Although it’s difficult to find, Restaurante Al-Balansíya rewards the intrepid with possibly the best Arabic food in Valencia, at very reasonable prices. We enjoyed the menú desgustación “Sherezade” for €20/person on a Saturday afternoon. Let’s see… what all did we get… [gathers deep breath]
An incredible salad and breads, hummus, baba ganoush, olives, a cinnamon fideo dish, cous-cous, chicken tayin with almonds, a strange lemon drink, two bottles of non-alcoholic wine (this being an Arabic restaurant, there is no alcohol on the menu), a plate of sweet and sticky desserts, and tea to wash it all down.
I was full midway through the meal! But everything was so delicious, I had to continue chowing down.
The decor and ambiance of Al Balansíya rivals the food as the restaurant’s best quality. Arabic tiles and a little fountain greet diners, and you can grab some fennel or black tea to munch on your way out. The staff is friendly, and stays out of the way, except for when piling even more food upon the table.
By the way, did you notice what the name sounds like when pronounced out loud? Balansíya was the Arabic name for Valencia, and this restaurant honors that heritage. We had a great time here, and wholly recommend it to anyone searching for good Arabic food. Don’t forget to make reservations, though! This place is popular.