Established in 2008, ‘Ginebre’ has built up a very well-deserved reputation amongst diners who appreciate its excellent dishes and the warm, dynamic chef owner Javier Puchades. Based in the upmarket Avenida Aragón area, this is a creative fusion restaurant that has truly earned its stripes over the last decade.
The menu changes everyday, which they tell us makes for an interesting challenge. It means the experienced chefs get to continuously create and to keep the cuisine a welcome surprise for the weekly customers.
At its heart, the cuisine is Mediterranean with interesting fusion touches from faraway lands like Japan, Peru or Mexico as well as neighbouring Morocco. It is a very attractive combination of top quality ingredients, that are fresh from the port area, combined with experience, cariño and genius touches of innovation and daring by chef owner Javier and his team.
Thirty five years ago, his mother set up one of the very first vegetarian restaurants in Valencia. Javier therefore grew up in the restaurant world, and all that that entails, from an early age. An economist by profession, he carried on helping out his mother at weekends at her restaurant. When establishing ‘Ginebre’, he returned to his love of food full-time, got a good team together for this long-term project and it has deservedly become a real success with a loyal clientele too.
It is clear that chef owner Javier is not only a creative soul but very welcoming and sincere with the public too. He is talented yet humble about his gifts. He loves to experiment with food and to make people happy, which is not as easy as it may sound. It requires effort, imagination and integrity to keep those kind of standards up over so many years.
‘Ginebre’ can justly claim to be a king on the restaurant scene with more than one crown, given their sheer choice of over 100 superb GINS to choose from. As Javier wryly added: “We didn’t want to be known only for our gins and, fortunately, it has worked out that we’ve become known for our cuisine too!” You’ll find all their gins listed on their website.
We popped by on a sultry evening during the week as the restaurant can get very popular at weekends so best to reserve beforehand. There was an ample terrace outside with professional locals, in solidarity, enjoying some pre-dinner Vermouths as dusk drew in. We opted for the indoors to get a proper feel for the interior. Inside, ‘Ginebre’ has a modern “New York” sophisticated vibe with a jazz music soundtrack adding to the mix. Indeed, there is a huge photograph of jazz musicians overlooking the dining room for groups at the back and the ‘Gin Bar’ looks onto the main room. With warmish colours, modern art on display and very distinctive lights by ‘Fambuena’ overhead, it made for a relaxing atmosphere.
Having chosen our menu, we asked for a bottle of white wine from their ample bodega to accompany our dinner. Javier recommended a Pekado Mortal Albariño (Rias Baixas) that was quite smooth, gently refreshing and suited the variety of dishes that we savoured.
We started off the proceedings with some very distinctive homemade hummus with an aroma & taste that set it apart from the norm. Our next dish was the ‘Russian Salad Ginebre.’ It was a lovingly light, fresh & zingy combination of flavours. The more subtle matices contrasted well with the presence of some of the freshest tuna we’ve ever tried. It was topped by an eye-catchingly creamy, lime mayonnaise and artistically presented with artisanal toasted bread.
Arguably, the most potent dish of the night was the Valencian ‘Cloxinas’ (mussels) in an escabeche sauce with red curry, onion and mustard seeds. It was explosive and absolutely packed with flavour…very rich, tangy and delicious! It had the punch and presence of what you would expect from a much larger dish, which is no easy feat.”Una pasada!” in the highly impressed opinion of the Spanish speaking member of the team.
To cool things down, we were next presented with ‘Buñuelos de bacalao,’ which were cod fritters with a light, crunchy exterior and fluffy interior, accompanied by a delicate aioli sauce. It was deliberately understated, as a respite from the power of the previous dish. This restaurant understands a thing or three about contrast & timing…
Next up was the ‘Ravioli.’ A minimalist presentation, it was beautifully textured, with the beef cooked just right: “en su punto” & combining well with the exquisite pastry. The ravioli was bedded in a Thai Soup of ginger and coconut with a touch of coriander & cardamom that really added something special to the dish and left a lovely after-taste…
Our ‘merluza con all i pebre’ was a grilled, line-caught hake with local eels that was soft & tender on the palate with a delicate flavour and subtle sauce that had a memorable undertow. It was a gentle & delicious plato that was finely prepared to last the distance…
To follow, we shared their recommended ‘Secreto de Vaca a La Brasa’ which was a grilled steak that was succulent and very even and nicely salted, combining well with the smooth roast potatoes. It was accompanied by a fresh pumpkin purée with sweet pears to gently offset the other flavours. A quietly confident dish.
As the clock slide past midnight, we shared a ‘Canutillo crujiente de cream vainilla y frutos rojos’ that was a crispy vanilla roll contrasting pleasantly with red berries. It was light & tasty, smooth yet gently filling. A subtle and agreeable dessert to finish off a superb and highly enjoyable night of dining. We’ll be back soon to try out their eclectic lunch menu!
Conveniently, ‘Ginebre’ is to be found in a quiet corner off Avenida Aragón, which is the briefest of strolls from ‘Cines Babel’ original version cinema that is most popular with cultured locals & expats who love good films. It’s fitting, therefore, that this is a restaurant nearby for people who appreciate things that are well thought out and put together with love.
24/7 Valencia team
Tel:96 2 06 34 24
Zona Avenida Aragón
Open Mondays & Tuesdays for lunch
Wednesdays to Saturdays lunch & dinner
Lunch: 14.50€ (16.50€ on Saturdays)
Starters: 2.50€ -17€
Rice & Pasta dishes:11€ -14€
Meat dishes: 12€ -16€
Desserts: 5.50€ -7.50€
More than 50 choices of red wine from la Comunidad Valenciana, Castilla y León, Albacete, Jumilla, Toledo, Extremadura, Madrid, Toro, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Priorat, Campo de Borja, Conca de Barbera, Mallorca, El Bierzo, La Toscana (Italy) y Langedoc (France)
More than 20 choices of white wine from La Comunidad Valenciana, Castilla y León, Toledo, Rueda, Valdeorrás Rias Baixas y Alsacia (France)
CAVAS & CHAMPAGNE 16€ -57€
100 GINS TO CHOOSE FROM 7€ -15€