There are some styles of food that you can easily and plentifully find in Valencia, on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Spain. If you are a lover of Asian food, rice based Spanish dishes, gorgeous croquettes or brilliant sushi, then you’ll love the choices and prices available to your stomach and wallet. However, if you are a Brit like me (or of course someone with more eastern tastes), then Indian food will be something you’ll have to search a little harder to find. I don’t think it’s that Spanish people don’t like Indian food, but more that the level of spices and flavours in Indian cooking can sometimes overwhelm locals (especially with chillies involved). I’ve written previously about some of the best Thai in Valencia, great cheap food in Valencia as well as some beautiful spots to have a morning coffee on the beach.
I’m going to show you two of favourite places to find some powerful Indian flavours in Valencia, for those on a budget and for those wanting something special.
Although not expensive at all, the quality of the food here is very high, as is the service. The welcome you get as soon as you walk in the doors is great, and the restaurant definitely has a lively but relaxed atmosphere. Decoration is not necessarily subtle, but the abundance of colours from the statues and paintings and coloured walls is fantastic after white-washed-wall modern Spanish restaurant experiences.
You can find most of the popular dishes that British Indian food lovers will be familiar with. Dishes like chicken khorma or jalfrezi curries are there, as are naan breads and beautiful popodoms. A minor problem is that Indian Star is pretty far from the centre, and isn’t really reach-able on foot. A taxi even from the furthest end of the city was only about 15 Euros in total so all is not lost. You could also get the metro to the Campanar station as well.
The atmosphere here is a little fancier, and the service follows the same style. You’ll find the waiters quieter and the décor turned down a bit. Although there isn’t the same level of colour and life in Swagat, what you will appreciate is the food. I said that I said that Swagat was the more expensive option, but in reality, for the majority or restaurants in Valencia, expensive doesn’t mean expensive. At Indian Star we spent around 17 Euros per person for plenty of food and some drinks. At Swagat you should expect to spend around 20-30 Euros depending on what you order.
The general opinion about this place, and I completely share it, is that it really seems like good traditional Indian food. There are not too many surprises on the menu, but the things that are there will be done beautifully.
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