Restaurants in St Julian’s and Sliema
Restaurants in St Julian’s
There is certainly no shortage of restaurants in St Julian’s! We noticed that the restaurants nearer Hotel Valentina on the first stretch of the harbour were a little more touristy. You can usually spot this by members of staff outside inviting people in. Also, as per the wise Gordon Ramsey, never go to a restaurant that has pictures of its food displayed!
Piccolo Padre is a gorgeous trattoria by Spinola bay in between St Julian’s and Sliema. With a number of tables overlooking the harbour, it is advisable to book in advance. We managed to nab one of the last indoor tables where we could at least catch glimpses outside.
The menu is fairly extensive with a wide range of pasta, pizza, fresh fish and meat dishes. We were presented with bread with a black bean dip and breadsticks as a complimentary appetizer, which was fantastic! I was so torn about what dishes to order as there were so many that took my fancy.
We ended up opting for the Fresh Seabass served with roast potatoes and vegetables. It came filleted (3 pieces) and was absolutely fantastic. We also had The Paccheri with Lamb Ragu spiced with Middle Eastern flavours toped with grated Maltese goat cheeselets. This was one of the best pasta dishes I have ever tasted! This is a bold statement but the pasta was al dente just how I like it and the lamb was SO flavoursome yet tender and not fatty.
With two Aperol Spitz’s and an iced tea and water, the bill was just under €50, which was exceptional value for such good food in such a gorgeous setting.
Peperoncino is another gem of a restaurant in St Julian’s, just before the curve into Sliema. It is a lovely restaurant with a gorgeous outside area overlooking the harbour and a rustic interior décor.
The staff were very attentive and helpful without being too overbearing. There were some amazing looking dishes on the menu so, again, it was difficult to choose what to have! We opted for the Ravoli with asaparus and broccoli from the Specials menu and the Duck Breast cooked in red wine and juniper berries, served with julienne of sweet and sour carrots & courgettes. The portion of Ravoli was a little small for my liking but still very tasty. The duck was perfectly cooked and the potatoes and veg accompanied it well.
Peperoncino is definitely one of the best restaurants in St Julian’s to visit.
We had read about A Tavola in Sliema in a blog post which talked about the gorgeous courtyard for dining. We meandered our way through the streets away from the harbour to find the restaurant which is hidden between Hotel Victoria and Palazzo Capua down a small lane.
The setting was absolutely gorgeous with jars for lighting, beautiful fairy lights and a lovely terrace. The staff were super friendly and it was not too busy. The menu was fairly limited with a small selection of antipasti and pasta and pizza dishes.
We took advantage of the Italian Feast deal for €16.95 which included an antipasti dish and a pasta or pizza dish from the A Tavola signature dishes. This was also served with unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks for 3 hours! We had the Palazzo Capua Bianco Maltese White Wine which was average but very good in the context of the price! Our waiter left the bottle on the table in a chiller so it really was free-flow.
The antipasti Arancini Boscaiola with mushrooms, tomatoes, mozzarella and a pesto salsa were pretty average, although the salsa was lovely! For mains we had the Garganelli Funghi: Oyster and porcini mushroom, black truffle, cream, Parmigiano and truffle oil and the Linguini Aglio E Olio: Linguini tossed in garlic, chillies, olive oil, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes. Both portions were huge but sadly a little bland.
That said, the value of the Italian Feast was excellent with the unlimited wine. The restaurant is definitely not one to rule out if you are in the area for a cheap and cheerful dinner in lovely surroundings.
As I mentioned in my review of Hotel Valentina they are linked to a restaurant called The Avenue which serves a wide variety of dishes for lunch and dinner. We ordered pool service twice during our stay. From the pasta menu, we tried the Fusilli Alla Sicilina with Sicilian sausage, tomato sauce, aubergines and a hint of cream and Spaghetti Vongoli with clams. Both of these dishes were extremely decent portion sizes and flavoursome. We were also sufficiently impressed with the margarita pizza.
The restaurant itself has a number of tables for alfresco dining and always looked busy when we walked past. If you stay at Hotel Valentina, I definitely recommend a visit to The Avenue.
If you fancy gelato (I mean who doesn’t?!) then definitely head to RivaReno. Serving some extraordinary flavours, this is an absolute must if you are in the St Julian’s area. With a medium cup only €3.50 for two scoops, it was an absolute steal! I had the most delicious white chocolate with crispy bites gelato and a raspberry sorbet.
East London Girl: Restaurants in St Julian’s