El Poblet (*) Valencia, Spain 9.6 out of 10 (!!!)

What an amazing trip I have had again, what a beautiful city is Valencia?! And what a great restaurant did I find? This 1 Michelin star restaurant is part of the dynasty by legendary ***chef Quique Dacosta. (will go there as well some day). I never had the chance to eat out in a Spanish Michelin restaurant, so I am happy to finally be here, and what a treat it was !!

This is not your every day restaurant with just traditional Spanish food, this is a place that tells a story about the Valencian region and the heritage of their food culture. And they have some contemporary as well as classic dishes on the menu. Two of them stood out for me, I will tell you which ones…. later on.

So what did I eat? So much….pffff. It included things as the life of an almond (amuse) or a Cuba libre of foie gras…. (andale andale, fucking great invention!). Or the perfect sea water cooked Scampi?

So as amuses, and there were plenty, we had:

Dried seaweed crackling (see above picture) with an espuma of Dashi. Great presentation! light simple starter

Than came life of an almond… another picture to frame, from raw almond, to roasted almond and all the way to the typical Spanish Turron, which they combined with a scampi…?! Crazy combo, unheard but deliciously matching!

Followed by more starters out of the menu… marinated and raw Mackerel with orange. a pickled cold cherry tomato, garden peas with avocado, a green lime and basil curry with frozen taste bombs on top….

Still not done…. sea urgent croquet (less of them all), a sneaky surprise…..look at the raw salmon?! It is fake….hahaha was thinly sliced watermelon! with sesame seeds, very fresh! And in the bottom my new snack combo…. mozzarella di buffalo combined with caviar…!!! So damn simple, why did I not think of that?!

To be honest all flavours were simply amazing. but I would have done a different build up. going from warm to cold and back, also some flavours are a bit too strong to eat so soon. But besides that it was great…. now I was ready for the real meal, and it was the real deal!

How about a green tomato gazpacho?! packed with flavours and acidity… no remarkts? YES, why put in the tasteless shrimo? Added nothing, not in structure nor taste, it was overpowered.

Look at the fancy Bugatti:

Now the dish I was waiting for, for many months…. 2 of my all-time loves combined…. Rum-Cola (Cuba Libre) with foie gras…. You must be sick to think of that combo! Wow Wow Wow, AWESOME, foodpairing at the highest level. With the frozen lime cubes on top, the velvety foie gras cream, heaven in Spain. No remarks? Not really, just that as it is my favourite drink, I tasted more cola than Rum, but that is just me I guess…?!

This was followed by the biggest letdown of the night, we both did not like this dish. Locally cated red prawn cooked in its own seawater. Nothing added, sea tasting in its purest form. But I have just had better, was not tasteful enough. Even after sucking all the brains out of his tiny head, structure was not good. Just did not do it for me…

Attention for details….

It was acompenied by something I did like, good to rinse away that awefull prawn taste…. Matcha green tea with American lobster sauce…. Njam Njam

Time for another classic, typical Valencian, All I Pebre, which is local Eel. I had the original one somewhere else in Valencia, and I did not like it at all….hahaha But this version, unbelievable! With wild garlic, pepper and baby eels (glass eel). Heritage of the region!

Drum rolls please…. hang out the flag, because the dish I would like to eat again before I die is coming up…. The burned rice fields…. the circle of life of Valencian rice. Like a truffle risotto, made from duck&pigeon broth. With small pieces of the bird meat, wild rice and ashed. So full of flavour, now 1 month later I can still taste it…. damn you Quique Dacosta, this was sex in heaven on a plate….pffff

And you eat this with what I now call a spork…. (do the math) It seems Spanish people have been fighting for years if you eat Paella with a spoon or a fork….hahaha problem solved!

For me the dinner was done no, had enough and ended at the top dish…. but still the sweetbread was coming with Orchoa, tiger-nuts and fresh truffle. After that last dish, I would have changed the order…

Accompanied by a light roasted onion truffle broth, which made it a bit more special:

Dessert time! Fig tree powder?! with figs and candy shards on top, lovely presentation on a fig tree leaf.

Coffee time with snacks and bites, nothing really special, quite standard even. Some gold choc in a black hand….haha

Had some great wines as well, such as the Tio Pepe Fino Rama but best was the TRUS Ribiera Duero 2004 or to finish the Don Gozalo Oloroso sherry….hmmmm or the Pedro Jiminez Spinola….hmmmmmmmmmmm

Some overall findings:

+++++ lovely setting nice surroundings feel at home right away!

+++++ staff was so nice and open, and lots of them, quick correct, only why not give them all company clothing? 7 types of pants and 9 types of own black shoes…. missed unity

——– I asked for a pen, 3 times, but in the end, someone remembered…

——– Typical Spanish…. they seem to rush, everybody needs to be out in 3 hours? I prefer just 5 minutes extra between the dishes



Food; 9.8 out of 10 Pebre was a bit salty and the prawn not my thing, but Cuba Libre and the rice made almost a perfect score

Cosiness; 9.6 out of 10, only concern for me was the dresscode of the other guests and the way to the toilet that could have been at another place?

Staff; 9.7 out of 10, just -0.3 for the clothing…

Price; 9.2 out of 10, €281 for 2 people, all-in Which is very correct!

Overall the magical score of: 9.6 out of 10 !!!







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