Avenida Maestro Rodrigo 44 E
Telephone: +34 963 486 666
Overall rating: 6.5/10
Date of visit: August 2012
This time I’m not going to go too much into detail about each course.
We chose the tasting menu (€45 + IVA), and every single course was well-cooked and pleasant, but the food never really became more than just pleasant, but it was definitely better than, say, Mercatbar, which is similar price-wise if you choose so many courses.
We had these courses:
* Salmorejo with a bit of ham
* Cod croquette with aioli
* Foie gras with apple sauce
* Tuna tartar
* Octopus (calamar) stuffed with a sausage
* A fish (the staff didn’t know the English name, and I don’t remember the Spanish name) with a Spanish “ratatouille” and sauce
* Leg of lamb stuffed with vegetables and wrapped in ham. Vegetables on the side
* Cheese cake
* Chocolate fondant + vanilla ice cream
The only thing I can fault them on was the desserts:
The cheese cake had that refrigerator taste, if you know what I mean, and the base was very thin compared to the cheese part. Cheese cakes is one of my specialities, and the cheese cake I usually do is definitely a lot better than this one was. Nevertheless, still fairly okay.
The chocolate fondant was well-cooked, but simply wasn’t as good as, say, the one I had at La Salita. The chocolate flavour lacked intensity. The vanilla ice cream tasted very synthetic. Although I could see vanilla seeds in there, maybe they had used that synthetic white vanilla powder, or, and I never thought I would say this about my favourite spice in the entire world (vanilla), maybe they just added too much vanilla.
The rest was fairly simple, and elegant and pleasant tasting, but it never really made me feel like I was in heaven. That said, technically everything was well done: The aioli had great balance of garlic, the apple sauce was very fresh and provided good balance to the fatty foie gras, the toasted almonds in the tartar was a great addition, the octopus was tender rather than chewy, and the fish was quite juicy and not dry.
The real “problem” here was that there was really no soul or identity in the food. The restaurant didn’t make food that was any different than loads of other restaurants in the same league. The food was however better than in certain other restaurants like it (for instance the Michelin starred Victor Gutierez in Salamanca).
For people who want to splash out and spend this kind of money on a meal, I would say Kaumus is a very good option indeed. Overall, the food here had a lot more flavour, but was less inventive, than in for instance La Salita (which is similarly priced), but nevertheless it didn’t have those dishes that stood out from the rest like La Salita had (their risotto and chocolate fondant).
Although I’ve had better meals for around the same price, I would say that the meal you get at Kaymus is one of the best restaurants you can find for this price in Valencia at the moment. Samsha would be more of less the same price for more or less the same amount of courses for dinner, and the food at Samsha was definitely better and had more personality. There is also the option of spending €11.40 more on the menu and go to Riff. Both Samsha and Riff were better.
Service was good too, albeit fairly low-key. Topping up of water went fairly smooth (our glasses were only empty once each), and the waiter deserved our tip. They spoke English quite well too – especially the chef. This is actually not very common in Valencia, even for restaurants like this.
Then there’s the price.
For this type of food €45 + VAT (8 % – €48.60 in total) seems very reasonable, but I was a bit surprised when the bill said €139.21 for two. My companion had a beer (€3.24), and we each had a glass of white and red wine. The red wine (Numanthia) was €4.48, but this wine actually costs around €25-€30 for a bottle in a shop, so that was very good value. Usually, it seems you pay €3-€7 for a glass from a bottle that costs €7-€15.
The less pleasant surprise was that we had to pay €2.16 per person for service. Water was €3.78 + IVA for a bottle of water that costs 63 cents in Mercadona (same brand). We had two bottles, which meant that we paid more here (€7.56) than I did at the three star restaurant Arzak (where I paid €4.32 for all the water I drank, which was a lot more than here). The most surprising though was one small glass of Tokaji, which cost €9.72.
Nevertheless, this is all details. I perfectly understand that a restaurant that charges €48.60 for this food, and this much of it, will have to make money on other things like water, bread, etc. Most restaurants like Kaymus in Spain charge for this things.
Even though it’s a small restaurant, I noted that Kaymus has a couple of big wines at reasonable prices: Alion I believe was around €45, which is the same as retail price. Flor de Pingus was €87, compared to a retail price of around €65. I might be mistaken about these prices, but it did seem very reasonable for such nice wines.
Kaymus also runs a “Kaymus Centro” restaurant in a more central location.