The Third Edition of the Malta Michelin Guide

The new Michelin Guide recognises the outstanding restaurants, breadth of cuisine styles and culinary skills found in Malta, Gozo and Comino. Established in the late 19th century, Michelin has maintained its benchmark of international food for more than 120 years, recognising some of the greatest restaurants in the world.

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta is establishing itself as a gastronomic destination which serves up a wide range of dishes influenced by the many civilisations that made these islands their home. In a bid to embrace the long standing and diverse culinary history of these islands, the Malta Tourism Authority has been championing local, sustainable gastronomy that tips its hat to traditional methods within the context of a modern and buzzing restaurant scene.

The five restaurants which have retained their one-MICHELIN Star status are: Under Grain, Valletta; Noni, Valletta; ION – The Harbour, Valletta; De Mondion, Mdina; and Bahia, Balzan, which retained its Michelin Star even after moving location from Lija.

A new Bib Gourmand joins the selection, bringing the total number of ‘Bibs’ to four. Grain Street in Valletta is from the same stable as MICHELIN-Starred restaurant Under Grain and serves great value sharing platters. The three other restaurants that retained their Bib Gourmands are: Terrone, Birgu; Rubino, Valletta; and Commando in Mellieħa. These restaurants all represent the very definition of a Bib Gourmand: good quality, good value cooking.

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, said: “Thanks to the increasing optimism surrounding Covid-19, many people are starting to think about travel and holidays once again. The beautiful islands of Malta and Gozo should be on everyone’s list. Five MICHELIN Stars, 4 Bib Gourmands and 22 recommended restaurants mean there is plenty of choice when it comes to eating out”.

Besides Grain Street, inspectors found three other restaurants worthy of a place in the MICHELIN Guide. Marea in Kalkara is a cool, contemporary restaurant with a tiered terrace overlooking the Grand Harbour, and its kitchen mixes Mediterranean food with Japanese influences. AKI in Valletta is a stylish basement restaurant with an Asian-influenced menu. As for Rebekah’s in Mellieħa, it is located in a former farmstead and specialises in hearty Mediterranean flavours.

Poullennec went on saying: “All 31 restaurants recommended to our readers are varied and individual and reflect the very best that the islands offer. Some are traditional, others are contemporary – and thus they truly represent the two sides of Malta that make it such an appealing destination”.

Quality needs to be the order of the day. In the past years, thanks to the perseverance and dedication of our local hospitality sector we have experienced an increase in restaurants that obtain a Michelin star status. The gastronomic sector plays a crucial role in the Government’s vision of making Malta a hub of tourism excellence in the Mediterranean. The road to achieving this goal is an ambitious one but together we can make it happen,” outlined Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo.

The Chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority, Dr Gavin Gulia, added: ‘This is once again another step forward in our continuous endeavours, whereby, as an Authority, we are continuing to give due importance to the holistic quality of our tourism product, which we are achieving through various restoration and regeneration projects, targeted marketing, and partnerships such as the one with Michelin, to mention but a few. We are proud that for the third consecutive year Malta has its very own Michelin Guide and on behalf of the Authority I would like to thank all those involved in this sector for being instrumental in making Malta’s Gastronomy stand out, as one of the things which tourists look forward to exploring, when they visit our Islands.”

The full 2022 selection for Malta is available on the MICHELIN Guide website https://guide.michelin.com/en/mt/restaurants and on the App, available for free on iOS and Android. 

Article credits: https://www.mta.com.mt/en/news-details/351
Michelin Guide Malta: ION – The Harbour, Valletta

The walled city of Valletta, founded in 1566, is the capital and was built on a peninsula between two natural harbours. It’s full of Baroque character and was recognised as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

If you want to take in the full majesty of the city, then you need to see the Grand Harbour in all its splendour – and if you want to also enjoy a great meal whilst doing so, then you should consider making a booking at ION – The Harbour, a proud holder of a MICHELIN Star.

It’s found on the 4th floor of the Iniala Harbour House hotel and, when you are a restaurant fortunate enough to be able to offer tables on a terrace that provide such spectacular views, then it makes sense to use it as much as possible – and that’s exactly what it does.

However, don’t think that your eyes will simply stay focused on the vista – the stunningly presented food directly in front of you will compete equally for your attention.

It’s fairly clear that this a kitchen that was classically trained but it is also one that understands elegance and refinement. The balanced and appealing set menus all make great use of the finest produce from nearby countries, be it lobster from Brittany used for the pithivier or Sicilian red prawns served with aged Kaluga caviar. The best local ingredients are also showcased and these include line-caught lampuki which here comes with dill and smoked cream. From the delicate canapés that kick off proceedings to the exquisite desserts, this is food that tastes as good as it looks.

And it’s not just the cooking and the setting that make ION – The Harbour such a special place. The service also ensures you feel truly looked after – it’s attentive and detailed but never overbearing or starchy. Similarly, the wine service is helpful, engaging and enthusiastic and the wine list itself offers plenty of depth, which includes an interesting selection by the glass.

Read the full article: https://guide.michelin.com/en/article/features/michelin-guide-malta-ion—the-harbour-valletta?fbclid=IwAR3Knx0YRhMVYU9TRcE1edUyXvzaot0drbn9RoSXYfnLj8uQCxy8UgPZp_8
Mdina’s de Mondion ranks in ‘top 600 restaurants in the world’ list

Housed within the 17th century Xara Palace Relais & Châteauxis boutique hotel, Mdina fine-dining join ‘de Mondion’ is hands down a staple for any foodies living in Malta.

The restaurant is particularly known for its inimitable take on Mediterranean cuisine, so much so that it was recently awarded a Michelin star.

As if that wasn’t enough praise, acclaimed international restaurant guide La Liste ranked it amongst the top 600 restaurants around the world.

Michelin-starred restaurant Bahia to move into Corinthia Palace

Corinthia Palace has announced its exciting partnership with gastronomic award-winner, Bahia, as it continues to set standards for luxury hospitality in Malta.

As part of that partnership, the popular Michelin-starred restaurant will move from its historic, converted townhouse in Lija to a new home on the upper floors of the renowned Villa Corinthia within Corinthia Palace later this year.

“The addition of Bahia to our portfolio ensures that the Corinthia Palace remains the quintessential address for travellers looking to experience the real Malta,” General Manager, Adrian Attard, said.

Over the past five years, Bahia formed its identity through its creative food, eye for detail and professional and warm service. The chic bistro is known for pushing the boundaries of the dining experience and for the adventurous way it communicates to the market.

Article credits: https://newsbook.com.mt/en/michelin-starred-restaurant-bahia-to-move-into-corinthia-palace/
Malta gears up for the good times

With Michelin stars, superyachts and swish new hotels, a reinvigorated Valletta is ready for the tourists to return.

On the rooftop of Gracy’s, a new brasserie and member’s club in a baroque 16th-century palazzo, blazers, florals and linen are the order of the day. Rakish co-owner Greg Nasmyth, an English media scion turned philanthropist and Liberal Democrat donor, is doing the rounds, while Malta’s Eurovision star Destiny sings smooth Aretha Franklin covers as the sun sets behind the dome of Valletta’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

The narrow peninsula on Malta’s east coast is a place of romantic ancient buildings with olive-green gallarija balconies — becalmed after a tumultuous history of being tossed around between the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French and British.

Spurred on by Valletta’s 2018 stint as European Capital of Culture, and splashy architecture projects such as Renzo Piano’s parliament and city gate, more than 40 boutique hotels are said to have opened in the past five years — like the eight-suite palazzo Casa Ellul and Cugo Gran Macina, a Design Hotels member opened in 2018 by German property developers the Von Der Heyden Group. Having had no Michelin stars until 2020, Malta now has five, including Under Grain, a slinky basement restaurant at Rosselli, another smart design hotel that opened near the Iniala in 2019.

Read the full article here: https://www.ft.com/content/64f9640b-f05a-4cb5-8bcb-457cc62dfb51?accessToken=–sanitized–&sharetype=gift%3Ftoken%3D–sanitized–&fbclid=IwAR1BVhq2x0emnjWQBnUH8wvDbYFcSdXddpfXPxwZUtM66dJ-6yKH_syTWRU
Two more restaurants awarded a MICHELIN STAR

The MICHELIN Guide Malta 2021 has just been released and two restaurants have been awarded a Michelin Star, bringing the total number of Michelin Starred restaurants to five.

The second edition of the guide features 31 restaurants spread across the islands of Malta and Gozo. The two new Stars are Bahia and ION – The Harbour. These restaurants join existing One Star restaurants De Mondion, Noni and Under Grain.

Five restaurants have also been identified as taking positive steps to work in a more sustainable way, and their entries in the Guide come with one-line descriptions of their inspiring practices. The restaurants highlighted for their ‘Initiatives’ are:

The Harbour Club in Valletta
Noni in Valletta
Briju in Gżira
De Mondion in Mdina
Tmun in Mġarr.

This new Guide builds on the success of last year’s first ever edition of the MICHELIN Guide to the islands of Malta and Gozo. There is no doubt that the standard of cooking on the islands continues to excite; five MICHELIN Starred restaurants out of a total of 31 restaurants is an impressive percentage. It’s also great to witness a growing awareness of positive sustainability practices and we look forward to seeing further development in the coming years.

Read the full article:  https://guide.michelin.com/mt/en/article/features/the-michelin-guide-malta-is-out-today
The Colours of Malta Luxury Services Journey – Week 2

We chose the perfect winter’s day to stroll through the narrow streets of Mdina as we head to De Mondion Restauranrt to experience a one of a kind cooking session with Michelin star chef Kevin Bonello.

Chef shares one of his prestigious secret dishes with us as he shows us his tricks on how to cook the perfect pigeon!

Simply WOW! Tried, tasted and simply exquisite!

We can’t wait to woo our guests again with more of Kevin’s De Mondion delicious dishes in the very near future!

Enjoy the experience and all the very best to you all!

The Colours of Malta Timeless Journey – Week 1

This time our journey takes us to the Old Capital City, Mdina aka The Silent City. A place so magical and quiet, that one might think they’re in a fairytale!

Here we met up with Justin Zammit Tabona the Managing Director of Xara Collection. Justin explains to us the timeless story of the Xara Palace hotel, part of the Relais Chateaux brand and its formidable De Mondion 1* Michelin star restaurant on the hotel’s rooftop terrace.

This quaint hotel has been run by the family for a number of years now and is part of a larger collection of businesses operating within the hospitality industry.

Michelin Malta

The Michelin Guide was first published in 1900 by the Michelin tire company as a guide to help French motorists find lodging on the road. Over the decades, the guide has far surpassed its humble origins to become the final word in fine dining. Not only has Malta been finally included in the Michelin Guide but to the island’s surprise, not one, but three local restaurants have gained a One Michelin Star. The much coveted star was awarded to The de Mondion Restaurant in Mdina, Noni in Valletta and Under Grain, also in the Capital. Michelin remains secretive about the criteria used to award stars, but the quality of the products; the chef’s mastery of flavour and cooking techniques; consistency in the food as well as in the overall dining experience; and extra points for the chef’s ability to instill his culinary “personality” in each dish, are known to be key.

A further three restaurants were awarded with a Bib Gourmand which is a just-as-esteemed rating as a Michelin Star, but that recognizes friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices. Those awrded are Terrone in Marsaxlokk, Commando Restaurant in Mellieha and Rubino in Valletta.

A further twenty local eateries were included in the Guide and received The Michelin Plate which is the symbol for those restaurants that have neither a star nor a Bib Gourmand but which still offer very good food. Those awarded the Plate are: Capo Crudo, The Golden Fork, Hammett’s Macina Restaurant, The Harbour Club, Aaron’s Kitchen, Rampila Restaurant, Fifty Nine Republic, Guze Bistro, Briju, Tartarun, Barracuda, KuYa Asian Pub, Susurrus, Caviar & Bull, Bahia, The Lord Nelson, Root 81 and The Medina Restaurant, as well as Tmur (Mgarr) and Ta’French in Gozo.

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