23 October, 2023

WRMC Awards Criteria

WRMC Awards Criteria.

Document Date: 31st January, 2012/Revised on 20th October, 2023.




The Silver Spoons Quality Awards to Restaurants in Malta.

The WRMC Silver Spoons Awards objective of WINES AND RESTAURANTS OF MALTA.COM , referred to as the WRMC, is to reward exceptional chefs, and first class dining establishments and place them in an elevated category of their own. Models of rating are based on those of the top rating agencies in the world, with adaptation in accordance with our own specific policies. These will eventually lead to awards in accordance with our stringent criteria based on certain factors in which restaurants need to score top points well above average (out of 20),  in their category to achieve.

How are the WRMC Awards Conferred?

Silver Spoons Awards are not awarded for the food alone. Other considerations such as setting and décor, service, serving staff demeanour and deportment,  management attitude towards clients, cleanliness, harmony of the menu, wine list and mark-up, overall value for money in accordance with the category of the establishment, are of major importance and shall all be taken into account when scoring points are given.  Each item within the criteria is given scores in accordance with its considered importance in the rating system.

The traditional French rating system out of 20 points shall be used. A score of 20 is very hard to achieve and a score of 19 is seldom given but can be achieved by the very “best of the best”  Chefs and establishments. 


Blue Riband Awards: This is awarded to the top thirty, up-scale dining and ethnic restaurants for cuisine quality, preparation and presentation, service, value, general management and ambience in accordance with concept. This is a prestigious award with restaurants selected from the vast list of restaurants in the Maltese Islands.

Special Concept Awards: Awarded to the top ten, special concept restaurants , casual and family restaurants , for service , quality dining in a casual atmosphere, and great value as befits these restaurants.


Individual Awards: Individual awards are conferred to highly deserving individuals who have proven and contributed to the prestige of the Restaurant Industry. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest award conferred by the WRMC.


With reference to the cuisine, below are some of the key areas of appraisal.

Six Attributes for Success

  • ) Ingredients: The integrity and use of first rate ingredients is essential. How true ingredients are to their individual flavours highlights a chef’s confidence in the produce they are using. Quality ingredients however do not always necessitate that they be the most expensive. In fact the ability to take an inexpensive ingredient and turn it into something exquisite requires great skill and is a way of identifying true talent. The use of local and seasonal ingredients is also a consideration. Ingredients alone, however, do not make for award winning food, rather it’s the way those ingredients are brought together as a harmonised whole that deliver truly outstanding results.
  • ) Taste: Technically flavours have to be amazing, but balance is critical. Dishes that are over-complicated and pretentious often do not fare well with diners or inspectors. Chefs must consider the whole menu carefully ensuring that individual ingredients and their effects on each other combine harmoniously. Great chefs consistently demonstrate an aptitude for bringing out the integrity of ingredients and successfully marry those flavours as a complete dish. Too many unrelated tastes, on a single plate are confusing to the palate. Everything on the plate has to have reason. Simple can also be special. In many instances simplifying dishes would see restaurants more likely to win an award.
  • ) Presentation: The sight of food elicits a range of physiological and cognitive responses. “The first taste is always with the eyes.” Food presentation is therefore second to none in eliciting initial anticipation. Enjoyment of food is guided by the visual. Presentation then is of foremost importance in establishing a diner’s first impression of the awaiting meal.
  • ) Technique: Individuality is at the heart of great cooking. A chef’s creativity and individual interpretation of a dish is what makes for an exciting and memorable experience. Through-out the world, there are an abundance of keen chefs and cooks with great ideas but true creative mastery requires dedication and discipline. The execution of a concept goes beyond just imagination and demands talent, teamwork and leadership. Great chefs deliver dishes that are clever without being convoluted – dishes that inspire and intrigue. Award winning food must not be so innovative that a diner is unable to identify what is on the plate.
  • ) Value: The WRMC inspectors are mindful in their evaluations to measure restaurants by what they are attempting to be. Nouveau and fine dining cuisine, for example, cannot be measured in the same way as traditional country style or casual dining cooking – the personalities of the two food styles are unrelated. While nouveau and fine dining cuisine erupts with originality and finesse, food portions are characteristically less generous. Casual dining style cooking on the other hand typically rewards diners with hearty traditional recipes at comparatively inexpensive prices. How is one, therefore compared against the other considering their heterogeneous food focus and style? The answer lies in whether the quality of the experience fits the price and meets with customer expectations. Again balance is of underlying importance.
  • ) Consistency: Of utmost importance is consistency of quality, though consistency of technique, presentation and taste are also of decisive significance. Far too often restaurants do not perform in this essential area. Award winning restaurants effectively synchronize their entire operation and successfully repeat their efforts time and time again. Consequently this managed permanence inspires confidence, forming the foundation of effective relations both at an emotional and predictability level. Lack of consistency is not just a loathing of restaurant reviewers, it is equally abhorred by regular diners.

Who are the WRMC inspectors?

Primarily these are the WRMC Directors. Additional assessors are individually selected for their qualifications and experience, and these are only appointed if we need to re-assess consistency of quality when a restaurant is being considered for one of the top awards. Their identities are kept strictly confidential. WRMC inspectors and directors convene several times throughout the year to discuss restaurants and chefs, and evaluate ratings. Prior to the annual release of the awards in January, these ratings are cross referenced and ranked; if there is contention over the rating of a restaurant, it may be re–scrutinised and re-inspected by the panel upon recommendation.

How can restaurant-goers have a say in showing satisfaction or disappointment with a restaurant?

Without question customer comments are integral in identifying quality establishments; after all, our members and followers are for whom the website and  ratings are produced.  Members are encouraged to forward their comments and opinion about restaurants they visit in our Facebook Group: Restaurants in Malta:The Good;The Bad; The Rip-Offs, which may lead to a visit by an inspector. However, the WRMC invariably has the final say on ratings, Silver Spoon, Blue Riband and Special Concept Awards. Additionally, the WRMC reserves the right not to post reviews sent in by members, if construed to be inappropriate. Satisfaction, disappointments, overpricing and general lack of quality in cuisine and service commented upon by members will be given the importance due, if these shall refer to a restaurant that might be considered for an award, albeit after careful scrutiny and inspections by our inspectors and directors.

Advertising & Silver Spoons Award Accuracy.

WRMC does not accept advertising from restaurants. All commercial matters are kept independent and in no way influence our inspection team’s adjudication. The WRMC prides itself on the fairness and accuracy of its ratings and is committed to awarding establishments for excellence based on what we believe to be fair, balanced and accurate criteria.

The reviews published in our FB, Social Media group, which at this present moment, has over 37,000 registered members, are prove that restaurants are not awarded by guess work, but through strict assessments and adjudications, for which all members can comment.


The Food Critic/Reviewer Debate.

The WRMC allocates its Awards with the upmost integrity, albeit in acknowledgment that all reviews are subjective. What we consider to be exceptional you may consider average and just like that the food critic debate is born. That’s why we have opened up our Facebook Group site to members’ comments and have made the whole process a little more democratic and transparent. We pride ourselves to be considered “reviewers” rather than “critics”, as we look for the complete entity rather than for just faults which is the field of the “critic”.

Restaurant Types:


Restaurant types and categories being inspected for the awards shall vary from Fine Dining; Up-market Casual Dining, including Wine Bars offering top class cuisine, Ethnic and special cuisine restaurants; Up-Scale Hotel Restaurants offering exclusive buffet lunches and dinners shall also form part of the selection process.

Specialised and Ethnic restaurants such as Steak Houses, Chinese, Japanese, Asian and Oriental, Indian, Thai and others who cater for a specific cuisine type and class of client, and fall under the category of Fine Dining and/or up-market Casual Diner, will also be considered.  

The WRMC Silver Spoon Awards.

The Following Are The Category and Quality Awards Being Awarded to the Topmost Restaurants in Malta and Gozo through Our Exclusive Silver Spoons Categorised Awards.





Fine Dining , Up-Market Dining and Specialised Restaurants. Exceptional quality of cuisine, service and ambience. Three Silver Spoons Award:


These would be among the topmost, exceptional restaurants in Malta where cooking demands International recognition. These establishments exhibit intense ambition, a passion for excellence, superb technical skills, and remarkable consistency. They will combine appreciation of culinary traditions with a passionate desire for further exploration and improvement. There would be very few restaurants which would be awarded three Silver Spoons.


Precise and luxurious in service, setting & cuisine. The dining room should be set with linen tablecloths & napkins, designer crockery, silver cutlery, and crystal glassware. Serving staff are required to be uniformed in elegant/formal attire and trained in the art of silver service.


Degustation menus, vegetarian menus & private dining rooms should all be available, and complimentary pre dinner hors d’oeuvres served. A fully accredited sommelier or experienced wine waiter, should be present to assist with wine selection. The wine list must be extensive, offering a wide selection of contemporary & boutique international and local wines all cellared under temperature controlled conditions. A separate cocktail and Bar area should be available for pre or after dinner drinks. Formal attire, suit and tie, is the minimum dress code for these establishments


Fully qualified and trained personnel should be employed, and offering full table service, without exception. Table setting are typically set with linen table cloths & napkins, quality cutlery, crockery and glassware. Service should be astute, serving-staff uniformed and the décor sophisticated. The wine list should be generous with a selection of local and international wines.


These establishments can be reserved in style and a smart dress code is usually required.
The WRMC Three Silver Spoon award is the top award that most restaurants should aspire to reach, as only the top up-market establishments would satisfy the demanding criteria established for this prestigious award.


Fine and up-market Casual Dining Restaurants. Cuisine and Service excellent and out of the ordinary.


Two Silver Spoons Award:


Excellent restaurants that achieve standards that demand recognition well beyond their local area. The cooking is underpinned by the selection and treatment of the highest quality ingredients. Timing, seasoning and the judgment of flavour combinations will constantly be excellent. These virtues will tend to be supported by other elements, such as intuitive service and a well-chosen wine list with decent mark-up levels.


Fully qualified and trained personnel and offering full table service, without exception. Table setting are typically set with linen table cloths & napkins, quality cutlery, crockery and glassware. Service should be astute, serving-staff uniformed and the décor sophisticated. The wine list should be generous with a selection of local and international wines.
These establishments can be reserved in style, and a smart dress code is usually required. These restaurants are not always suitable for young children, due to the standard that has to be upheld; prices; possible cover charges and gratuities expected. Pre-table reservations are normally required in these establishments.


Excellent restaurants that aim for, and achieve outstanding standards and better consistency than for the one Silver Spoon award. A greater precision is apparent in the cooking, and there will be obvious attention to the selection of quality ingredients.


The full standards specified for the one Silver Spoon awards must be satisfied without exception.


Fine or Up-Market Casual Dining Establishments. An outstanding restaurant in its category with consistent higher aspirations. One Silver Spoon Award:


Outstanding restaurants that aim for, and achieve higher standards and consistency. Precision is apparent in the cooking, and there will be obvious attention to the selection of quality ingredients.


These restaurants achieve standards that stand out in their local area. They serve very good food prepared with care, understanding and skill, using good quality ingredients, and in a pleasant environment. Could be family friendly, but clients should not expect a bargain as these restaurants would be more up-market than simpler establishments. The same expectations would apply to hotel restaurants where guests can dine in confidence and a sense of anticipation.
These Establishments are smart-casual in style and setting, generally welcoming and sociable. A pleasant ambience and decor, cleanliness and hygiene are of major importance throughout. Table service is a requirement through trained serving staff. Adequate table settings with good quality cutlery, glassware and linen napkins. Linen covered tables are a preferred. Harmonious, easy to follow, and well produced menus and wine lists must be available.


Blue Riband and Special Concept Awards are conferred as explained and detailed above.
These awards are prestigious in their own right, as recipients so awarded are very carefully selected from among the vast number of restaurants in the Maltese Islands, and form the basis of up-market, family, group, and general dining at a good value for money.


Restaurant Award Rules.


These awards shall be the result of careful deliberation. Directors’ reviews determine these results. Final award decisions will be taken at all times by the Directors of the WRMC.


Awards for a particular year will be announced in January of the following year, during the annual WRMC Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony which are held for this purpose.


The One Silver Spoon Award, will only be bestowed on a restaurant, on the above criteria, and the establishment must have been operated by the same owners, operators or management team, and with the same executive chef for not less than two years from the date preceding the award presentations.


Reno Spiteri,
Executive Director & Administrator.