Sometimes it is good to celebrate New Year Eve in the restaurant where you do not have to prepare food yourself and just enjoy the atmosphere and being pamper by others. Other times, it is good to celebrate the occasion with the families, friends and spread the joy of upcoming New Year to reflect what has happened in the past and embraced the upcoming one with grace and grateful of what we have in this life.
This time, we celebrate New Year Eve at Riff restaurant in Valencia Spain. The restaurant has one Michelin Star and supposedly one of the best to dine in Valencia. Interestingly the owner and chef “Bernd H. Knöller is not Spanish. We didn’t ask where he comes from, probably from Austria or Germany.
The place itself quite small and the table set closely to each other unlike other Michelin restaurants we have dined around the world where it has more space and privacy. The place is looks like your everyday restaurant and nothing luxury about it. The restaurant also allowed small children to dine here so it is quite noisy and informal. We have nothing against it, just different experience from what we had before.
The staff are friendly and give the best service as they could with a smile. The drinks and snacks arrived shortly. They only have one menu for New Year Eve and surprisingly no wine matching offer in the menu. Total cost for 2 people with 12 dishes, 5 glasses of wines, 2 bottles of mineral water, 2 glasses of orange juice, almost €500.
The 3 different snacks were interesting. The spiced macadamia nuts were defined, the potato with lobster was actually too tiny and we couldn´t taste the lobster, just the potato. The green look of the seaweed was interesting but not much taste on it.
Next the warm bread comes to the table and it was delicious.
After the bread, we had mojama with almond and tomato. To be honest, I don´t know what is mojama. I tried to google it but it comes up the same. Its probably a fish since the food taste like fish. It taste very subtle with nice presentation like a cross.
Next we had razor clams with hemp oil and Iberian bacon. It looks and taste yummy. We both love this dish. The next dishes come quickly, and we savour all those since the serving was really tiny.
After that we got a brown bread with seeds inside it. We both like this type of bread. The night goes quickly and the dishes come sporadically, sometimes slow, sometimes fast which wasn´t good timing. Our dessert has not served when the clock running itself 5 minutes to midnight where the chef come out with his biggest flying pan and hammer and make a gong noise from it.
We like the chef performance before the midnight count down. We all have 12 pieces of grapes per person and we have to eat this as he bangs the gong on his hand one at time – sometimes he bang too fast and we had to eat the grape really fast. He didn´t tell the story why it should be 12 grapes, but I guess you can google it yourself 😊
The New Year count down with champagne and congratulated each other and other diners, we resume the dinner which last until 1pm. We arrive back at our hotel at 1.30.
I do not remember which dish I like the most. Some were better than other but I didn´t feel any of outstanding dishes in particular. However the festive season was wonderful and great to be out and about.