International cuisine: tour the world without leaving Valencia
If there is one place you can eat well, it is Valencia. The cosmopolitan city is open to current culinary trends, while remaining devoted to the classic hallmarks of its identity: the Mediterranean diet made with local seasonal ingredients. This has also inspired the many restaurants in the city featuring cuisine from different corners of the globe. Their recipes come from around the world, but with a touch that is all our own. Let's discover some of them.
Ma Khin Cafe
Steve Anderson, Anglo-Burmese physicist by training and chef by passion, has been developing his brilliant contribution to fusion cuisine in Valencia for three decades now. Today, he has two locations where he continues to surprise guests. The first, Ma Khin Cafe, is named for his great-grandmother, born in Moulmein (now Mawlamyine), Myanmar. In his kitchen on the lower level of the Colón Market, he practises what he terms ‘decolonial Asian food’, which translates into such delicious dishes as a steaming pot of mohinga or a simple, comforting bowl of dahl.
Located quite nearby is his second spot, Baalbec, where you can find cuisine from the other side of the Mediterranean: the best of the Near East prepared using seasonal Valencian ingredients. The flavours of harissa and tahini, together with fun mezze (appetizer) menus, transport you to distant shores.
From Canalla Bistro, Ricard Camarena – a huge name on the city's culinary scene – will take you around the world without ever leaving the Russafa neighbourhood, offering such authentic dishes as Japanese okonomiyaki, a New York-style pastrami sandwich, or Mexican cochinita pibil, all of which made a big impression on Camarena in his travels.
Also in Russafa, the culinary duo made up of Germán Carrizo and Carito Lourenço quench a longing for their homeland of Argentina at Doña Petrona, with the dishes that featured heavily in their childhoods, all with a Valencian touch. Roasted octopus, berenjena a llama and hummus, and roast Galician beef all have promise.
In the heart of Valencia’s old town, Ciutat Vella, Crudo (which translates as ‘raw’) offers a menu that brings together fish and seafood from different continents, living up to the restaurant’s name, as no heat is applied. This preserves the freshness, flavour and texture of the original ingredients. It is the common denominator in such tasty titbits as spicy tuna tartare with seaweed and wasabi mayonnaise or mixed octopus and prawn ceviche.
CUISINES OF THE WORLD
The world’s great cuisines have a home in Valencia. One example is Brasserie Atmosphere, a redoubt of French magnificence in shades of blue and gold at home in the land of the River Turia. Located opposite the botanic garden, the vichyssoise topped with duck confit, boeuf bourguignon and tarte Tatin are sure to make you want to pay them another visit.
Italy is another powerful presence in local restaurants. San Tommaso feeds those drawn in by its transalpine delights, reminiscent of those prepared by the best mamma in the world. It is a ‘piccola Italia in centro città’: antipasti, foccacie, rissoti, pizze, pasta dishes and delicious desserts. Buon appetito!
Another option for cucina Italiana is Bautista Martí (Russafa-Eixample). In addition to the ristorante experience, it is also a cocktail bar, pasticceria and gelateria. No small feat.
Asador El Porteño
If you consider yourself a fan of the finest meats, you absolutely must try Asador El Porteño, featuring the best cuts and aromas of the Pampas. Their chorizo criollo with chimichurri sauce, bife and tira de asado share space with Argentinean pasties. What a feast.
Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Café is a slice of the American way of life and musical heritage right on Ayuntamiento Square. The menu offers the best of American cuisine, with a variety of hamburgers, sandwiches, meats, fish and pasta.
Come out and treat yourself to half the world without ever leaving Valencia.