So your holiday accommodation in Malta is sorted and all that’s missing is a taster of the culinary delights the island has to offer.
When it comes to tastebud indulgence, we’ve got you covered, as Malta brings together the freshest and most exquisite Mediterranean ingredients into some truly wonderful dishes and delicacies. Here’s the official Hotel Valentina top 5 list of foodie must-tries
- The iconic pastizzi
- Bruschetta & Mediterranean nibbles
- Grilled fish
- Cisk / Kinnie
1. The iconic pastizzi
There’s good reason why everyone goes wild for these warm, little parcels of happiness. Maltese pastizzi – the loose translation would be a ‘pea cake’ or a ‘cheese cake’, depending on which filling you opt for – are the ultimate comfort food that you will have no problem finding. Every cafe, from the hipster joints to the posh eateries, will offer their version. The cherry on the cake? They’re incredibly good value for money!
2. Bruschetta & Mediterranean nibbles
It’s not only the Spanish that can rock a meze table. The Maltese will give them a good run for their money, guaranteed. From variations on the Italian-born bruschetta (check out the ones served with Maltese sausage… to die for!) to platters featuring olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and the unique Maltese gbejna (cheeselet), your foodie experience will be one to remember. Just find a little village corner bar, order a pint of Cisk (more about that later) and the snacks will start making their way to your table.
Now, I know that this may be a difficult one to wrap their heads around for some. But trust us when we say that nothing spells deliciousness as strongly as an expertly-prepared rabbit stew, accompanied by crispy fries. No-one quite knows how or why this became a thing in Maltese cuisine, but one thing’s sure – those who try rabbit once will usually come back for more. Drop in at the rabbit cuisine capital of Malta, the charming village of Mgarr – top-notch fayre at very friendly prices.
4. Grilled fish
When you’re holidaying on a Mediterranean island, you’re assured of one thing. The fresh catch of the day will be expertly prepared and brought to your table in full glory. Want to impress with your knowledge? Ask for a cippullazz to share, by the weight. It may be a mouthful to pronounce, but it tastes sublime. The best way to enjoy it? At one of the pretty restaurants that line the water’s edge in St Julian’s or Marsaxlokk.
5. Cisk & Kinnie
Because yes, Malta also boasts a great beer and soft drink tradition. Cisk beer 🍻 is something of a legend – ask for it by the pint, just make sure that you pronounce it ‘chisk’ as in church, and the bartender will be pretty well impressed. This beer, which is locally brewed, has drawn accolades from all over the world.
If you’re not into beer, you do need to try out Kinnie 🥤, the national soft beverage. A tantalising taste of bittersweet, citrusy flavours, there’s nothing that quenches your thirst as satisfyingly as a chilled bottle of Kinnie.
Now, you might be wondering where to find all this good stuff. The good news is that The Avenue Restaurant, which is like a one-minute stroll away from Hotel Valentina, serves the best-loved Maltese classics mentioned above, and you can take a peek at there menu here.