We happened upon Restaurant Blanqueries in Valencia by pure chance. It caught our attention whilst we explored the Old Town. Located on the northern edge of the Old Town, by the Turia Gardens (or as I like to refer to as the park-that-was-a-river), the restaurant is housed within an elegant building with minimalist signage. Just a few small white banners hanging outside it: one had its name ‘Blanqueries’ and another had ‘Cuina de Mercat’. Really, it should have been easy to miss but the distinct and contemporary interior caught our attention through the wrought iron grilles on the restaurant’s large windows. I was also curious about the phrase ‘Cuina de Mercat’, which I assumed meant they took their inspiration from the markets. We made a note of it and decided to check it out later on.
When I got back to our apartment, I looked up their website. Only available in Spanish, you get a good sense of the place as a modern restaurant serving modern food with the minimal Spanish I have. And the photos of dishes on their website was all I needed to make it our lunch spot for the following day. Of course, it takes more than a beautiful-looking restaurant and beautiful-looking food to make a good dining experience. But I’m happy to say that the food is as delicious as it is beautiful! There is also the added bonus of it being really exciting food too!
Restaurant Blanqueries in Valencia
Inside the restaurant, I loved its cool and contemporary interior. They have some great fittings and it worked well as a smart and fun place to dine. In the back, they also have a more private dining area for bigger groups. I loved the main room though as it made the most of the big windows. Friendly staff were a bonus… We’d literally got there as they were opening up but were happy to welcome us in.
Like many restaurants in Valencia, Restaurant Blanqueries offer a set menu as well as an a la carte menu. For lunch, they call the set menu the ‘menu de mediodia’ but they offer a similar menu for dinner too. Both of which are an incredibly reasonable €20. This includes three appetisers, a main and a dessert plus a drink, bread and coffee. See what I mean by incredibly reasonable?!
And although you’ll find great quality and great value set menus all over Valencia, what’s nice about Restaurant Blanqueries is the excitement from each plate of food that arrives on your table. They describe their food as ‘market cuisine’, alluding to the fact they use market and in-season ingredients. And it’s a very modern take on it too.
Our food before we gobbled it all up…
Before we even got to the actual menu de mediodia, we got an amuse-bouche and I do love an amuse-bouche! This was a lovely gazpacho soup in funky white ceramic cups and yummy croquettes.
Not one, not two – but three fab starters
Starter no. 1: Tender leaf salad with foie gras and shredded apple
This was a great salad. The richness of the foie worked incredibly well with the tartness of the apple. If all salads were like this, I’d eat more salad. Loved it.
Starter no. 2: Mackerel on aubergine puree on crispy bread with citrus foam on top
Mackerel and aubergine are two of my favourite ingredients so this starter was already a winning combination for me. The citrus foam was added excitement for me. I’ve watched MasterChef enough times to know it’s a fairly contemporary technique in cookery but hadn’t tried anything made into a foam before. The citrus foam, though light as air, was enough to add another flavour to the dish. After checking out Restaurant Blanqueries’ website again, I found that the chefs behind it also did a stint at the legendary El Bulli restaurant, a pioneer in contemporary cooking.
Starter no. 3: Sobrasada and parmesan balls with nuts and dried fruit
See the picture at the top of this post. Sobrasada is a spicy Spanish sausage like chorizo, which hails from Mallorca. It’s a little more like pâte than chorizo and is and just as yum. This was another great combination: rich and salty from the sobrasada and cheese with sweetness from the dried fruit. On top of the balls are sliced banana and coconut shavings.
Mains: Fish fillet with a ratatouille and cauliflower parcel, and arroz meloso
The corvina (which is a white fish but not sure what it would be in English) was flaky and tender. I also loved the delicate parcel with a veggie stew in it. Yum, yum, yum! I must find out what this fish is too so I can find it again…
My sister opted for a more traditional main. And as it was our last day in Valencia, it was an apt one: Arroz Meloso Marinero. If you didn’t know already, Valencia is King of anything arroz (rice). It’s the region that gave us paella and there is just something special about how they cook all their rice dishes to make them so much more flavourful. This is a seafood rice dish. As you can see it’s more liquidy than a risotto or paella dish. It was rich with seafood (it featured prawns, mussels and razor clams) and the rice was perfectly cooked. My sister thought it was surprisingly not very stodgy either!
Desserts: Pineapple & coconut ravioli and white chocolate mousse
It sounds like an odd dish to have as a pudding but it also sounded light, which appealed to me because I was stuffed. When it arrived, it was further surprising because it looked more like a savoury starter. But for me, the playful nature of the food adds excitement to it. The ravioli was actually made from coconut and inside were bits of pineapple. It was served in a pineapple sauce with pieces of sponge cake. I liked the tropical flavours, which felt cleansing after the richness of the main. The dish was a satisfying finale.
My sister opted for the tart and white chocolate mousse, which came on a bed of crushed Oreo cookies. She assured me it tasted as indulgent as that sounds!
Finding Restaurant Blanqueries…
The restaurant is at the north end of the old town. It’s very close (less than 200m) from the Torre de Serranos and just across the road from the Turia Gardens. If you’re already in the old town, it’s within walking distance.
Tel: +34 96 391 22 39
You can also make a reservation online. Alternatively, you can email them at Reservas@blanquerias.com.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday for lunch from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and for dinner from 8.30pm to 11.30pm. Open on Sundays for lunch from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.