Round-Up of Restaurants visited in December, 2014

 
 
Overview
 

 
Cuisine quality
 
 
 
 
 


 
Ambience
 
 
 
 
 


 
Atmosphere
 
 
 
 
 


 
Preparation
 
 
 
 
 


 
Presentation
 
 
 
 
 


 
Service
 
 
 
 
 


 
Wine and beverages
 
 
 
 
 


 
Value for money
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


 

Positives


Different dining experiences from family-oriented, casual dining to the best permiumised informality restaurants in Malta.


Bottom Line

Good restaurants, well chosen in accordance with mood, time of day – lunch or dinner, good value in accordance with concept.

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Posted January 11, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Restaurants visited and reviewed in December, 2014.

Dinner at Fork & Cork Restaurants – Rabat, Malta.

When we titled this review “New kid on the block”, we did not want to imply that the Chef-Patron who is running this establishment was someone new on the culinary scene in Malta, but simply to introduce one of the newest restaurant openings which is Fork & Cork Restaurant at Saqqajja Hill, rabalt, Malta. In fact, Carl Zahra, after completing his courses at ITS, he cut his teeth in the practical culinary sphere with Daniel and Andrew Debattista at Rebekkah’s Restaurant, when these two brothers were operating it, then Corinthia St. George’s Bay where he was the Chef at Grill 3301, and after this latter restaurant closed and passed to new operators sometime in April this year, Carl decided to give a go on his own and Fork & Cork was born. This establishment has only been in operation about two months, but has already attracted a good clientele. The place is not overtly large, seating about 24 guests inside and about 16 guests outside (weather permitting and in season).

Run as an up-scale casual dining restaurant, offering the best in premiumised informality, but retaining an aura of fine dining in cuisine and service, with very personal service by the owners, and keeping a very good value for money,  Fork & Cork is destined to be a successful  venture in this category .

The menu is kept short with some  six starters, five main courses and five dessert options, but the chef also offers various specials of the day depending on any fresh produce being found on the day. A platter menu is also offered for those warm evenings or weekday casual dining which can be enjoyed in food company with a bottle of wine.

Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (1)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (2)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (3)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (4)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (5)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (6)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (7)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (8)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (9)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (10)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (13)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (14)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (15)Fork & Cork December 2014 - DSCN4464 (16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food ordered is best described in the attached photos of the food as served, but consisted of four starters, four main courses, and three desserts. One bottle of wine; three bottles of water; espressos; and complementary liqueurs. Cost overall between four excluding the wine came up to EUR 152.50 (EUR38 per person). Wine comes in at a very decent mark-up and our wine choice was priced at EUR23.50.

Service, cuisine quality and value for money are rated to be very good. Certainly worth a try.

Contact: Carl Zahra, Telgha Tas-Saqqajja, L-Imdina

Tel: 2145 4432

 

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Dinner at Caviar & Bull Restaurant – Corinthia St. George’s  Bay Complex, St. Julian’s.

Friday, 12th December, 2014.

Full review published separately with rating in this website.

 Reviewers’ Impressions:

Ambience:  Outstanding.

Atmosphere, decor and overall comfort: Outstanding.

Cuisine quality: Very Good +

Preparation and presentation: Very Good +

Wine list: Very good selection, various quality prices, but very good mid-range, good quality wine at EUR25/EUR35.

Service: Very Good +.

Value for money: Very good in accordance with fine dining concept.

RATING:  9/10

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Contact: Marvin Gauci,

Caviar And Bull
Ix-Xatt ta’ San Gorg, San Giljan

99993301  and 2759 3301

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Dinner at Nan Yuan Cantonese Restaurant.

Thursday, 18th December, 2014.

Nan Yuan Cantonese Restaurant at the Valletta Waterfront is taking Chinese cuisine in Malta a step further to conform with today’s diners’ requirements and demands for a healthier food option.

The restaurant’s normal a la carte menu is being reconstructed with some of the most popular dishes being kept, but specials such as steamed fish and king prawns:  as well as baked, rather than deep fried,  hors d’ouevres.

Food choices were a platter of the mixed hors d’ouevres  as a starter, for two persons with selections of spring rolls, wontons, dumplings, samosa, chicken satay, chicken wing, crispy duck roll and spare ribs. This platter was the deep fried type as the baked selections were not as yet introduced.

For main courses, we opted for the off the menu new introductions of the fresh fish, a pagella was selected for this dish, steamed in a rich sauce with ginger and Chinese onion ; and the king prawns steamed in white wine, fresh ginger and garlic. Both dishes were excellent.

As accompaniments  two large dishes of the special fried rice with shrimps, diced pork, mixed vegetables and beaten egg; and a serving of the vermicelli noodles were presented.

As these main courses are very rich, cooked in the Cantonese steaming style,  it will be more advisable to opt for the baked hors d’ouevres as a starter or  a freshly made soup, as the deep frying might tend to overwhelm the delicate texture of the steamed fish and prawns.

Dessert was the normal Chinese offering of the lychee fritters.

I’m positive that once the steamed dishes and the baked hors d’ouevres are included as  normal menu items, they will become favourites with diners due to their better and healthier cooking method. I’m sure that they will be our choices in future.

Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (1)Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (2)Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (3)Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (4)Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (5)Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (6)Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (7)Nan Yuan December 2014 - DSCN4579 (8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bottle of water and a bottle of a good Chenin Blanc, and Chinese green tea,  complemented the dinner.

Price EUR 63.5 for the food as shown (EUR31.75 per person), which is considered to be very reasonable.   Ambience is very pleasant, Cuisine, service and value for money very good.

Contact: Charmain – Valletta Waterfront

 Tel: 2122 5310

 

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Sunday lunch at Bistro 516 – a place for big eaters.
Sunday, 14th December.

Bistro 516 is one of the busiest family-oriented casual diners at the Valletta Waterfront. It does not make claims that it is anything otherwise, than a restaurant that appeals for groups, families and casual diners with a big appetite. Portions are big and come at very reasonable menu prices. A tray full of freshly baked cheese bruschetta comes at EUR4.25, pasta dishes at about Eur8.50 to EUR9.95; 350gm Angus rib-eye at a very reasonable EUR24.50 and so on.

The wine list deserves an accolade on its own, not due to the selections of fine wines, but for a good selection nevertheless priced with an unbelievable mark-up of just 32 per cent on the retail price, on medium priced local and imported wines.

Food ordered was a bruschetta to share, followed by a spaghetti macellato with chunks of spicy sausage; a platter of antipasti which was also shared over a bottle of wine; and sirloin and angus rib-eye steaks for main courses. There was no space for dessert, but just a slice of walnut cake was ordered which was nibbled at.

The lunch was complemented by a very good, local, red wine which came at just EUR19.75 (I have seen this wine priced at other restaurants at anywhere between EUR25 and EUR45), one bottle of water; espressos and complementary liqueurs.

Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (1)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (2)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (3)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (4)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (5)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (6)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (7)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (8)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (10)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (11)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (12)Bistro 516 - IMG_2385 (13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Price per person, for the food as described and shown in the photos, excluding the wine, came up to a very reasonable and good value at EUR 32.45. One can lunch or dine for far less than this at this place through other food choices. Pizza is not served at Bistro 516; and they cater very admirably for persons requiring gluten free food.

Service was very good, and managed hands-on by the owners; food quality bistro style, largish portions, wholesome but quite good. Very good value for money.

Contact: Justin and Kuelyn Spiteri,

Tel;: 2124 1000; 9985 2610

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Degustation menu – Misto del Chef – at Ristorante La Vela, Pieta Gardens, Pieta –

Tuesday, 2nd December, 2014.

 A mouth watering, mind blowing, degustation menu prepared ad hoc by the Ristorante La Vela Sicilian Chef. a taste of Sicily in Malta. An exceptional array of beautiful preparations and presentations. Hence why we went on a Tuesday, to find the Chef in a quiet mood so that he will do it for us. The restaurant was quietly busy even on a Tuesday – no rush, no hassle atmosphere.

This is one of those restaurants that whenever we went our expectations have always been exceeded.

A splendid bottle or two of a chilled Vermentino di Sardegnia; two bottles of water and espressos.

La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (1)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (2)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (3)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (4)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (5)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (6)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (7)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (8)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (9)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (10)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (11)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (12)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (13)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (14)La Vela - November 2014 -DSCN4422 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent cuisine; very good attentive service by Sicilian waiters who are passionate in what they do; very good value. Price per person excluding the wine – EUR50. This was an off-the-menu degustation dinner. Excellent.

Click on each of the 11 cuisine photos to see the descriptive captions on each presentation.

Ristorante La Vela is a WRMC Blue Riband Restaurant.

Contact: Michelle Muscat,

Marina Road (Pieta Garden Marina), Pieta.

Tel: 2123 0336; 9926 9090.

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Acqua Terra e Mare Restaurant.

19th & 25th December, 2014.

 With the advent of Ristorante Al Molo having closed down, it was an undisputed fact that it would have to be taken over by new operators and run in a different manner to the concept that it had been run since opening some years ago.

The restaurant has been taken over by Kleaven Cassar Chef-Patron of Vermell (which has now been closed down), in association with a commercial company in November, 2014, and a full re-organization of the kitchen staff, with a new sous chef and supporting cooks, service etc, had to be made. Front-of-house is run by the very able Amy Camilleri who used to run Vermell in the same managerial position.

Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (7)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (8)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (9)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (10)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (6)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (11)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (12)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (13)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (14)Acqua Terra e Mare IMG_2447 (15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visited twice in December, once on the 19th during a clients’ lunch of my son’s audit firm, as well as for Christmas Day lunch. On both occasions food, service and general were very good. A full review shall be carried out in due course, but from what we have experienced up to now, this restaurant should be a success .Look out for a further review in the coming weeks.

Contact: Kleaven Cassar or Amy Camilleri

Level 5, Portomaso Marina

Saint Julian, Malta

Tel: 2133 3366

 

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