Slightly south of Valencia, in the Albufera park, surrounded by a unique and beautiful natural setting we find Mateu. Mateu offers a truly authentic Valencian experience. The menu consists of an array of home-made classic Valencian classics where the starts are the seafood and of course the paella. If your willing to make the trip, don’t hesitate.
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If there is a place in the world to try paella this is Valencia! Its colors and textures show a lavishness that is typical of this Spanish dish. It usually uses saffron – an expensive spice that brings out a richer taste and color. It is made up of rice, various kinds of seafood, shellfish and crustaceans. Paella is usually cooked using a paellera, which is around flat-pan that has two handles.
Traditional restaurant to enjoy paella like a local in Albufera Valencia
Valencia´s most famous dish is also probably the best well-known Spanish dish too. Yes, we refer to Paella. Whilst locals from Valencia do not call their traditional dish a paella, most other people do. Paella is meant to be the pan used to cook it. The dish is “arroz” Valencians cook their Arroz with either rmeat or fish. If we refer to a meat paella ingredients will be: chicken, rabbit, pork ribs and sometimes snails. Vegetables are always added: tomatoes, paprika, rosemary, saffron, garlic and beans (a local bean called garrafón) or sometimes artichoke.
A fish or seafood paella would contain normally monkfish, mussels and schrimps. There are many variations to local paella and despite the so called “mixed paella” is the type of paella most frequently found at restaurants in Spain (outside of Valencia) or elsewhere, locals do prefer not to mix. In any case, the most important things for a greast paella are probably the brith and the quality of the rice itself. This dish was born as a Phoenician soup which explains why the broth is key to ensure the rice will get all of its flavour!
There are many other interesting dishes in Valencia. Arroz amb costra is a very special rice-dish. What set´s it appart is the egg used at the end of the process when the rice is put in the oven.
Fideau. This is a paella style of dish but cooked with noodles. Sailors run out of rice whilst in the sea and it seems they prepared a seafood paella with noodles… fideua was invented! Monkfish is normally used.
Olla valenciana is a bean and meat stew, very tasty and normally used in winter time.
Valencia is well-known in Spain for the quality of its vegetables, so we strongly recommend to try local grilled vegetables.
You should not leave Valencia without trying horchata, a very refreshing and natural drink. There are few experiences that define Valencia best than drinking horchata at a terrace. Enjoy it!
There is no precise rule as to how much to tip in Spain. Spaniards only tip if they consider the service to be good. A 5% is normally considered a good tip. Having said this, some local waiters know tourists tip more than local Spaniards do and may expect more from foreigners.