Chapter One Restaurant – Paceville, St. Julians.



Purpose of Visit: Dinner with guests. Contact Details: Chapter One Restaurant, 9, Church Street, Paceville, St.Julians, Malta. Tel: 21 380 000; 7738 0000.
Cuisine quality






Wine and beverages

Value for money

Total Score
4.5/ 5



Family run by two brothers, giving that personal touch. Rated at 9./10

Posted December 12, 2012 by

Full Article

Dinner at Chapter One Restaurant, Paceville, St. Julians, on Friday, 1oth August,2012.

 Chapter One Restaurant is one of those rare gems that are discovered by chance especially in locations such as central Paceville, and the St. Julians area, which locations are teaming with eateries of all genres.  Situated in Church Street, just a few meters down from the Millenium Chapel, the restaurant’s  name Chapter One with the caption underneath stating  “where passion and genuineness come together” caught my eye, and decided to find out if this was an just an idle boast, or whether the establishment means it. Passion and genuineness are strong words, which demand to be challenged; we were not disappointed.

 Chapter One opened its doors just over two years ago in 2010 by Chef/Patron  Hiram Cassar, after having completed his training and studies at ITS,  followed by stints in various restaurants and hotels in Malta, and after having obtained further training and valuable experience at the Michelin starred restaurant – Les Violon d’Ingres in Paris, France. Still 26, Hiram’s dream of opening and running his own fine dining restaurant,  producing  French/Mediterranean cuisine for a relatively few, but exclusively discerning clientele , came to fruition with the opening of this restaurant, and after meeting this very amiable and unpretenious  gentleman, one comes  to note his real passion and genuineness for fine cuisine prepared with the freshest and best ingredients, resulting in stunningly delicious food, beautifully presented.


The Menu.

 As befits a genuine fine dining restaurant, the menu at Chapter One is not overtly large, but carefully prepared with selected dishes to capture the best seasonal ingredients, yet still offering popular and sought after dishes. Some three or four Antipasti, four choices of Pasta and Risotto;  Some seven or so Main Courses;  Home-made Desserts and selection of fine cheeses; supplemented by a selected, few prime specials of the day, make up the menu. Choices from the recommended specials and the a la carte menu were easy to make, but still managed to be regaled with a veritable feast of antipasti to share, pasta dishes to share and individual main courses which were sublime.


Whilst making our selections, we enjoyed a chilled Prosecco and were served with an amuse bouche each, of a specially made pea capuccino with prawns. A very nice touch, and an indication of things to come.




 The Chef personally recommended a tasting menu with servings of Carpaccio of fresh tuna and his signature tartar of raw fish which in this case was a splendid presentation of a horse-mackerel tartar serving. Both these servings proved to be exquisite, and I had to butter a slice of the very fresh bread the was placed on the table, cut the slice in two, and place some of these antipasti  on it to savour the full texture. There is no other word to describe the taste except sumptuous.

These were followed by two dishes to share of a serving of  spaghetti al dente with fresh local prawns and calamari and cherry tomatoes, and another serving to share of a very delicious spaghetti rizzi (with sea urchin sauce). Both dishes were also recommended by the Chef, and as expected were a very good choice.

 As befits, these seafood and fish oriented dishes, they were complemented by a very nice, chilled bottle of a 2010 Domane Wachau Riesling, which was both crispy and tangy with a refreshing acidity, and excellent for Summer.



Main Courses:

 Main courses were individually selected, and each of us changed to various meat dishes consisting of servings of:

 A superb pan glazed fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef with seasonal vegetables, in red wine sauce reduction and topped with an exquisite slab of grilled foie gras, typical of the finest French cuisine, cooked as ordered medium-rare. The fillet was tender and succulent and the foie gras added that touch of exquisite class to an already delicious dish.

 A serving of roast breast of duck, braised red cabbage, parsnip puree, cracked pistachios and duck jus.  The duck breast cooed as recommended medium. A nice presentation indeed.

 A serving of roast supreme and thigh of free range chicken stuffed with a herbed mousse, roast seasonal vegetables and herb jus.

 And a superb serving of rib-eye of milk fed veal, on the bone, with jus and seasonal vegetables.

 All main courses were well above the norm for both quality and taste as well as presentation. The main course were complemented in this case with medium-bodied, red, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo from Cantina Zaccagnini.





 Chocolate brownie; Classic caramelised lemon tart, and one Madagscan vanilla creme brulee.








Wine List: A very good selection of both local and imported wines are offered to suit most pockets, with a very reasonable mark-up on the top wines of just about 50% on the retail price or less in some cases. Good choices and reasonable mark-ups which encourages one to sample more than one bottle to complement the different dishes without really breaking the bank. Still and sparkling water and espressos were also ordered.

 Service: Service is excellent and provided by Jacob Cassar (brother of Hiram), who very efficiently acts as Maitre D’ and sommelier, assisted by another server who between them cover the 35 to 40 guest allocation at this restaurant admirable. All food is prepared fresh when ordered, so for certain dishes one has to wait a few minutes, but the anticipation is rewarded by the presented quality, and the complete fine dining experience.

 Value for money: As can be seen from the attached menu, selections to suit most pockets and tastes are offered, and costs may vary from Eur32 to Eur47 for a three course meal, excluding drinks, wine, water and espressos. The cuisine category is fine dining of a high quality, individually prepared as ordered by each client,  therefore prices will invariably reflect the selections made. As far as the complete dining experience goes, value is reasonably good and commensurate with the category and quality.


Reviewers’  remarks:

Ambience:  Very good.

Atmosphere and decor of the restaurant: Very Good.

Cuisine quality:  Excellent.

Preparation and presentation: Excellent.

Harmony of menu:  Very Good.

Service: Very Good+Wine List: Good choice at reasonable mark-ups.

Value for money: Very Good commensurate with fine dining –

OVERALL RATING: 9/10  Category Fine Dining French/Mediterranean.

Highly Recommended.




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