As you probably already know, being in Valencia with Uemura promised to be quite exciting.
On this particular morning however (after breakfast at the hotel), we started off our day in Valencia in the same theme we’d finished with the night before – with lots of delicious food, albeit Michelin start this time.
This wouldn’t be your ordinary Michelin star dining either – apparently, we would be meeting with the chef himself in the market to get the ingredients for the meal and get to see our meal pretty much from local producer right through to our tables.
We started off with a coffee at our chef, favourite place before carrying on exploring the market.
Confession time – I am pretty much the most useless market assistant as I spent half the time there in the market gawking at the fresh food produce (especially in the fish part – some of those fish are very strange looking). The other half was pretty much spent tasting every food produce I could lay my hands on.
In the end, I pretty much left the market absolutely clueless about what we’d just bought for lunch. Thankfully, Lloyd did pay attention – phew!
(*I did help carry the bags back to the restaurant though – granted we drove all the way back, but I carried it from the car into the restaurant and I kinda feel like that counts for something.)
Our chef, who I haven’t introduced yet is called Bernd H.Knöller and the restaurant is called Restaurante Riff. He’s one of the most laidback chefs I’ve ever met and is one of those people I kinda feel deserves his Michelin start as cooking just seems to come naturally to him.
It’s not ‘over-thought’ or ‘over-analysed’, he’s just got natural skill and its never more apparent that when you watch him cook.
We started off with a clear Virgin ‘Bloody Mary’ and I have to admit, it’s the weirdest thing drinking what is clearly a tomato based drink (and tasted very much of tomatoes) without it having that distinct red colour.
Curiosity piqued, (very) thin strips of melt in your mouth pork…
Then the ceviche with a deliciously tangy citrus sauce…
Followed by a root shaved in a creamy sauce. I can’t remember which ‘root’ it is right now and it’s bugging me so much – I wanna say Celeriac? It’s the one part of the meal I can’t remember properly (and I can’t even blame it on the Bloody Mary as it was sans alcohol).
Anyway, that (yet unnamed) root was followed by cured tuna (which went down a treat).
After these course, we seemed to suddenly stop (whilst my tummy was still scream “Bravo! Encore! Encore!!!”) and headed next door where another treat awaited us – cocktails!
The cocktails were made by the talented mixologist Vicente Ciriaco Ausina. We started off with the fruity (virgin) cocktail…
Before moving on to the main even – gin and tonic, Valencian-style! The gin is made from tiger nuts (which I LOVED as a child) and as it turns out, the tiger nuts is used to make a famous Valencian drink – Horchata!
Horchata is a creamy drink and it is actually included in cocktail too.
It’s added to give flavour and a froth that stays up for ages after it’s been made – hence why it’s great for parties as you don’t have to make it on-demand for them to still look as good as it did at the start. You can pretty much do it hours before and have it still looking pretty fancy when your guests arrive.
That’s if you can stop Lloyd from drinking it all.
(*I’m so tempted to make this at home – only problem is I have no clue how to make Horchata… or where I can even buy it from back in London).
Cocktails in hand, we heak back to Riff where we carried on lunch with seared fish…
…and a favourite of mine, roast lamb (which was in the oven while we ‘cocktailed away’ next door…).
Dessert came in the form of a poached peach…
…with a interesting take on meringues.
Lunch over, we headed off in search of the Holy Grail – quite literally too.
So many places hold claim to having the Holy Grail (some even believe there were multiple Holy Grails) and the one in Valencia is widely believed to be the original one. It attracts visitors year in year out and is a pretty important sight to see when you’re in the city.
The Holy Grail is in Valencia Cathedral, which is a rather impressive building to visit in and of itself.
Let’s take a little tour of it, shall we?
Eventually though, we headed to the main attraction and the real reason why we were here – The Holy Grail.
The Holy Grail is contained in its own room and has been dated to be over 2,000 years old! That in itself is impressive and it’s a bit surreal to see this time (and pretty hard to photograph), part of history.
After a few minutes here, we left the Cathedral on a little jaunt of Valencia and in search of what the city had to offer us visitors!
More on that very soon!