On a warm evening a couple of the ‘24/7 Valencia’ team headed to the legendary and somewhat bohemian ‘Plaza Cedro’ area of the city, which is most popular with locals and students for its endless bars and restaurants, clubs and live music venues.
Near Blasco Ibañez, this is an authentic slice of Valencian nightlife and well away from all the tourist traps of the historic centre. ‘Kaña Makan’ is a great value tapas bar and this was reflected by the nearly full terraza the night we went, which seats 60 people. It’s a mostly Spanish and liberal crowd and they tell us that they tend to attract more tourists in the hotter months. Of course, it is welcome to all.
We opted for the more intimate indoors, with its reddish and orangey low-lighting, making it great for couples as well as a seductive & dreamy music soundtrack. This ranged from Trip-Hop to mellow Dire Straits to moody Radiohead, Arabic strings with American beats & European melodies sung by a smoky chanteuse. Indeed, you will plenty of Syrian & Middle Eastern influences here with their tapas like Falafel and Sfiha. Valencia’s Mediterranean history is rich with influences and Kaña Makan’s popularity reflects this diversity.
Our genial, bilingual & charismatic host Iyad handed us their easy-to-understand ‘pocket-menu’ with boxes to tick. For starters we opted for a De Queso (Cheese) Salad, which was very fresh and lovingly presented. The cherry tomatoes combined well with the green shoots and ‘Granada’ topping. The thin strips of curado cheese had a memorably thick taste!
The most popular section of the menu is the finger food choice of tapas ‘para picar’, which is incredibly good value at just 1.50€ each. We opted for what turned out to be a wonderful ‘Sujuk’, which combined a smooth pastry with a spicy, filling meat with manchego cheese, tomato with a touch of garlic…all in a masa fina. Indeed, this tapas is so successful it can be found in the Middle East, the Balkans and even Asia.
Next on the menu was the recommended ‘Tortilla Kañamakan’ which had a distinctive flavor. It was oven-cooked and the vegetables & olive oil combined well with the tomato, mayonnaise and tasty bread, which was a solid choice. All of the tapas dishes were presented together on an attractive round plate…
Suffice to say, the Hummus choice was special and had a great flavor that combined chickpeas with a sesame purée and olive oil. One of the dippings we most enjoyed with our bread was the Baba Ganug, which was an oven-cooked eggplant ‘berenjena’ sauce with Greek Yoghurt and a sesame salsa. As a special ‘montadito of the day’ surprise by the chef, we enjoyed a superb spinach in pastry with very full flavours.
To finish our memorable and exotic ‘Mediterranean Tapas’ trip, we opted for a Baklaua dessert. Baklava (in English) is thought to have been created by the Assyrians in the 8th century and perfected during the time of the Otterman Empire. Not surprisingly, part of its appeal is said to be the aphrodisiacal combination of dried fruits with honey combining with its delicate and crafted puff pastry. It was a relaxing and gentle way to end the evening’s dining, which made for an enriching experience overall given the culinary choice of tapas. We thank the staff of Iyad, Vanessa and Elena for their informative and helpful welcome during our time here. A warm saludo to the owner Azam Kirco. He is also a talented musician as well as a warm, informed and experienced host.
Indeed, there are 2 ‘Kaña Makan’ tapas restaurants to choose from in the city of Valencia and both are satisfying and great places to dine out…and on a safe budget too!
24/7 Valencia team
C/Explorador Andres, 24 (Zona Cedro)
Tel: 96 0150796
C/ Sueca, 61 (Ruzafa)
Tel: 96 015 07 96
Mediterranean Tapas: 1.50€
Specialities like Kubé and Hummus with Sujuk : 6.50€
Teas include black tea, cinnamon, liquorice, rooibos, vanilla and more…