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.