Round-Up of Restaurants reviewed in Janaury and February, 2015.

 
 
Overview
 

Purpose of Visit: Inspections and reviews
 
 
Cuisine quality
 
 
 
 
 


 
Ambience
 
 
 
 
 


 
Atmosphere
 
 
 
 
 


 
Preparation
 
 
 
 
 


 
Presentation
 
 
 
 
 


 
Service
 
 
 
 
 


 
Wine and beverages
 
 
 
 
 


 
Value for money
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


 

Positives


Seven of the best restaurants inspected and reviewed during January and February, 2015. All restaurants are either WRMC Silver Spoon Restaurants or WRMC Blue Riband Restaurants., denoting the best among the best.


Bottom Line

Round-up of restaurants inspected and reviewed during January and February 2015, all seven of which made the grade to be selected for publication in this exclusive website. Only the best restaurants are published and listed in Wines and Restaurants of Malta. Com

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Posted March 4, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Round-Up of Restaurants Reviewed in January/February 2015.

A choice of some outstanding restaurants in the first two months of the year.

 

Good start to the review year.

The Villa Brasserie – Balluta Bay:
Dinner – Saturday, 7th February.

Dinner at The Villa Brasserie is another one which is regularly on our visiting list. Whether it’s on the terrace in Summer or inside in the cosy restaurant, the Chefs at the Villa never fail to reach our expectations for well presented and excellent quality cuisine.

Although the Chef’s multiple courses, degustation menu was recommended by Mark Gauci, the executive chef, we opted for choices from the menu, but made it a point to visit again soon to try the Chef’s recommendation.

Ordered selection of starters for four persons –
The Villa Cured salmon – served with confit jerusalem artichokes, cucumber sticks, balsamic glaze, and citrus emulsion;
Duo of confit duck leg salad – served with pickled daicon and cucumber salad, seasoned leaves and spice tangerine puree;
Foie Gras Custard – served with apple and rocket snap, and toasted bread.
Prawn and scallop Panciotti – served with Mediterranean curry fish veloute, and wilted green leaves;

The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (2)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (3)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (4)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (5)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main Courses:
Two x Slow cooked saddle of rabbit, fennel scented and served with spinach, carrot puree and thyme jus.
Rib-eye of beef served with braised onions, roasted cherry tomatoes, and bearnaise sauce.
Pagella al cartocio from the fresh fish selections.
Side orders of mashed potatoes, veg, and rice were served on order.

The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (7)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (8)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (9)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (11)The Villa Feb 2015 - IMG_2711 (12)Dessert: Cheese platter to share and one date tart.
One bottle of red wine, two bottles of water, espressos, completed the dinner.
Price for the food between four EUR174.5 (EUR43.63 pr person).

Wine, water, espressos EUR31.6.

Cuisine quality very good , with good presentations. Service very good.

Very enjoyable in very upmarket surroundings.

The Villa Brasserie is a WRMC Silver Spoon Restaurant.

Awards 2015 IMG_2620

 

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Sunday lunch at La Nostra Padrona, Marsaxlokk.
Sunday, 15th February, 2015.

 

We seem to have had a respite from the very cold, windy, and rainy weather that we had been experiencing this month, as this Sunday turned out to be quite nice. The carnival people were given a chance to bring out their floats, others looked for quieter and less crowded locations possibly for lunch or a quiet afternoon.

We headed towards Marsaxlokk, and to one of our regular restaurants for lunch.
La Nostra Padrona, has undergone further enhancement of their cuisine quality with the reinforcement of their kitchen staff with two additional, experienced chefs, new menus, and the hands on management of the owners and a very efficient restaurant manageress.

A short discussion on the menu choices from the day’s specials and a look at the fish display, immediately convinced us that the main courses had to be two John Dory’s to be shared between four persons.

Starters ordered were three servings of the chef’s recommended fresh calamari stuffed with a prawn pate’ and cooked in sparkling wine; and one serving of an excellent tagliatelli with scallops and prawns, tossed in asparagus and herbs.

La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (2)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (3)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (4)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (5)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (6)

 

 

 

 

 

The John Dory’s were steamed and finished off in the oven, and were filleted by the manager at our table. Roast potatoes and roasted veg in season were served on the side.

La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (1)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (7)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (11)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (9)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desserts: One portion cherry tart; one cassatella Siciliana, and a portion to share of their home-made mqarett (date parcels) served with honey, ice-cream, cranberry, and mint leaves.

La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (12)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (13)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (14)La Nostra Padrona Feb 2015 - IMG_2752 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

One bottle of the new Ta’ Mena Aris Chardonnay, two bottles of water and espressos, complemented the lunch.

Price excluding wine, but including the water and espressos EUR143.60 between four (EUR35.90 per person) . Price of the wine EUR 16. Very reasonable for the food quality served.

Very good food; very good service; Very good value for money.

La Nostra Padrona is a WRMC Blue Riband Restaurant.

There are ten (10) photos in this album. Click on the album’s title to view all at the same time, or click on anyone to see the descriptive caption, then move with the arrows.

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Asian Degustation Dinner at TemptAsian Restaurant at The Palace Hotel, Sliema.
Friday, 16th January, 2015.

The new Asian degustation menu being launched by TemptAsian Restaurant was sampled during a very enjoyable dinner last week. We went for the new al a carte menu initially, but were shown the new degustation menu and were hooked.

This menu consists of ten courses which are better described through the series of photos of the dishes as served and described in the captions. Click on the album’s title to see all photos or click on anyone and move sideways with the slide bar.

TemptAsian - DSCN4639TemptAsian - DSCN4642 (2)TemptAsian - DSCN4642 (4)TemptAsian - DSCN4642 (5)TemptAsian - DSCN4642 (8)

 

 

 

 

 

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Cost of this degustation menu comes in at about EUR120 per person, (without accompanying wines which are to be ordered to pair with the food according to taste), and must be ordered 48 hours in advance for a minimum of four persons. This is understandable as the quality and the work involved in the food and the preparation is quite substantial. Cuisine wise, this degustation selection was outstanding in both the flavours and tastes as well as in presentation.

As usual service was impeccable at this restaurant, and the ambience and atmosphere within is exceptional for that romantic dinner or special occasion dinner, or for that matter on any night when one feels like sampling top class Asian cuisine.

One Silver Spoon Large.TemptAsian is a WRMC Silver Spoon Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday lunch at Tal-Familja Restaurant
Sunday – 25th January, 2015

A nice lunch was had today with my wife at one of our favourite restaurants in Marsascala.
As is usual for this restaurant on Sunday lunch time, the place was full to the brim, with diners, ranging from couples to small families. Nevertheless the atmosphere was quite pleasant, with very efficient service staff catering for every table’s needs as required.

A full a la carte is offered as well as some selected specials and of course the fresh fish display.
Once seated, the menus and wine list were brought over. the water ordered, and a pre-dinner antipasto was served, whilst we were selecting our food.

Food ordered were a Riso di Noto with prawns and seafood bisque sauce and a delicious portion of the rabbit livers al orange and dark chocolate sauce.
Main course was a selected 1.15kg John Dory from the fish display for two sharing which was prepared with garlic, onions, herbs and a bit of olive oil and baked. The fish was served whole as I like it to be served and was filleted by myself on the table.

Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (1)Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (2)Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (3)Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (4)

 

 

 

 

 

Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (5)Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (6)Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (7)Tal-Familja January - IMG_2642 (8)

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert a banana tatin with ice-cream and a chocolate fondant with cream and ice-cream.

A bottle of Gavi di Gavi, one bottle of water, espressos an complementary liqueurs were enjoyed with the meal.

Food quality, preparation and presentation was as usual very good; service very attentive.
Price overall all inclusive EUR100 between two. (EUR83 food, water, coffees; EUR17 for the wine). very reasonable for very good food and service.

Awards 2015 IMG_2615Tal-Familja Restaurants is a WRMC Blue Riband Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

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Lunch at Palazzo Preca – Valletta – Thursday, 22nd January, 2015.

Lunch at Palazzo Preca in Strait Street, Valletta, was an enjoyable, quiet affair with my wife.

Food ordered: Traditional fish soup and linguine with shrimps and marrows, for starters. The linguine were perfectly cooked al dente and quite good.

Main courses: One 380g, Sargu grilled and served on the bone as ordered; and slow cooked saddle of rabbit stuffed with chorizo sausage and Maltese cheeselet.

Palazzo Preca - IMG_2586 (1)Palazzo Preca - IMG_2586 (2)Palazzo Preca - IMG_2586 (3)Palazzo Preca - IMG_2586 (4)

 

 

 

 

 

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Dessert to share was the four taster serving of the restaurants home-made pannacotta; trifle; sobayon and chocolate and pistaccio tart.

One bottle of local chardonnay; one bottle of water; espressos; and complementary Averna.

Price for the lunch excluding the wine EUR70 between two (EUR35pp) very reasonable; cost of wine EUR19.90.

Good service, decent good food in very good portions, good value.

Palazzo Preca Restaurant is a WRMC Silver Spoon Restaurant

Awards 2015 IMG_2620

 

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Dinner at Acqua Terra e Mare Restaurant at Portomaso.
Thursday, 15th January, 2015.

Some might not have heard as yet or know about Acqua Terra e Mare Restaurant. I don’t blame you because this very good restaurant opened its doors under this new name and under new management in November last year, just two months ago.

It was a surprise to come to know that the long standing Al Molo Restaurant had closed down in September, and a bigger surprise when Vermell Restaurant in St. Julian’s followed suit but for vastly different reasons. Vermell was a restaurant that served excellent food and had a good following of regular clients, but when the opportunity presented itself to Kleaven Cassar and Amy Camilleri with the forging of an alliance with Alfred Fenech of Sterling Jewellers, they took the challenge and re-opened Al Molo under the name of Acqua Terra e Mare. Acqua Terra e Mare’s concept is different from the previous Al Molo’s, endeavouring to serve up-scale cuisine at reasonable prices to compete with the best restaurants in this location.

Since opening we have been three times at this establishment, the first was on the 19th of December, during which my son Chris entertained a number of his audit firm’s clients to a wonderful five course lunch; this lunch having been booked at Vermell but then moved with the Chef to the present location. The second visit was for Christmas Day lunch with the family; and the most recent visit was last Thursday for dinner with friends . We were more than satisfied on the three occasions.

Once seated, we were handed menus and wine list but we were told that the eleven course degustation menu which was formerly titled Misto del Chef at Vermell was being re-introduced here, but in a different style to fit the place. This was our choice for a very pleasurable dinner.

The degustation menu consisted of antipasti with bigilla and tomato dip with fresh galletti to pair with the pre-dinner drink; fresh oysters; trio of fish tartar – salmon, tuna and swordfish; carpaccio of tuna, swordfish and salmon; langoustine and octopus in wine and garlic; fish neonati; local, red king prawns; freshly cooked pasta al dente with seafood; and then a choice from the fish display, which consisted of very fresh John Dory’s; Rock Fish; Sea bass; The dessert being offered are home-made and we opted for a sample of the trio of desserts being a ricotta cannolo, brioche and a very light carrot cake, which were delicious and of adequate size after such a meal. These servings are best seen in the photos produced here of the food as served.

Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (2)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (4)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (5)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (8)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (10)

 

 

 

 

 

Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (11)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (12)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (16)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (17)Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (20)

 

 

 

 

 

Acqua Terra e mare January 2015 -IMG_2535 (22)Awards 2015 IMG_2615

 

 

 

 

 

Two bottles of white wine between four, still and sparkling water, coffees and complementary liqueurs.

Price for the degustation menu is EUR55 per person, excluding drinks and wine of course, which is more than reasonable for the work involved and product being served. I think that Acqua Terra e Mare shall be a success with this kind of food that is produced by Kleaven and his young female sous chef (ex-Hilton no less), and the very good service that is given by Amy, Patrick and their assistants.

 

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Dinner at the Portomaso Casino Restaurant
Wednesday, 7th January, 2015.

We had not been over to the Portomaso Casino Restaurant for a while, not that we are gamblers for that matter, but sometimes we do enjoy something different and one can even win a raffle whilst dining at this very smart restaurant. It seems that some re-organizing and change of staff have been made lately, for the good, as the place was being run by a very efficient team headed by a young F&B Manager, new service staff and a new executive chef who has introduced a new fine dining menu, but maintaining very reasonable prices for the ambience of a premiumised informality concept.

If one is planning a visit to this venue, one has to keep in mind that persons under the age of twenty-five are not admitted due to the casino regulations, one must show an identity card to be registered unless already registered, and children are “strictly” not admitted. Smart casual attire is essential.

A look at the menu indicated some good dishes at quite reasonable prices, with choices of starters, salads and soups ranging from some EUR6 to EUR12; fresh pasta dishes from EUR8.50 to EUR11; fish, meat and poultry main courses ranging from EUR17 to EUR24 for the beef fillet; and a 500gm beef T-Bone steak priced at EUR28.

Our food order went on the Chef’s recommended specials with a first course going for the Zuppe di Pesce which was a Mediterranean style rich soup with chunks of fish and shellfish, enhanced with garlic and saffron; This was followed by a shellfish and scallop open lasagne.

Portomaso Casino Restaurant - DSCN4618 (1)Portomaso Casino Restaurant - DSCN4618 (2)Portomaso Casino Restaurant - DSCN4618 (3)Portomaso Casino Restaurant - DSCN4618 (4)

 

 

 

 

 

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For main courses the trio of fish with lobster tail was chosen by two persons and consisted in a very nice serving of filleted pagell (red bream), merluz (hake); and spnott (sea bream); with a meaty lobster tail; and the other two persons chose the Filletto di Salmone – baked salmon fillet with smoked bacon lardons and garlic, dressed with wholegrain mustard sauce, topped with soft poached egg, and served on a bed of leaks and asparagus.

Dessert: Chef’s choice of mille foglie with forest fruit, cranberry cream in chocolate cylinder and a type of semi-freddo ice-cream with nocciola.

The food style, preparation, quality and presentation was fine dining and very good indeed.

Service was well above the average as befits the concept of the restaurant.
The dinner was complemented with a very good Chablis, and still and sparkling water.
The average price per person for the food as shown came up to EUR45 excluding wine.
A very good venue for that special dinner, a romantic dinner or even an occasional upmarket dinner followed by an adventurous fling on the casino tables.

Awards 2015 IMG_2615Portomaso Casino Restaurant is a WRMC Blue Riband Restaurant: 

 

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