Gozo and Malta Food Report
Here are some recommendations and 'misses' in Gozo and Malta based on our recent trip. Note that many of the restaurants are closed during Winter in Gozo so best to plan in advance.
It Tmun in Victoria, Gozo, which we found in the Lonely Planet Guidebook. We were the only customers in the restaurant due to the low season/end of Jan. The food was spectacular, service was also very courteous. We got the steak with pepper sauce, linguine with lobster sauce, and for dessert (the best part), the most heavenly chocolate chilli cheesecake ever! This was one of the best meals we’ve had! Everything cooked to perfection, including the side plate of veggies and potatoes that are usually so bland in other restaurants. Highly recommend this restaurant. It is closed on Thursdays.
A friend and local in Xaghra both suggested that we eat lunch at ‘Gesthers’ which is near the village square beside a snack bar place. It is inexpensive and has really good local food! We had a vegetable soup and a delicious local fish called Awrat. We only saw locals coming in and out of the place so know it was a good find!
Le Val D’Or in XLENDI, GOZO.
Food here was nice however wouldn’t suggest coming out of your way to come here. The owners are very friendly and personable and don’t rush you out. We ordered the grilled king prawns and the duck with honey and lemon. The owner also gave us some complimentary bruschetta as a starter which was yummy. Both mains were good.
C Seven in XLENDI, GOZO
Food here was lovely, and the café latte was very very good. They prepare all the food fresh so it takes a while for some dishes, however the wait is worth it. We ordered the fennel and orange salad which was nice, the pepperoncini pasta which had such simple flavours but was delicious and cooked just right, and the pizza which was very fresh, hot, and what we were craving. Highly recommend this place. Décor is very nice, and the owners are very efficient and courteous. Relaxing music playing in the background if this is important to you. ☺
Ta Frenc……thought we’d try the top rated restaurant of the island. They’re only open from Fri to Sun for lunch and dinner during Winter.
We were the only ones in the restaurant which added to the appeal of it. It’s set in a gorgeous renovated farmhouse with lovely little details. Staff is very professional which is true of most Maltese restaurants we’ve been to. The food was delicious from beginning to end. They served hot homemade bread with amazing olive oil and Gozo sea salt. Meals were based on local produce. Lots of meat and vegetarian options. The tortellini was divine, soup was incredible, and both of our mains were amazing. It is pricy however they have a reasonable 4-course market menu for €28. We preferred It Tmun for desserts though and still dream about their chocolate chilli cheesecake. ☺ However we had a lovely night out at Ta Frenc and would recommend it for a one-time splash-out experience.
Ta Kris in SLIEMA, MALTA. It’s on a little alley off a main road. We had a lovely dinner here! You should make reservations if you can, as we went early and they only had 2 tables available. It’s a rustic atmosphere and the staff is very good. The food was delicious! We ordered the pasta with marrow and a creamy oregano sauce…….amazing! And we had a grilled local fish called Aurat which was also very nice. The chocolate mousse for dessert was so-so. On a second meal to Ta Kris, we ordered the steak with pepper sauce which was cooked perfectly for us. :)
Mathew’s Bar and Restaurant, Marsaxlokk, MALTA
The seafood in Marsaxlokk looked amazingly fresh so we were really looking forward to lunchtime. We ordered the King Prawns with garlic, lemon, and parsley on rice, and it came with loads of extra sides such as potatoes, vegetables, salad, and French fries. The food here was delicious. Their fresh orange juice was also so sweet. The prices here were much better than the other restaurant menus we saw. We had a yummy lunch.
We heard good reviews about this Greek inspired restaurant Bouzouki, however it was unfortunately closed either due to it being a weekend or the low season! Next time.
-Fontanella Tea Gardens
There are also very nice views of Malta nearby Fontanella Tea Gardens where we had some delicious cakes, mocha, and fresh orange juice. This was a highlight of our trip to Mdina.
We also had a ftira sandwich at the Old Priory Café and that was an average snack.
BACCHUS in Mdina, Malta
the menu looked really interesting to us, and there was an interesting history behind the buildings. First was Bacchus which was an old gunpowder magazine of sorts. We decided to have a couple of appetizers here. We ordered a sole with orange and green peppercorn sauce, a lobster ravioli type dish with ginger sauce, and a ‘porcini mushroom cappuccino’, basically a fancy name for soup. We were expecting these dishes to be very tasty and flavourful, however, everything except for the mushroom cappuccino was bland. And they charge an extra 18% VAT tax as well as a €1 per person cover charge. We weren’t aware about the tax which was a bit annoying. The food was nothing special and we wouldn’t go back. You are allowed however to enter the restaurant and take a look around if you like.
Mdina Restaurant, MDINA, MALTA
Mdina Restaurant had nice reviews on Trip Advisor. So we decided to have a couple of starters here as well. This is supposed to be a top-notch restaurant. It is very pretty inside with nice architectural and design details, as well as a warm ambiance. However, our food had come cold to the table and it was very below average. E.G. the parmesan crisps with our risotto were mushy and the gnocchi with mushrooms was bland. The waiter did not seem happy to heat our food and the service was very hurried. This restaurant also charges an extra 18% VAT tax which we were unaware of. We have not encountered this earlier in the cafes in Mdina or any other restaurants in Gozo and Malta.
Caffe Cordina, VALLETTA, MALTA
Had lunch at the much talked-about Caffe Cordina. The décor is over-the-top as others have said, however, the food is very average tasting and priced.
Odd that some places appear to add VAT and others don't. I presume this means that the others have already incorporated it into their menu prices? Seems a rather shabby way of appearing to have cheaper prices than expected. I mean it's more usual for a country to have a consistent way - say, as in the UK, VAT is incorporated whilst in Spain it is shown separately.