Remember those days when we only had one good Chinese restaurant on the island, and when finding an honest-to-goodness wood oven pizza was like a quest for the Holy Grail? Well, I’ve chosen to block those days from my memory and – happily – the choice of world-class cuisines in Malta & Gozo is so amazing that it has been quite easy to do so. Here’s the cream of the crop, the cuisines that never fail to get our tastebuds going.
1. Chinese Cuisine
Coming in at number one is old-faithful, Chinese cuisine, which has reached a genuine level of excellence on our islands. Forget about greasy pancakes and sweet & sour pork that burns your throat. What our selection on Bookia delivers is the real deal, with Chinese chefs offering delicious regional specialties. From Cantonese style cooking that embraces the dumpling culture to bold Sichuan dishes for those that enjoy the spicier side of life, our Chinese restaurants are as sophisticated as it gets.
2. Japanese & Asian Fusion Cuisine
It started with the sushi revolution that hit Malta in the early noughties, but now has developed to embrace all the enticing flavours that this part of the world has graced us with. Diversity is the secret to its success, as different specialty restaurants offer dishes from different regions and cuisines. Hankering for the perfect Pad Thai? Or maybe a straight-up salmon hosomaki? Vietnamese banh mi? We have it all.
3. Italian Cuisine
Of course, our closest geographical neighbours have earned a spot on the list of our favourite cuisines. The Maltese love for a good pizza come si deve, or a plate of pasta cooked al dente, is legendary after all. Our Italian brethren know a thing or two about gorgeous carbs, and luckily for us they saw fit to introduce it to our island.
But it’s not just about the pizza and the pasta, of course. In Malta and Gozo we’re quite partial to country specialties such as the risotto, arancini, panzanelle, cotolette Milanese… and happily there are the restaurants to serve them. In the words of every Italian gourmand on this side of the Mediterranean, pancia mia fatti capanna.
4. Fish & Sea-food
Now, fish and sea-food are not strictly a cuisine, yes we know that. But we do live on a Mediterranean island, so if we want to call this a favourite cuisine I’d like to see anyone try to stop us. And why would they want to? From the homely restaurants in quaint villages like Marsaxlokk or Marsascala to the Michelin-star fancy places in the cities, it’s difficult to beat us when it comes to the fresh fish and sea-food game.
5. Indian Cuisine
Another one that is massively popular on the Saturday night restaurants run – Indian delicacies in all their glory. The fluffiest naan breads, juiciest Tandoori dishes, the spiciest Rogan Josh, crispiest poppadoms, filling koftas and paneers… we have them all. Hearty, flavourful and super-comforting – no mysteries why Indian is one of the top cuisines across the world and on our islands.