The lasting relationships between the Islanders of Malta and many other relationships has played an instrumental role in giving birth to new cultures. A noteworthy heritage of the Islanders is the Maltese cuisine that is as a result of broad-range mix of Mediterranean cooking with an array of tastes pleasant to your taste buds. The restaurant scene in Malta is always a buzz of activities with a special blend of both specialty restaurants and local eateries that will serve you their different versions of the tasty island cuisines.
What type of food is traditional Maltese?
Different seasons in Malta bring forth different cuisines. There are always specialty cuisines to look forward to in the island if you are visiting. You could try Rabbit stew, kapunata (The local version of ratatouille), lampuki pie (a form of fish pie), Bragioli (beef olives) or the widow’s soup that comprises of round Gbejniet (goat’s or sheep cheese), which is small in shape. If you are walking along the streets, get on one of the food shop counters and try a thick pate of beans prepared with garlic called Bigilla among other snacks like ‘hobz biz-zejt’ (a type of round bread that is dipped in olive oil then rubbed with ripe tomatoes then filled with bled of onion, tomatoes, capers, garlic and tuna and pastizzi (a type of flaky pastry parcel that is filled with either mushy peas or ricotta).
Take a trip to the fish market
You should take a Sunday morning walk to the Marsaxlokk fish market and get to marvel at the wide range of fish species that available at the fish market. IF you are lucky get there when the fish are in abundance, you can find dott (stone fish), spnotta (bass), aljotta (fish soup), cerna (grouper), sargu (white bream), dentici (dentex) and trill (red mullet) depending on the season. You can also find the tuna and swordfish in late autumn season. You can also not afford to miss squid and octopus that can make you some tasty pasta sauces and stews.
A guide to the Top Maltese Cuisine Restaurants
Malta is full of specialty restaurants that will have your faced stuffed with delicious dishes. Here are some of the top restaurants you should visit while in Malta.
Ta Marija Restaurant
This restaurant is the epitome of Maltese culture and it was awarded the ‘The Best Maltese Food Restaurant’ for a period of ten years running with some of its greatest servings including wine, Maltese food, heritage and culture. While visiting the Ta Marija, be sure to enjoy the themed nights, the Folklore dinner shows slated for Wednesday and Friday nights and catch musicians playing their guitars and mandolins for some sweet Maltese tunes to cap your night. The Saturday evenings are quite quaint and you are sure of grooving to some of the local tunes from the local popular entertainers on their well-lit dance floor. Afterwards, get to enjoy the delicious Carvery Buffets not only on Saturday but Sunday too.
Ta Kris Restaurant
Go on a little adventure and discover the hidden treasure of Malta that is Ta Kris restaurant that is located in an alley just few paces away from the Sliema, the most sought after retail centre in the region. This humbly-nestled spot will offer you an escape from the busy streets full of high-street bands and buzz of activities and enjoy some of the best Maltese dishes in a homespun environment.
The place is generally rustic in nature because it was formerly a bakery and when you walk in, you will probably see the old bakery still installed neatly in place giving it quite a touch up. Everything about the restaurant is homespun, including the menu that will have you reminded of mum’s cooking with some of the highlights being home-made fresh soup, braggioli (stuffed beef slices), home-made beef stew, rabbit and spnot (sea bass) among other Mediterranean and Italian cuisines like fillets and pastas. Its proximity to several retail outlets and offices makes it quite busy. Book your space in advance and get to enjoy on or more of the daily specials.
Speaking of an interesting find, Il-Merils fits the criteria. This little Sliema gem I tucked away in a peaceful that is just few minutes away from the Sliema seafront. Patrick and Melanie are the proud owners of this little gem who have invested their passion into the restaurant and their efforts bore fruits. Patrick makes sure that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes while Melanie is the hospitality guru in ensuring that the customers are fully attended to, just adding to the sum and substance of the restaurant.
The food comprises a combination of traditional and specialty meals that are prepared by Patrick who has a passion for traditional Maltese dishes and it is quite evident through the presentation to the taste of the meals. You could order some bragoli, rabbit or octopus among other daily specials completed with an array of selected exotic dishes like seafood, meats and pasta plus desserts.
You are going to have a memorable experience and the food will just be the icing on the cake plus the intimate nature of restaurant that comes to life when Melanie does her thing all through from Monday to Sunday. You would better book your space in advance because the restaurant is quite limited in size.
Tac-Canti Bar & Restaurant
The Fenkata is definitely one of the most traditional Maltese dishes and the locals will definitely confirm this o you if you ask around. The Fenkata is a type of shared dish that consists stewed or fried rabbit nd Mgarr is probably the best village around to fully enjoy your Fenkata. It is because of Tac-Canti that Mgarr has grown to receive the reputation it deserves, located just adjacent to the spacious parvis of the picturesque parish church of Mgarr. The local owners of the restaurant have a passion for serving genuine Maltese cuisines and in most cases you are going to find both of them very busy in the kitchen making sure that their clientele enjoy the best of local dishes.
The restaurant is a specialist in preparing the laham taz-ziemel (horse meat), fenek (rabbit), summien (quail) and bebbux (snails). The surrounding is not only friendly but also warm. After a sumptuous dish, be sure to wash it down with some beer ot wine as you enjoy laughs with the ever friendly locals as you get into the local character of things in the island.