精釀):

The Taihu Brewery is Taiwan’s number one craft beer brewery. It has 5 five founders, three Taiwanese and two Americans. Due to Taiwanese laws forbidding brewing inside the capital, brewing takes place in an industrial area outside Taipei. However, the company has a number of taprooms at prime locations throughout the city to satisfy the demands of its thirsty customers (see below).

Taihu’s head brewer is Winnie Hsu, the lady responsible for “putting the tiger in Taihu beers”. She studied brewing beer in Atlanta and Phoenix in the USA and later in Germany where she perfected her technique. Click here for an interesting interview with Taihu’s head brewer.

Hop Lanterns IPA Taihu Brewing Taiwan

Apart from the amazing variety of beers, which include IPAs under the name Hop Lanterns, and a host of experimental beers including one made with Kumquat oranges, Kumquat Kölsch (金桔科隆), Taihu Brewery has also developed a Coffee IPA (blond) that uses Coffee from Kenya. This IPA is exclusively sold in Starbucks Reserve location in Shanghai.

The attractive logo below uses the two characters that make up Taihu 臺虎. Tai  is for Taiwan and Hu is for tiger.


Another thing that really makes Taihu’s beers stand out are the incredible designs of the labels on the tins, created by the Taiwanese artist Yao Ruizhong姚瑞中). Each can represents a different Taiwanese landmark. Take a look below.

The red of Wuling Maple Farm, Taichung (台中武陵): ‘Mai Xiang’ (麥鄉), or Taihu Bright Ale‘:

The blue of Si Shou Moutain, Taipei (台北四兽山): ‘Taihu IPA (臺虎IPA)’:

The purple of Beinan, Taitung (台東卑南): ‘Xiao Mai’(臺虎小麥), or Taihu Weisse’:

and the green of Guanziling Hotspring, Taichung (台中關子嶺): ‘Kumquat Kölsch (金桔科隆)’:

Where to try Taihu beers in Taiwan:

You can find  Taihu Tap Rooms at least 5 locations in Taipei and one in Taichung. The Tap rooms, Chuoyinshi 啜飲室 literally meaning sipping rooms, have a bewildering selection of beers on their chalkboard. Interesting snacks accompany the beers. If only they had been there in 1997 when I studied Chinese in Taipei!

For a short time while the barrel lasts you can also come to Espuma.

Espuma (C/. Juan de Urbieta 13, Local 16, 28007, MADRID, Metro L1 y L6 Pacífico y L1 Menéndez Pelayo.)


Nuevo Curso de Chino en la Universidad Complutense Madrid 2014

Aprender Chino

en la Universidad Complutense Madrid 2014

Pueblo de ChiKan donde rodaron el Grandmaster
Pueblo de ChiKan donde rodaron el Grandmaster

Hay un Nuevo Curso de Chino en la Universidad Complutense Madrid

2º cuatrimestre de chino “Práctica de las destrezas orales”. Nivel mínimo requerido A1.2. Matricula: 20/01-12/02. Horario Viernes 11:00 – 15:30.

Para más informacion haz clic en el  anuncio:

2º cuatrimestre de chino "Práctica de las destrezas orales". Nivel mínimo requerido A1.2. Matricula: 20/01-12/02. Horario V 11:00 - 15:30.
2º cuatrimestre de chino “Práctica de las destrezas orales”. Nivel mínimo requerido A1.2. Matricula: 20/01-12/02. Horario V 11:00 – 15:30.

Cursos de Chino del CSIM: 14 Oct 2013 a 31 Mayo en la Universidad Complutense Madrid

Cursos de chino en Madrid / Chinese Language Courses in Madrid 2013 /2014

Universidad Complutense Madrid /Learn Chinese in the Complutense University in Madrid

Cursos de Chino en la Universidad Complutense Madrid (CSIM)

Curso de chino mandarin en Madrid 2013/2014

Como todos los años el CSIM (Centro Superior de Idioma Modernas) te ofrecen cursos de chino en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Las fechas son del 14 de octobre 2013 hasta el 31 de mayo 20143 horas semanales. Todo/as los profesores son licenciadas y con ampliar experiencia en  impartir clases de chino. Para mas informacion clic haz clic en este enlace:


Cursos de Chino en la Universidad Complutense De Madrid (CSIM ) Julio 2011

Garganta de Maling, Provincia de Guizhou, China

Este año ofrecemos cursos del idioma Chino de 60 horas en el la Universidad Complutense de Madrid organizados por el Centro Superior de Idiomas Modernas (CSIM).

Cursos-de-Chino 2011 CSIM

Para matricularse online y más información haz clic aquí:



Mujer de la etnia Miao, Langde Shan, Guizhou


Teléfono 91 394 6481 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 91 394 6481 end_of_the_skype_highlighting /8404 / 8405: Todos los días 9.00 a 14.00/ o  Miércoles 9.00 a 18.00.


Hola China in Madrid/Beijing Time/北京时间 (18 December to 21 of March)

Beijing Time 北京时间(18 December to 21 of March)

Beijing Time is the title of an exhibition that is currently being held at the Matadero (Paseo de la Chopera 14), a centre dedicated to contemporary creative arts in Madrid. The exhibition has been organised by Casa Asia.

The title refers to the fact that the whole of the vast territory that makes up China, is run according to whatever time it is in the capital; regardless of the inconvenience this causes in the far-flung border regions. For instance, when it’s 9am in Beijing, it’s only 6 am in Xinjiang. Depending on the political stance you take, Beijing Time can be seen as a symbol of unity, or the government’s attempt to impose this unity.

A second reading of the exhibition’s title refers to the increasingly prominent position of Beijing/China on the world stage, whether in a Continue reading “Hola China in Madrid/Beijing Time/北京时间 (18 December to 21 of March)”

HolaChina wishes everybody a happy Year of the Tiger from Madrid.

Chinese New Year in Madrid

Last week, the Chinese community in Madrid celebrated the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger, right in the centre of the city. The parade started in the emblematic Puerta del Sol (where we live), and finished in Plaza de España, passing the Royal Palace on the way.

Each year the parade seems to increase in size, both in the number of participants and spectators. In years gone by, the celebration was limited to the charismatic neighbourhood of Lavapiés, where many Chinese have their wholesale businesses. These days, the narrow, hilly streets of Lavapiés have become too small for the growing celebration.

The parade included all the usual dancing dragons, lions and people dressed in folkloric costumes. Martial arts displays, mostly performed by Continue reading “HolaChina wishes everybody a happy Year of the Tiger from Madrid.”