Mercado de Colón was designed during the 1990s by architect Francisco Mora who was heavily influenced by the Catalan Modernist Movement, particularly the works of Gaudí in Barcelona. The building has exquisite facades with colourful ornamentation, rich decoration and architectural aspects that never cease to astonish. As an iconic example of Valencian Art Nouveau, the market hall is a national monument that attracts locals and tourists alike. Within its walls, there is a wide selection of culinary spots as well as a market and shopping area to purchase local ingredients and traditional Valencian products, such as Horchata.
‘Mi Cub’, a tapas restaurant located on the upper floor, is among the array of dining options available in Mercado de Colón. We had the privilege of being invited there to try their seasonal new dish ‘La Sardina de Bota’ which has been on the menu for roughly a week but is fast becoming one of their most popular dishes. Upon arrival, the first thing that was apparent was the place’s buzzing atmosphere- obviously a very popular spot! We were greeted by very friendly, welcoming staff and enjoyed soaking up the ambience waiting for our tapas with a glass of dry white wine, an ideal companion for a seafood tapa. Placing value on local produce, the wine selection consisted of wines from Utiel-Requena, the Valencian wine region. ‘La Sardina de Bota’ consists of a rosquilla pastry with a Russian salad and is topped off with a sardine. There is also a similar dish famous in the region of Murcia called ‘Murcian marineras’ with a crunchy base topped with a Russian salad and finished with an anchovy.
‘La Sardina de Bota’ did not disappoint with the Russian salad and the sardine creating a delicious combination of flavours. Upon trying this highly anticipated appetizer, the first thing that struck me was just how fresh it tasted. When I remarked upon this, it was explained to me how the ingredients of the dish are all locally sourced and purchased from the downstairs food market, from the vegetables in the salad to the sardines themselves. This not only added to the freshness of the tapa but furthered the sense of community within the market.
Launching an initiative called “Las 4 Estaciones de la Terreta”, Mi Cub specialises in local and seasonal products. The menu frequently changes with new tapas coinciding to different seasons of the year. The Mini hamburger, another popular tapa on their menu, was also a seasonal creation that has now become a staple due to its popularity and it was predicted by the staff that the same would become of ‘La Sardina de Bota’.
If you’re visiting Mercado de Colón, be sure to stop by ‘Mi Cub’ to try ‘La Sardina de Bota’ for yourself. A relaxed and laidback feel, delicious local delights and all set in a fantastic location where you can sit back, sip wine and watch the world go by. It is hardly surprising the place attracts so much attention! But perhaps what makes Mercado de Colón so special is that its bustling atmosphere captures the buzz of the city without losing its all-important charm, something truly unique to Valencia.
Report by Imogen Hockings
Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’
‘Mercado de Colón’ photo copyright Imogen Hockings / ’24/7 Valencia’
Mi Cub Address: Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19, 46004, València
(Located within Mercado de Colón)
Tel: 963 94 03 59