There's a vegan on the moon


Reading time 5 minutes

"A comfortable and relaxed atmosphere", this is the meaning of the word Chilling, Ding Ding reveals, the owner of this cafe located at one end of the so-called Plaza de La Luna in Madrid (Plaza de Santa María Soledad Torres I sleep if we pay attention to the official nomenclature).

Specifically where the narrow Star Street begins is where this young woman, originally from China, and her partner, Enrique Fangcheng, half Spanish half Thai, offer a vegan menu with Asian dyes that will catch you both for their full brunch and for their specialty coffee.

"In the noon menu of Chilling Cafe we offer dishes with different flavors: mostly oriental, from Japan, China, Vietnam, Taiwan … but also Americans, " continues Ding Ding, who attends behind the bar diligently and a smile in face.

Un rincón especial de Chilling Cafe en el que probar su tarta de queso con arándanos (sin leche de vaca).

A special corner of Chilling Cafe where you can try your blueberry cheesecake (without cow's milk). © Marta Sahelices

In fact, the star dish during breakfast and brunch are the American vegan pancakes, those that when I look around me are present in almost all the tables of the local strait: both in the high ones attached to the wall, as in the low ones, surrounded by 70s school chairs and recovered movie seats.

Some accompany them with pieces of fresh fruits and others with vegan ice cream, there are those who ask for matcha with red beans or those who decide for those that are salted, with spinach, tomato, vegan ham and special sauce.

Tortitas veganas de matcha, con fruta fresca, en Chilling Cafe.

Vegan matcha pancakes, with fresh fruit, in Chilling Cafe. © Chilling Cafe


Chilling Café is open from eight in the morning until nine at night between daily (and from nine to ten on weekends), so they do not give dinner and their activity is concentrated during the first half of the day. A very intense activity if we consider that it is attached to the Gran Vía.

You have to be attentive to the blackboard at the entrance to discover the dish of their weekly menu, which is the period that lasts the new vegan creation devised by Ding Ding and Enrique, who are thinking of choosing the most popular in their history, those who greater acceptance they have had among their clientele, and include them in a fixed way in the letter. "Last year we created about 100 recipes, " the owner confirms.

I found a combined dish of baked vegetables, with fresh salad, quinoa, tofu and cream (menu: € 10.95, with dessert and drink), but suddenly in Chilling Café they mark a Couscous with pomegranate a Peppermint and tamarind, tomato salad with cheese (vegan), carrot humus with cucumber and chicken crustité (vegan, always vegan) with Chinese-style lemon and thrown on the ground in what lasts for lunch the criticism of those who say that Vegan cuisine is light and not very nutritious.

Finally I decided on the brunch (€ 12.95). It was 12 noon and I was with friends. It was not going to be me who doubted the alignment of the stars. A freshly squeezed natural orange juice, a caffe latte with almond milk, a toast with three types of hummus and a colorful blueberry cheesecake. They usually accompany it with a vegetable soup, but since it still lacks a tad of cooking, they replaced it with a bowl of slices of fresh fruits.

The good thing about brunch being so complete is that there are different options just as interesting and healthy as my deconstructed Italian flag-like toast: avocado toast, Indian tortilla, fresh salad, bao and the famous American pancakes called pan cakes in the letter.

Brunch en Chilling Cafe, un vegano con platos creativos y variados.

Brunch at Chilling Cafe, a vegan with creative and varied dishes. © Marta Sahelices


All of Chilling Cafe's sweets are vegan, that means they don't use cow's milk for their elaboration, as Ding Ding reminds me: "This blueberry cheese cake you're trying is made with coconut milk and soy, so the taste is lighter. Also, we don't like to pour too much sugar, that's the way it is healthier. The biscuits are also vegan. "

Indeed it shows lighter on the palate, and is a perfect culmination for a brunch consisting of five steps. Another of the most requested desserts is usually the matcha cheese cake with oreo biscuit base and red bean syrup.

The cefé is undoubtedly one of the great forts of Chilling, you notice it as soon as you enter the door and see Enrique taking an espresso in a glass as small as that of a shot: the stigma of the barista betrays him.

Ding Ding tells me that they only use top quality coffee from the best roasters in Europe: "We like light roasting and we don't use cow's milk, only soy, oatmeal and almond. Special milk for baristas, such as the Swedish brand Oatly !, ideal for caffe latte. We also make filter coffee and offer tea from China. "

A shared publication of CHILLING CAFE (@chillingcafe) on Feb 25, 2018 at 3:37 PST

A statement of intentions are its white Nømad Coffee packages exposed on the entrance shelf, since this small company in Barcelona only works with freshly harvested coffee at origin, which varies according to the season.

The complex and live Gitwe filter coffee, which arrives from Nyamasheke, in Rwanda, with "bright acidity and notes in pineapple, green apple, green and orange tea", according to Nømad's indications, and the peculiar Laderas del Tapia, whose Grains arrive directly from Colombia to be roasted in Barcelona and give off all its sweet and fruity taste of strawberries and cherries.

And finally we arrive at the controversial Chilling potato omelette. If you enter the premises to have some pancakes (which you will do), you point your eyes towards the counter and see the succulent Spanish tortilla on display, you will get the impression that it is not a 100% vegan, because we all know that the tortilla Potato is made with eggs. But as asking is wise, at the moment Ding Ding will get you out of doubt and explain how they replace the eggs with chickpeas and curd them very little so that they maintain a softer and juicy texture.

For this and other reasons of his great cuisine, Chilling has managed to gain adherents on the other side, in those who although they are not vegan occasionally like to try new flavors and change, even for a day, the monotony Classic of Madrid's lunchtime menus.

Café de origen filtrado en Chilling Cafe.

Coffee of origin filtered in Chilling Cafe. © Chilling Cafe

In data


Calle Estrella 5, Madrid


From 8.00 to 21.00 from Monday to Friday and from 9.00 to 22.00 on weekends.