Alqueria del Pou, the best-rated paella in Valencia
Finding the best-rated paella in Valencia has not been easy. The restaurant where it is prepared is in an unexpected place, in the middle of the orchard!
Alquería del Pou, the best-rated paella in Valencia
Braised octopus with romescu and parsley sauce
When we imagine paella, we unconsciously think of summer and the beach. But what if I told you that we found the best-rated paella in Valencia, but it is in none of the places mentioned above? It is not surprising since it is a dish traditionally linked to the countryside and the Valencian orchard. And that is where Alquería del Pou is, a modest restaurant surrounded by plantings where you can find the best-rated paella in Valencia.
Do you want to know more about this picturesque establishment? Keep reading because we will tell you everything you need to know to consider it one of the best restaurants to enjoy quality rice dishes.
About Alquería del Pou, the restaurant that prepares the best-rated paella in Valencia
Unlike other restaurants, such as Casa Carmela, which has more than 100 years of history, Alquería del Pou opened its doors recently. As you can read it on their website, the restaurant was founded in April 2012 after rehabilitating the farmhouse where it is located.
The kind of construction that gives the name to the restaurant is a traditional orchard building where the families who worked the surrounding land used to live. For this reason, Alquería del Pou has a large seating capacity. But do not be misled by this fact. Its reputation is such that I recommend reserving a table a few weeks in advance. The day we visited the restaurant was fully booked, yet, there were groups of people waiting to get in.
Meanwhile, if we talk about gastronomy, the restaurant’s cuisine offers traditional dishes from the south orchard of the city made with products of proximity. Such as vegetables and fresh sea products. They also have a wide variety of rice dishes cooked in paella or clay pots. In addition, you can pair all this with a wide range of wines from different parts of Spain. As you can see, choosing a dish can be a complicated task.
Although the restaurant is only five hundred meters from the City of Arts and Sciences, getting to it can be a bit complicated. By the way, I have already told you why it is worth visiting the City of Arts and Sciences in this post. Below you will find a map that will help you find the restaurant more easily because trying the best-rated paella in Valencia is worth it!
Esgarraet is a traditional dish from the Valencian Community. It is a salad made with roasted red bell pepper, salted cod, garlic, olive oil, and black olives. Its name is quite illustrative as it comes from the fact that to prepare it, you must shred the fish and the vegetables into thin strips.
Like most salads, it is served cold and is very light, so it is one of the best starters you can order in the hot Valencian summer. In addition, this dish has a lot of contrasts. On the one hand, the savory cod flavor and the bell pepper’s sweetness complement each other. On the other hand, the juices of the ingredients end up mixed with the oil, making it perfect for dipping bread.
Although the Alquería del Pou’s portion did not seem too big, especially considering its price, we were amazed by its taste. For me, it is one of the best possible ways to start a traditional Valencian meal, and we would order it again!
Braised octopus with romescu and parsley sauce
Even though there are other more popular and traditional seafood products from the Valencian coast, we could not resist the temptation to try the braised octopus. Honestly, I have never been a big fan of this dish as it has always seemed expensive, and the size of the portions is usually disproportionate to the price. In this case, my friends insisted on trying it. What a good idea they had!
Why? Because it turned out to be a dish that left us impressed mainly because the octopus was so tender that it practically melted in the mouth. Although it has two types of sauces that were delicious, in my opinion, it would still have been superb without them. Also, the size and quality were perfectly in line with the price.
Honestly, I had never tasted such a good dish like this one before, and I assure you that this is the best octopus dish I have ever tasted. And although you may think otherwise, it is not an exaggeration as it has been a unanimous opinion at the table. Considering that Alquería del Pou prepares the best-rated paella in Valencia, it is not strange that they prepare other spectacular dishes like this one.
Arroz del senyoret
If I numbered the ingredients of a recipe and among them, we counted rice, squid, fish, shrimp, and mussels, surely you will think that we are talking about a mixed paella. But no, we are referring to Arroz del senyoret. So, what is the difference? In this dish, all the pieces of seafood and fish are cleaned of shells and bones by the cook, so you can eat them without staining your hands.
The name of the dish refers to this very thing. Traditionally it was served to the nobles of Alicante because they did not want to dirty their hands. To me, they missed the pleasure of eating with their fingers. Fortunately, they have left us with a recipe that has become popular in all the Spanish coastal areas in the last few years.
And if the description sounds delicious, the one we tasted at Alquería del Pou is even better. The rice was just right, the seafood and fish delicious, and the socarrat gave it the touch of grace. If I had to mention a negative point, I would say it was slightly salty. But, all in all, we thought it was an excellent dish. We all enjoyed it.
The best-rated paella in Valencia
Since many recommended it to me, we ordered what is supposed to be the best-rated paella in Valencia. By its appearance and the amount of each ingredient, we thought the dish we had in front of us was something fantastic. So far, so good..
I would like to believe that what I will describe below was due to a punctual event or a bit of bad luck. Although it is true that the rice was perfectly cooked and had socarrat, the paella was so extremely salty that we were not able to finish it. It had so much salt that, in the end, we made some jokes. For example, “there is too much paella in my salt.” Also, it had a too-intense rosemary flavor, an ingredient I am not used to finding in this dish.
To sum up, our experience with the best-rated paella in Valencia has been a bit disappointing. Not due to the quality, quantity, and unbeatable price ratio, but because, on this occasion, we were not able to enjoy it as we would have liked. A glance at its countless reviews on Google will make you realize that what I am describing is an isolated fact. For this reason, the next time I visit Valencia, I will give it another chance.
I hope to update this review soon!
Personal opinion of the Alqueria del Pou and the the best-rated paella in Valencia
In general terms, our experience at the Alquería del Pou was quite positive as we were happy with the quality and quantity of the food, the price, and the service. But there are certain aspects that, in my opinion, could be improved by the staff.
To begin with, from the very first moment, I had problems contacting the restaurant to make the reservation. At first, I tried to phone several days in a row, and apparently, something was wrong with the line because I wasn’t able to get in contact with them. In the end, I opted to write them an email. Curiously, a few days before the chosen date, I phoned to confirm the reservation, and there was no problem.
Another aspect that shocked us was the workload of the waiters. The staff was so saturated that, on many occasions, we had to ask three or four times for the things we wanted. And some were never delivered. That does not mean they treated us unkindly, as we enjoyed a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere at all times.
To sum up, many factors come together in this restaurant: a location that makes you think you are outside the city, a family atmosphere, friendly service, and unbeatable value for money. Adding all these points together, it is not surprising that in the Alquería del Pou, we find the best-rated paella in Valencia, or not?
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