[Spain: Valencia] 2* Ricard Camarena

Rating: 4.5/5

Inside the stunning Bombas Gen art gallery in Valencia lies the 2* eponymous restaurant by Ricard Camarena. His cuisine is wildly creative and local ingredients (especially vegetables) are his playground. Early in the meal, we knew we were in for a wild ride when the chef showed us his collection of blue fin tuna which had been cured in a special carob bean paste for 6 months. The result was something unexpected - the flavors and textures resembled more like Chinese preserved meat than tuna. With such unique and creative combinations, there were bound to be some challenging dishes but nonetheless it was still a strong and memorable meal.

The first part of our tasting menu started in the lounge with:
- Tomato water / Asparagus juice / Kombu
- Onion / Anchovy butter
- Anchovy Matured 4 years
- Courgette peel / Steak Tartare
- Roasted vegetables cold infusion / Peppermint / Calamari / Sherry wine

As we moved to the main dining room, we were invited to a standing counter where the chef showcased his tuna and enjoyed a few bites there:
- Tuna / Carob
- Cod pancake / Roasted red peppers
- Cucumber flower

Finally we sat down at our table for the rest of the meal starting with:

- Tomato from our garden confit in sheep's butter
- Pickled green tomate coca

- Seasoned artichokes and curdled chicken broth

- Celery patty with roasted vegetables
- Spring herbs cold soup, zucchini flower hamachi and wild strawberries

- Shrimps, creamy caviar and coconut

- Seeds bread with puff pastry

- Red prawns with garlic, bobby beans and egg yolk
- Consomme from their heads

- Oyster, avocado, sesame and galangal "horchata"

- Green asparagus rice and coffee

- White asparagus, almonds and mussels

- Truffled onion, smoked eel and fresh yeast hollandaise

- Cold "Carabassot" soup, frozen yogurt powder and fresh herbs

- Fried aubergine with miso

- Ripe mango, sweet curry, herbs and seeds

- Strawberry / Coconut biscuit

- Sweet "Socarrat"

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