RESTAURANT REVIEW: LUNCH AT THE GALLEY.

The Galley is a new restaurant on Ta’ Xbiex Seafront.

Situated underneath the Royal Malta Yacht Club, I found the nautical theme very charming. At the entrance there are sailing style ropes tied around the columns, the tables have been white washed to give a lovely rustic vibe.

The view is absolutely calming. The sound of the sea. Valletta in the distance, makes this a peaceful retreat away from the stress of traffic or noisy people.

Perfect for dates with a loved one, families & friends spending quality time together, or an impressive place for a business meeting. The atmosphere is welcoming, the staff are also extremely friendly and helpful.

The food is as amazing as the view.

view from the galley
Photo is taken from their Facebook page.

Since it was a beautiful day we asked to be seated outside, November and still 20 degrees. I am definitely living in the right country.

wine wine and glasses

We ordered a bottle of Chateau Peyruchet bordeaux blanc, which is a beautiful French white wine. Very easy to drink, smooth, and citrus flavoured. Perfectly complimenting our starter of Gravlax (which came highly recommended by the restaurant).

Gravlax

gravalax

Gravlax is a Norse salmon dish served with a dill/mustard dressing.

Plated beautifully, it looked almost too good to eat! I enjoyed the dressing as it gave the salmon an interesting zesty kick. Between us this was devoured pretty quickly. When you have a good appetiser it sets the tone and you can rest assured that the rest of the meal will be good. We were very excited to receive our mains.

Prawn Linguine & Smokey Ribs.

pasta ribs

Prawn Linguine 

I have been seeing photo’s of this dish on my facebook feed for the past couple of weeks, my expectation was placed rather high up on the proverbial pedestal.

This dish did not disappoint.

Even better than I imagined, the linguine was cooked just right… that sauce my oh my it was mouthwatering. Rich, creamy, not overpoweringly tomatoey. The king prawns are delicious, soft and tender and delightfully flavoured by the sauce. I had to love the slices of marrow (one of my favourite vegetables). The portion size was perfect generous but not overwhelming. I became blissfully sleepy from the wine, sun and great food! It’s been a while since I felt so relaxed.

Smokey Ribs

What really impressed me was how obviously tender the meat was before even tasting it. The meat literally fell off the bone, no need to cut at it. When I did take a bite I was surprised that the sauce wasn’t sticky like most ribs are. The chips were excellent, so fluffy inside whilst the outside was perfectly crispy. I have never seen my partner stop eating meat to eat the chips so that really says it all.

We ended the meal with a Cappuccino for me and a Frangelico for my partner. We skipped dessert since we were both full. Although now looking at some of the treats they have posted on their Facebook page I am tempted… It gives me a very good reason to go back soon…

It was an absolutely perfect afternoon, and the prices are very reasonable.
I didn’t see a website listed, to make a reservation you can call on +356 21318801.
Or find them on Facebook.

Love Steph x

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: FRE{N}SH – FRESH & FRENCH BAKES

There is a new bakery on the block, and it’s pure heaven.
Part of me didn’t want to write this post, so I could keep Fre{n}sh as my little secret! But that wouldn’t be fair on my readers so I am going to shout across the blogosphere just how amazing this bakery truly is.

Fre{n}sh is a start-up ‘Home-Made’ Patisserie Snack Bar located in the heart of Balluta Bay – St’Julians. As a new concept, Fre{n}sh is introducing the true French traditional Tartelettes, Patisserie, Quiches and the world-renowned Viennoiserie in Malta. Our home-made products are to be prepared by a French Pâtissier & Boulanger as to adhere to true French standards of quality, freshness and taste.” – Fre{n}sh

As soon as I heard about them I knew I had to check them out…
I am so so glad I did because their pastries are a dream, in fact last week I went twice! I am a naughty blogger I know, but how could I resist? Seriously?

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I adore that you can see the chef’s preparing everything fresh in the back. It was lovely to see them threading the pastry dough through the machine, the wonderful smell of deliciousness being baked. The team are also so so friendly, happy to explain what everything is and recommend.

CHÈVRE ÉPINARD QUICHE” & “FRUITS DES BOIS TARTELETTE“.

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CHÈVRE ÉPINARD is a quiche containing goats cheese and spinach. Utterly divine, the light and fluffy filling had a bounce to each bite whilst the pastry remained firm and crisp.

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FRUITS DES BOIS TARTELETTE. The star of the show and a wonderfully made custard tart with forest fruits. The fruit was extremely fresh. I loved the combination of berries used. The contrast between the slightly sharp fruits against the sweetness of the custard was perfect. The pastry was so delicate and crumbled just a little as I bit into it.

It is quite possibly one of the best pastries I have ever tasted, I don’t have enough words to explain how good this was! Fre{n}sh is only a few weeks old, but already making waves. I wish the team the best of luck, I can’t wait to visit again and drool over the numerous goodies they have on display.

You can find them on Facebook & Instagram.
Or check out their Website for more info.

Love Steph x

RESTAURANT REVIEW: LUNCH AT SALVINO’S

Valletta is the capital city of Malta, also recently awarded the status of “European Capital of Culture 2018“. Not only is it full of beautiful baroque architecture it’s also a really great place to go for for scrumptious food.

Spoilt for choice it can be hard to choose a venue, so when a friend posted a photo to facebook of a beautifully presented plate of deliciousness I had to put it on my restaurant “To Do” list. Luckily for you readers that list is rather endless, so expect regular foodie features on this blog.

I am no food critic and this blog is not a place where I will share bad reviews, I am a self confessed food lover and I want to highlight some of the amazing establishments that I come across. Salvino’s is one of those jewels, currently under new management so if you have visited in the past be sure to visit it again.

salvinos

Situated next to St. Georges Square (in front of the police station) is this chic, charming & rustic restaurant. Typical Maltese stone walls and chalk board menus, small and bustling with Maltese families.

The waitress sat us down and asked if we would like to see the wine list. She brought over a little chalk board which had white on one side and red on the other, the prosecco caught my eye I have been favouring sparkling wine recently.

wine list salvinos proseccomenu salvinos menu salvinos

The prosecco had a lovely subtle flavour, easy to drink with a citrus hint, which would compliment our meal beautifully. We skipped starters and ordered mains. I ordered the “Rack of Veal” and my partner the “Rack of Lamb“. Whilst we were waiting the waitress brought over a basket of fresh bread and olives.

fresh bread at salvinos

The bread was delicious, don’t you love it when bread is covered in sesame seeds? I am a fanatic for freshly baked bread although so not to fill up we shared one with a slathering of butter. I am so glad we stopped at one because when our mains arrived my jaw dropped. These are portions for hungry people!

THE MAINS

Rack of Veal & Rack of Lamb with roasted vegetables.

rack of veal at salvinos rack of lamb at salvinos

The presentation was aesthetically pleasing, with the roasted veg layered under the meat.

The veal was tender and cooked perfectly, delicate and succulent. The texture was soft and easy to cut. There was no over powering sauce or gravy to distract from the flavour. I very rarely order veal but I am so glad I did, it was one of the dishes recommended to me as their speciality and it was absolutely divine.

The Lamb was equally impressive, with a slightly peppery taste the meat was also soft, tender and easy to remove from the bone. Lamb is a meat that can often taste quite dry but this was truly mouthwatering, not over cooked and also with no sauces or gravies to distract from the taste.

The roasted vegetables were crisp, I really enjoyed the marrows where as my partner loved the aubergine. The waitress had forgotten to bring us roast potatoes, which actually was better for us, since the portion sizes were large they would have gone to waste.

When who I presume to be the manager (or owner) noticed that the potatoes were missing he apologised profusely and made sure to comment that we should have a discount added to our bill. It was a nice gesture and we told the gentleman that it really was ok, that we are extremely happy and not to worry about it, he insisted that it shouldn’t have happened and how sorry they are.

Customer service goes a long way and the manners and actions of the staff at Salvino’s are fantastic. 

When another gentleman came to take the plates I asked if I could keep the bone for my dog, he smiled and told me that I will have a very happy doggy and that it’s not a problem at all. Another point for Salvino’s customer service. He then asked if we would like to try something sweet.

We decided that we would get something small to share… After all Sunday lunch is the perfect excuse to go a little crazy, without feeling guilt for doing so, dessert yes please!

THE DESSERT

Custard Tart & Fruit Flan.

dessert at salvinos

Oooo and Ahhh

Yes this was a seriously impressive dessert to share. The pastry on the tart was firm, the custard sweet and the fruit delectable. I savoured every bite, then I tried the flan which was more savoury and had a slight almond taste to the base. It was scrumptious and something my partner devoured…

I love that when you want something to share they divide it. I then ordered a cappuccino and my partner an amaretto. We stayed talking for a while and then asked for the bill. We were not rushed at all and I really enjoyed my first dining experience at Salvino’s.

The prices for the quality of food was very affordable, I noticed from Facebook that they have an offer for December. Set menus are available upon request and start from €40 including premium wines.

You can find them on Facebook or their Website.
Phone: +356 99490456.

Love Steph x

RESTAURANT REVIEW: LUNCH AT SAN ANDREA.

San Andrea has been on my restaurant “to do” list for forever.

After seeing a mixture of photos popping up on my facebook feed, it piqued my interest. I tried to visit once before, unfortunately the time I called they were closed and we were too hungry to wait for the dinner service to start. So this morning I made it a mission, I did a quick facebook search to check their hours and called to reserve a table for lunch.

San Andrea is set inside the courtyard of 17th century Palazzo Castelletti in Rabat, and specialise in a blend of contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with French influences. I didn’t want to disturb other diners by attempting to take photos, so I borrowed these beautiful pictures from Facebook. The place looks so wonderful at night…

1426263_570663013021836_1008138225_n 1601014_725059317582204_7112751450011821700_n 10417466_725058860915583_1518809122893381834_n 10629600_725059190915550_7286790423598450574_n courtyard at night courtyard during the day

Upon arrival we were given a choice to sit inside under the AC or in the courtyard. Since today was a lovely day, warm but with a cool breeze we chose to bask in the sun. It was such a nice way to spend lunch there was a few families and couples who also indulged in the courtyard and the atmosphere was quiet and romantic.

Since it was Sunday lunch they had a set menu we could choose from.
The choice was fantastic, and as per usual me and my partner ordered different dishes so we could each steal a taste from the others plates.

THE STARTERS

Chestnut gnocchi (V) Cream of porcini and local thyme, aged pecorino, herb oil. 
&
Linguini nero di sepia Mixed shellfish, sundried tomatoes and fresh herbs.

bread and dips gnocci Linguini nero di sepia

Whilst waiting for our starters to arrive we were given complimentary bread, dip and condiments. I didn’t catch what the green dip was but its delicious, there were a selection of bread, either a small brown roll or a rectangle white thick slice which was spongy yet the crust was firm.

Chestnut gnocchi: I have always loved gnocchi, although it’s not a dish I order very often simply because of how filling it is, the portion size was generous, I planned to leave a few in order not to ruin my main, but they definitely didn’t go to waste! My partner happily took the last bites.

I enjoyed the flavours and have an addiction for porcini mushrooms. I did find that it was a bit too creamy and at times I needed to take a few good sips of water, but over all I really enjoyed this dish. The gnocchi was cooked perfectly.

Linguini nero di sepia: I couldn’t resit a bite or two, the linguini was al dente and the sauce was amazing, not to rich and the mussels were delicous. The sun dried tomatoes had a nice bite to them and wasn’t too salty.

THE MAINS

Pan roasted Duck breast, Olive oil mash, vegetable ribbons, teriyaki sauce.
&
Pan roasted fillet of salmon, Ratatouille, baba ganoush, chive mash, red chilli beurre blanc.

duck salmon mixed veg

The presentation of each dish is excellent and enticing.

Pan roasted fillet of salmon: The salmon was exquisite, and I loved the mash potato with chives, even though I have never been a mash potato fan the chives really gave it a kick (note to self: I must remember to google recipes for later). I liked the red sauce which had quite a sharp taste. I enjoyed the mixed vegetables as well, I couldn’t resist adding to my plate a few perfectly roasted crunchy potatoes. I really liked the broccoli and carrots which were still crisp.

Pan roasted Duck breast: My partner ordered the duck, one of his favourite meats. It was tender and slightly crispy on the outside. The sauce was fruity and the vegetable ribbons were cooked al dente. He was really impressed by the portion, and the size was ideal.

We had ordered a bottle of “Mount Nelson” and Italian wine produced in New Zealand, the Sauvignon Blanc is a bottle we are very familiar with and tend to order when we see it on the menu. Dry, delicate and citrus the wine complimented the courses perfectly.

THE DESSERT

Dark chocolate panacotta, Sauce anglaise, blueberry ripple ice-cream.

Strawberry cheese tart, Coconut sorbet, fresh berries.

chocolate pannacotta strawberry tart

Strawberry cheese tart & Coconut sorbet: When the plate arrived the sorbet was starting to melt, so it was the first thing I devoured. The sorbet was divine with a lovely sweet coconut taste which wasn’t artificial, and I loved that it was paired with a soft streusel base.

The strawberry cheese tart was excellent. Creamy but not to rich or overly sweet. The texture was smooth and each bite melted in my mouth. I also liked the forest fruit which accompanied the tart, but I do think they could have added a couple more berries. But overall I think it was truly delectable.

Dark chocolate panacotta & blueberry ripple ice-cream: The icecream was sublime, something a little different so I really enjoyed my bite of this, although the pannacotta for me would have been to much my partner really enjoyed it.

The staff are exceptional, very friendly and attentive. They checked on us through out our meal, often topping up our wine and water. I thoroughly enjoyed lunch and look forward to coming back for dinner to experience a full menu. I was very impressed at the options from the set menu, it didn’t feel restricted and I was actually tempted by quite a few dishes.

I would totally recommend San Andrea to couples, or families and groups of friends as the atmosphere is warm, inviting and can be both romantic as well as relaxed. I really felt comfortable dining here.

If you would like to visit San Andrea then you can find them:

Website
Facebook
Phone: (+356) 2145 2562

Love Steph x

DINNER AT TICO TICO

It’s been a long time since we went out on a Friday night!
However I bought new shoe’s and needed an excuse to wear them out…

I suggested to my partner we go to Tico Tico in Valletta since I’ve never been before and wanted to go for a while. Tico Tico is a super trendy restaurant by day and turns into a energetic, vibrant bar at night. Tables are limited so we made sure to book in advance. We were really lucky because we were seated in the sofa section.

I love the atmosphere Tico Tico has to offer, with red decadent sofas and chairs lining Strait Street. The original sign is hung proudly above the door (which I am guessing has seen some scandalous moments involving sailors) a reminder of a time when Valletta was a hub for night life. Around the door there are little quotes saying “What happens at Tico Tico stays at Tico Tico” and “Come in for a… Juicy Cocktail, Sneaky Shot, Couple of free hugs“. I found them cute and amusing it added to the charm.

DOORPhoto from their facebook page.

By 9pm most of the tables were full an it was starting to pack up, I loved being sat outside watching people chatting and chilling out. The vibe was uplifting.

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The specials were written on a little slate board, and our waiters were so helpful.
One of the things that caught my eye was that they served “Organic wine” unfortunately it had already sold out. Our lovely waiter recommended a bottle of prosecco which was the same price, I am so glad he did because it turned out to be a really lovely bottle of bubbly. If you ever get the chance to try out FASHION prosecco, do so you wont be disappointed.

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Intense primary aroma, fresh and light. very well balanced, appealing and crisp, with the extremely delicate almond note that is typical of Prosecco. – FASHION PROSECCO.

We skipped starters and ordered “Mussels in Garlic” and Grilled Fresh Tuna“.

They brought us over a big basket of bread whilst we were waiting.

The bread was delicious and fresh and came in the form of a miniature “Maltese loaf“. For my foreign readers Maltese bread is a sourdough with a thick crust and the inside is soft and fluffy, it’s perfect for dipping into sauces and soaking up flavours, which we dipped into a little olive oil and pepper.

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It didn’t take very long for our food to arrive, I think we only managed a couple of bites from the bread.
I had ordered the “Mussels in Garlic” and my partner the “Grilled Tuna“.

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As you can see the portion sizes are quite generous.

I was actually very impressed by the tuna, and stole quite a few bites, the flavour was full bodied, grilled to perfection on the outside and very tender, each bite melted in my mouth. It was so good my partner was still mentioning it this morning. I enjoyed the mussels, they were small but juicy and there was quite a few in the bowl. I am a huge seafood fan and the white wine sauce was amazing, so much so that we soaked every single drop up using the bread. The chips on the side was crisp and not to oily, and my partner enjoyed his side salad so much he even stole my piece of rucola!

As you can imagine the wine and the food was filling, so it was nice to lean back in our chairs and take it all in whilst we digest…

Not long after our waitress tempted us into dessert. We shared a slice of “Chocolate Cake” between the two of us.

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It was very rich so I think a slice shared was the perfect size. There was a delicious crunch to the crust whilst the inside of the cake was moist and fluffy. The sauce was delectable, and not over whelming it added that extra layer of chocolate goodness. It really didn’t take very long for us to have polished off the plate.

The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, they knew the menu inside out. The service was very fast, we wasn’t waiting very long for our meal. The chef did a marvellous job… The only one bad point was that the organic wine had finished, but it gives us another reason to return!

The prices are really good and for a meal for two and a bottle of bubbly it was a tad over 50 euros. I really enjoyed having a break from the mainstream, it’s lovely to experience Valletta at night. I totally recommend everyone to check it out…

For anyone that would like to book:
Tel: 21220449
Facebook

Love Steph x