Pepica paella (Pepica's paella, made with chicken), La Pepica, Valencia

La Pepica, Valencia, lunch

Menu from a paella lunch at the beach-side century-old seafood and rice restaurant La Pepica in Valencia (rough English translations bold and in brackets):

Esgarraet con mojama (marinated red peppers, salted cod and dried tuna)

Tostados (toasted bread with tomato pulp and aioli)

Chopitos fritos (fried baby squid)

Pescaitos fritos (fried fish)

Calamar romana (fried squid rings)

Pepica paella (Pepica’s paella, made with chicken)

Postre (dessert)

La Pepica, a paella restaurant on the beach-front in Valencia, alongside a whole row of other restaurants, has been visited by locals, tourists and celebrities alike. It’s even been inside one of Hemingway’s books after the author visited it.

I had lunch there on a very warm day and with a whole pan of paella for two, it was a lot of food to stomach.

The food is simple and good but it’s probably not going to rock your world. But it’s a little bit of history in some respects because of all the legends who’ve dined there already. And also because Valencia was where paella was invented in the first place.

Although very touristy, it’s also very traditional with an open kitchen that you can peek into and see dozens of paellas being made at the same time.

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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