Exterior

Exterior

Many, many years ago, I remember joining my mother at one of her regular visits to the Chatterbox on East Preston Street. A purveyor of fine cakes, it has long since been consigned to history. The latest business to take up residence there is Cafe Valencia, a little cafe with a strong Spanish influence.

This was not my first visit, as I’d popped in for breakfast, a couple of weeks ago, when it was just newly opened. I’d been intrigued enough by the place to revisit again for lunch, today.

Soup

Soup

It’s fair to say that the people that run the place are thoroughly Spanish. Their English is not great and all the punters were conversing with them in their native tongue.

Their menu has some nods to bringing together Spanish and Scottish cuisines, but is packed with tapas classics. From this menu, I opted for chicken and vegetable soup followed by paella.

Paella

Paella

I took at seat at one of their shelf seats and was soon taking delivery of the soup. It proved to be very good. It was a pleasingly seasoned chicken and vegetable broth.

The paella wasn’t of the same quality. It tasted pretty good, but it was the kind of dish I’d cook when braindead at the end of the week and completely devoid of ideas beyond the basic need for sustenance.

So overall, I was left a little perplexed by Cafe Valencia. Tapas places are generally hard to review as a solo diner and a place where there were obvious weaknesses in service due to a language barrier are extremely hard to assess. On balance I’d be supportive of you visiting as it’s full of character and I suspect there are gems to be discovered on the menu. I’m not sure I found them, though.

I ate: chicken and vegetable soup, paella

I drank: water

I wore: blue shirt

Total bill: £7.50

Cafe Valencia on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR