16 November 2017
Any foodie worth their salt should include Malta on their bucket list. Prepare yourself for divine gastronomic revelations when visiting this scenic island-nation, which is renowned for its elegant waterfront dining, delicious Mediterranean-style dishes, flavoursome wine and more…
Malta has an array of tantalising delicacies for you to savour. The national dish is Kunserva, a sweetened tomato puree served on hard crusty bread, which you can find throughout the country. Another must-try treat is pastizzi; a filo pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese. Visit the Crystal Palace coffee shop in Rabat to taste some of the best Pastizzi in the country. Pastry-lovers should also try imqaret – sweet date and spice-filled packages – at cafes like L’Aroma in Sliema. Indulge yourself by eating Ħobż biż-żejt – Maltese bread cooked with virgin olive oil, which is available at most local bakeries.
Malta is a country for meat-lovers. Head to the Ta’ Kris restaurant in Sliema for some fantastic bragioli, a dish composed of slice beef stuffed with minced beef and cooked slowly in Italian herbs. Other dishes to try include fenek (Maltese rabbit stew) and the famously salty Maltese sausages. Pick these up at outdoor venues like Valletta’s famous Sunday ‘Il Monti’ markets. Head to Gozo and try its famous ‘gbejniet’ small cheeses. Made with sheep or goat’s milk cheese, they come in dried, fresh and cured forms.
If you’re in the Mediterranean, you know you’re in for a first-class seafood meal. Malta’s most famous seafood dishes are lampuki pie – where lampuki fish is mixed with Arabic and Italian flavours and wrapped in pastry; and an octopus stew called stuffat tal-qarnit. We’d recommend you try the lampuki pie at the Busy Bee Café in the northern town of Msida – it’s delicious. Other top seafood eateries include Guzé Bistro in Valletta – renowned for its sea bass, and Trattoria da Pippo – a cosy cellar hidden down the city’s back streets which serves great lobster ravioli. Also stop by La Stanza in Gozo’s capital Victoria, where you can try the tastiest sea urchin sauce in all of Malta.
One stop that’s destined for your itinerary is the apiary of Arnold Grech in Mellieha to the north of the main island. This beekeeper has been producing some of Malta’s best honey for 65 years and by visiting his apiary, you can learn how he does it! Another good spot is the Ta-Rikardu restaurant on Gozo, which has a farm where you can see how gbejniet cheeses are made. No trip to Malta is complete before you check out the Xwejni Salt Pans in north Gozo, which produces some of the finest salt in Europe!
The Maltese love their olive oil and wine, giving you a selection of scenic locations to explore. Venture out to Roman villa San Pawl Milqi near St Paul’s Bay, where you can find out about the historic olive oil-making process. Top wineries include the Ta’Mena winery in Gozo, which is known for producing fruity full-bodied white vintages, and the San Niklaw Estate in the south-east of the main island. At San Niklaw, buy standout reds such as Mourvèdre and Syrah, along with the premium olive oil produced from the site’s 500 tree-strong olive grove.
Experience elegant water-front dining in Malta, where the coast is lined by charming restaurants. Take in the majesty of Valletta’s Grand Harbour at Panorama. Based on the Harbour’s edge, this sophisticated eatery provides refined cuisine like truffled gnocchi and rabbit terrine along with a with unique gin and whiskey collection. The Harbour Club is a great restaurant. Located in a converted warehouse, they offer brilliant food with seating overlooking the harbour. Ta’Phillip in Gozo is another fantastic option. Here you can savour local cuisine made with seasonal produce in wood-fired ovens while enjoying views of Mgarr Harbour. Ta’Phillip is also the perfect venue for a romantic meal, as you can enjoy a wonderful night in the venue’s candle-lit wine cellar.