In a nutshell: Hedonistic. Creative. Unpredictable. Three words to describe chef Dabiz Muñoz and the Madrid pleasure-dome that is Diverxo, where he likes to push the gastronomic boundaries as much as possible. More than a restaurant, Diverxo is an easel for the chef’s creativity, with diners brought along for the ride of their lives. Entering The World’s 50 Best Restaurants straight to No.20 in 2021, it shot to No.4 in 2022 and now climbs one more spot, entering the top three.
What you’ll eat: Diverxo’s tasting menu stretches out over 12 courses of pure theatre, beginning with XO tapas of roasted baby octopus with jamón essence and ending with mochi bonbons with Thai-style dulce de leche and finger lime. Asian influences are present throughout, in everything from sea cucumber yakisoba to lobster-head vindaloo.
Chef CV: Inspired by chef Abraham García of Viridiana, where his family used to dine when he was a kid, Muñoz began his career in kitchens in Madrid before moving to London to work at Hakkasan, Nobu, Nahm and Locanda Locatelli. He returned to Spain in 2007 to open Diverxo, where he quickly became the second-youngest person in the world to earn three Michelin stars, at 33 years old. In 2012, he opened the more casual Streetxo, and in 2022 he followed with Ravioxo, serving intricate dumplings and Asian-influenced pastas.
Pigs might fly: Diners at Diverxo can’t help but notice the flying pig theme that appears throughout the restaurant in wacky art, wall hangings and even the crockery. The porcine creatures represent Muñoz’s ambition, a riposte to the fact that when he mentioned as a child that he would one day own a restaurant where people queued around the corner, his father replied: ‘sure, and pigs might fly’. Muñoz certainly got the last laugh.