With chef Oscar Juan in charge of the business, the secret of El Noi d'Alcoi is in the rice cooking pans, churning out creamy and brothy rice dishes, and noodly fideuà options. Be aware they're all for a minimum of two diners, so bring a friend. I went with my cousin for a good catch-up over great food.
I started with grilled prawns, and my cousin opted for the scrambled eggs with asparagus and mushrooms. I like my prawns a tad less cooked than they were served. Next we shared a cod paella. The other choices that day were the seafood 'arròs a banda' or creamy rice with octopus and mussels. If for some reason you're not going for the rice, you can also order meat and fish dishes. Our choice of cod paella turned out to be quite good indeed. Dried cod is added to rice with veg to give it that perfect aroma and touch of salt. The subtle dish is cooked with fresh cod, of course. During the meal, we drank a bottle of Nuvian, red wine from the Cinca Valley. For dessert we had 'mel i mató' (honey and soft mató cheese), a classic finishing touch in a classic-looking restaurant with a classic menu that celebrates ultra-traditional cuisine. Any restaurant with nine rice dishes and four fideuàs on the menu is always welcome.