Marinated tuna fish in 7 spices, Casa Montaña, Valencia

Casa Montaña, Valencia, dinner

Menu from a tapas dinner at the century-old wine and tapas bar Casa Montaña in Valencia:

Stewed broad beans

Marinated tuna fish in 7 spices

Clóchinas Valencian mussels

Stuffed Piquillo red pepper

Brandada de Bacalao (cod brandada)

Grilled calamari

Sirloin from specially reared cattle, served in chunks with green garlic shoots

Traditional Valencian orange-based dessert

Chocolate truffles

Casa Montaña is incredibly busy and is popular with the locals as well as the tourists. When I went, things were already in full swing and I ended up ducking down behind the bar for a table right next to the kitchen.

It turned out they had plenty of little rooms back there to try the small plates. And there were a lot of small plates.

The food was not necessarily difficult to make. In fact, some were very simple like the stewed broad beans. But I think it was more about the jovial atmosphere than the food. And as it’s all about the bar, that’s not a bad thing.

Qin Xie

Qin Xie is a London based food, wine and travel journalist and trained chef.

When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and CNN.

Her first cookbook, co-authored with YS Peng at Hunan Restaurant, is out March 2014.

According to friends, her watch is always set to UTC -- ready for the next big adventure. In reality, she is happiest at the dinner table or by the sea.

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