As many other reviewers have noted, Appetite follows the Japanese Omakase tradition. And carries it off with class and a high level of technical skill. Bonnie's enthusiasm and warmth come out in every dish. He background in Asia and Australia, before coming to Valencia, give her a world view of food and dining.
We arrived at the early end of lunch, around 1:30pm, and were seated in a beautiful, simple dining room. The decorations are reminiscent of the Asian background of the chef and owner. (There are nice pictures on their website which give you a good feel for the place.)
We're a bit difficult for an Omakase restaurant, as we don't eat shellfish or pork. However, the server and chef were happy to work with us and provided a series of courses that left us more than satisfied.
We started with the classic drink of the city, Agua de Valencia, which has fresh orange juice (of course, this is Valencia after all), cava, and an orange liquor (I forget which one). Very refreshing and well made.
We decided to go with the 6 course meal as 8 seemed to be too much for us, and, given our food limitations, maybe pushing things too far. We loved every course and couldn't have eaten another bite if we tried, so six was right for us.
I wanted a glass of wine with the meal, and the server pysched out my wine tastes exactly. With a few key words and her understanding of the meal to come, she recommended a Ribera del Duero, my favorite red wine of Spain. The La Planta winery was one that I had never tried, but will try to buy a case of it as a result of my glass(es) at Appetite.
First course was a flat-bread with pumpkin (another Valencian specialty), greens, feta cheese, and olive oil. Very nice, fresh bread that worked well with the toppings. It could've used a little more salt or maybe a bit more feta. And that will be my ONLY complaint for the entire evening!
Second course was a refreshing salad of mango, chicken, noodles, a variety of heirloom tomatoes, and edamame (fresh cooked soy beans), with fresh lime to squeeze over the top (a definite Thai influence).
The third course was a chicken satay. This is a staple of Thai restaurants, but I must say that Bonnie's rendition is a religious experience. Instead of the light brown sweet-peanut-butter taste of most satays, this was a deep brown sauce with layers and layers of flavor. And it was a more coarse sauce than commonly found, allowing you to really experience the ingredients. Eat bite was brought out some new taste. A bit spicy, though incredibly well balanced. I would return to Valencia just for another serving.
About this time, my wine glass was empty, so I ordered another glass of the Ribera. Now, I like a good glass of wine or microbrew with my meal, but I'm rarely a 3-drink kind of person. The quality of the food and drink just natural kept me coming back for more.
The fourth course was a Chinese beef stir fry. A lovely rich wok sauce, with hints of Chinese five spice and a variety of other seasonings. Excellent quality beef, and just the right wok-sear on the meat without overcooking it (an art in itself).
The fifth course was bonito served over fresh salad greens. The beautifully cooked fish over the fresh greens was a wonder homage to the fresh Mediterranean seafood so plentiful and good in Spain.
The six dish was dessert. It was a truly excellent, moist and tasty almond, orange cake. It was topped by a lovely orange sauce and a few other condiments. Our only complaint was that the piece of cake was too big after the previous courses. To be polite of course, we finished it anyways. ;)
We ended the meal with a beautiful prepared espresso (cafe solo), served with a beautiful selection of raw sugar cubes.
After the meal, and the restaurant was quiet (we spent a long time lingering over our food), we talked with Bonnie for a while. Of course, we wanted to compliment her on the food, and her ability to fuse the best of local ingredients with the taste of Asia. And got to hear a bit about running such an establishment in Valencia.
All told, with all food and drink, it was 68 EUR for two people. Really amazingly reasonable for such a quality meal. And I am impressed with the fair prices they charge on alcohol.
We'll be back. In the meantime, you definitely to this place!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.