The second edition of the Michelin Guide Malta was released on 9th April 2021 and features 31 restaurants across the islands of Malta and Gozo (the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago).
With international travel now on the horizon, we take a closer look at the restaurants which were newly added to this year’s Guide. These include five new restaurants awarded a Michelin Plate (where fresh ingredients are capably prepared to create a good meal), and one restaurant which went straight into the guide with a Michelin Star (dedicated article to follow).
The Fork and Cork, Rabat
The Fork and Cork started life in 2014 just a few doors down from its current location, before moving here in 2017. It’s a charming place, set in a historic building with exposed stone walls and original wooden beams – and its name describes its ethos perfectly.
Chef-owner Carl Zahra seems to be everywhere at once: you’ll find him not only in the kitchen but also out front serving, as well as recommending regional wines to go with his tasty pastas and other Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Cooking has an uncomplicated style and sees fresh ingredients carefully prepared.
Recommended dish: Papiri pasta di Gragnano with chicken and bacon
The Chophouse occupies a superb spot on Tigné Point and offers wonderful views across the harbour to Valletta, both from its modern dining room and its heated terrace. Service is friendly and attentive, and you can watch the chefs hard at work in the on-view kitchen.
Cooking takes its influences from around the globe and ingredients are prepared with care to achieve maximum flavour. The prime steaks are cooked on Malta’s largest charcoal grill.
Recommended dish: Beef flank with turnip, deep-fried pork stuffing and caper jus
This cosy, bustling basement brasserie sits in a side wing of the 17C Domus Zamittello Hotel, in the heart of the Old Town. It’s run by the same family as nearby Rubino but this time with the son taking the lead – and he greets all of his guests personally.
Good quality produce features in flavoursome dishes which have an Italian base and interesting Maltese and Arabic overtones.
Recommended dish: Grilled calamari with Lebanese seasoning, cherry tomatoes, sour cream and baked artichokes
Fernandõ Gastrotheque, Sliema
This small, cosy bistro sits in an understated side street – but its packed tables and often-booked private dining room signify that after just two years in business, plenty of people know it’s here.
The appetising Mediterranean cuisine showcases good quality ingredients and includes some delicious risottos. Surprisingly, for such a small restaurant, it’s also a hotspot for wine, with over 600 labels to choose from and an extensive selection available by the glass.
Recommended dish: Aged carnaroli rice with jamón broth, gamberi rossi and jamón de bellota
Zest, St Julian’s
One of the longest standing Asian restaurants in Malta, Zest is a stylish, laid-back spot, set within a chic hotel in the bustling St Julian’s district, not far from the sea. The efficient team deliver the dishes swiftly and prices won’t break the bank.
The fusion menu mixes influences from many different Asian countries, so you can choose anything from sushi to spicy Thai curry. Japanese and Thai dishes play the biggest roles but whatever you choose, freshness and quality are assured.
Recommended dish: Tempura of local red prawns