Morgana is a restaurant that has evolved with head, a lot of prudence and a Galician cuisine with a traveling soul of level and with a reasonable price. Behind this discreet place (it may have gone unnoticed if you have gone through the area) located on Libertad Street currently -their first (mini) space was in Augusto Figueroa- are Augusto Álvarez (34) and Miguel Fernández Vidal (35), two childhood friends who went to school together in A Coruña and that time united around the kitchen.

"Miguel was the one who cooked when friends stayed in a house; he made us risottos, potato omelette...", recalls Tuto, as he is called in his environment. "My mother taught me, who was very careful with the 12 of us at home – there are 10 brothers," says Miguel. Their paths parted when it came time to decide the professional future. Miguel started Law and Tuto got into the Centro Superior de Hostelería de Galicia in Santiago. To the first, the son of a judge, he threw away the family tradition; The second had always been curious about the world of hotels.

The mini croissant of tuna Balfegó, salsa verde mex and quail egg.

The contact was maintained. "There was a cooking school in the center and I remembered Miguel a lot," says Tuto. He knew that his friend was more thrown by the stoves than by the laws. "In 3rd year I proposed it to my parents and I started studying cooking," adds Miguel, who knew from the beginning that he had made the right decision. "When I finished the training I was clear about where I wanted to go. I wanted to learn everything about traditional Galician cuisine; I am very much a defender of my land, its people, our way of being..." The Parador de los Reyes Católicos was his first home. "It is an emblem of Galician cuisine." Tuto had extended his time in the classroom. "Then I started working in hotel consulting."

At the age of 23, Miguel left Galicia "to see the world". London, Canary Islands and Madrid, where he passed through DiverXO. "I went to StreeXO after taking a trip to Thailand. I asked the cook what I had to do to work there." They gave him an email and, in addition to the curriculum, he sent a letter that he liked in Dabiz Muñoz's restaurant. "I was at DiverXO for six months; I took that as a master's degree," but he knew that rhythm and stress did not compensate him. "I didn't want to work 14-16 hours to fulfill someone else's dream."

Mussels curry-laksa and pak choi.

At this time, friends' conversations were reserved for the evening. When Miguel left the kitchen shift and Tuto had just sent the reports that his bosses at the Hilton Hotel in Barcelona had to have on the table first thing in the morning, they made plans for a future project. "I freaked out in Madrid with the prices. They charged you 50 euros and you ate badly. I thought, 'With that money I do wonders.'"

In September 2016, they started looking for premises in Madrid. "We wanted to offer a ticket of 30-35 euros with good quality and an attractive proposal," says Tuto, who is in charge of the room and is sommelier of the restaurant. In April 2017 they opened their first (mini) restaurant in Augusto Figueroa, 33. "It was an elevator with tables, but from the beginning the reception was amazing." The two of them alone served 32 diners. "The team was growing by the week. We became 12." In mid-September, "five after opening", they were at number 1 on Tripadvisor and the situation overflowed. "We did four shifts a day and didn't close any days of the week. We had 150 people on the waiting list."

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With such success, looking for a larger space became a necessity. "All decisions have been taken with prudence; We preferred to go little by little." For the first place that convinced them they asked for 120,000 euros for the transfer; They offered 100,000 and rejected the offer, but the pandemic came and they got it for 30,000. The new Galician 'embassy' improved at all levels. "We had more tables, more space for wines, better service..." The average ticket went up a little, to 45-50 euros, and the philosophy remained intact.

Morgana cheesecake, San Simón and crumble.

The proposal on the table is attractive from start to finish. Galician cuisine merges with Mexican, Thai and Peruvian. The 'selfish bites' that open the menu already clearly mark the roadmap: Claire's fine oyster nº2 with gazpacho of padrón peppers, Galician stew brioche and San Simón cheese -the 'hit' of the first place that they can not remove from the menu- and the Balfegó tuna mini-croissant, Mex green sauce and quail egg.

It is not a long letter, although they try to link it to the season to make it more alive. "We have three starters and three fish," explains Tuto. On the day of the visit they offer grilled octopus with mashed potatoes and kimchi, wild black monkfish with yellow pepper and coconut rice and bluefin tuna parpatana... "We vary according to market," says the chef. "And we always serve them by ration and without bones." Of meats, there is steak and grilled ribeye and they always prepare a stewed meat. "In everything we can, we use local products." Among its suppliers: O Percebeiro, Frutas Eloy and HarBest Market. The desserts, highly recommended: the cheesecake or chocolate cake are delicious.

Another of the verbs that from the beginning were very present in this Galician 'embassy' was that of conciliar. "We don't aspire to the Michelin star, we don't want to be slaves to our business," says Tuto. "We want people to make normal schedules and we can all have a life outside."

To put a little more long teeth, the empanadas workshop that five months ago opened alone the chef of Morgana, who in 2021 was Gastronomy Award of Galicia and last year Ambassador of his land. "Mai e Matucha is my life project," he says without hiding his emotion. It sells to hotels and individuals. "I use the typical mass of the coast, very fine. People think it's puff pastry." The group El paraguas, La Ancha or Azotea Grupo are some of its clients. The most desired? The mussels with musteiro chorizo and the turnip greens. Galicia in bites.

Address: Libertad, 5.

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