In the property world the key words would be location, location, location; and whilst this post is not about property, these guys have a lot going for them in these terms too. It is situated opposite the Grand Master’s Palace, facing St. George’s square fountains in Valletta. Let’s face it, your food is going to automatically taste a tad better if you’re looking at something beautiful. Or is it just me?

(And does that mean that your dinner improves if you’re eating with a beautiful person? Hmm.)

I visited twice recently – both times with a group of 20 or so people. The thought of such  large tables mostly brings up memories of disorganisation, messes in bills, orders left out and so on. Admittedly it’s not the most straight-forward thing to deal with and though I have no experience in catering I am sure that there’s a lot of orchestration going on. Our table was outside and there was always a waiter or two buzzing around without intruding too much.

At Malata – only the tiniest of glitches on one occasion (most likely caused by one or two people changing their order). Kudos.

The gnocchi with prawns are light and airy as described, the flavours delicate. An excellent starter, but the larger portion ordered as a main is not for big eaters. I cannot find it in the online menu at the moment, but I would recommend the starter portion if you’re going for a heavier fish or meat main.

The chicken pâté is probably the best I’ve ever tasted – though I am not a pâté person. Smear some on a chunk of fresh Maltese bread and let it overtake your taste buds. This is a delicious start to your meal.

The greatest indulgence was to be had with their Tournedos Rossini, an Irish fillet cooked to your liking (and they get it right) topped with foie gras (pictured above). There’s this controversy to think about as regards the foie gras, but that goes beyond the scope of my blog. If that isn’t enough to put you off though, go go go for it as it is quite impressive. They’re not skimpy with the foie gras. I usually prefer my fillet as plain as possible, perhaps with a sauce on the side – but I’ll make an exception for this one. You’re likely to ask for extra bread to mop up that Calvados sauce after you’ve dipped anything possible in it. Yes. The main dishes are served with crispy steamed vegetables and roasted or Gratin Dauphinois potatoes, both of which are divine.

I went for the Madagascan Vanilla Crème Brulee for dessert. Again, another crisis related to my choice so I try to enjoy every spoonful. Delicious and creamy but not too sweet and the portion size is generous enough to share if one were so inclined.

The prices are average to slightly above average, the ambience charming (it’s Valletta!)and the service energetic – an overall great combination. On Tuesdays and Fridays there’s a Jazz band playing, not your any run-of-the-mill band either. Just, you know, cherry on the cake. And coincidentally I was there on those days 🙂

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