The MICHELIN Guide Malta 2021 is out today and features 31 restaurants spread across the islands of Malta and Gozo. There are two new MICHELIN Stars this year, bringing the total to five:
Bahia is a charming bistro named after the oranges for which the area is known. The talented Tyrone Mizzi is skilled in the classics but likes to experiment with the great quality regional ingredients at his disposal, meaning that the menu changes frequently. The seemingly simple-looking dishes belie the thought that has gone into them and come with complementary combinations and wonderful depth of flavour.
ION - The Harbour goes straight into the Guide with a Star. It’s on the 4th floor of a stylish hotel, and comes with a fantastic terrace overlooking the Grand Harbour. The refined, classically based cooking has Mediterranean influences and modern overtones. The dishes, skilfully prepared by Andrew Borg, are a joy to eat; daily menus are dictated by the best seasonal produce available from local farmers and fishermen and the cooking is classically based, with Mediterranean influences and a modern edge.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, said “2020 threw up enormous challenges for the hospitality industry around the world and our hearts go out to all those facing difficulties in these trying times. It was important to us to reveal our discoveries in spite of the context in order to encourage the profession while waiting for the recovery and to encourage gourmets to find their way back to the good tables as soon as the situation allows it. Our inspectors, like the restaurants themselves, have had to adapt, but we were very pleased that they were able to spend time on the islands and find 5 new restaurants to add to the Guide as MICHELIN Plates”.
These restaurants are: The Fork and Cork in Rabat; Chophouse and Fernandõ Gastrotheque, both in Sliema; Zest in St Julian’s; and Mezzodi in Valletta. The Plate symbol denotes restaurants where you’ll experience “fresh ingredients, capably prepared; simply a good meal”.
The three Bib Gourmand restaurants all retained their award for ‘good quality, good value cooking’ for another year: Terrone, Commando and Rubino.
Five restaurants have 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 and Noni in Valletta; Briju in Gżira; De Mondion in Mdina; and Tmun in Mġarr.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, continued: “We are delighted to build on the success of last year’s first ever edition of the MICHELIN Guide to the islands of Malta and Gozo. Five MICHELIN Starred restaurants out of a total of 31 restaurants is an impressive percentage and the standard of cooking on the islands continues to excite us. Furthermore, we are pleased to witness a growing awareness of positive sustainability practices and look forward to seeing further development in the coming years.”
“In the meantime, we hope locals and visitors alike will use this Guide to discover the islands’ many great restaurants and to explore their fascinating and varied cuisine.” concluded Gwendal Poullennec.