Assaggi | A shaving of truffle paradise

I had been to Assaggi before but it was a long time ago and though I remember the restaurant being quite a good one, my memories of the place were foggy at best. After a long day at the office, I wasn’t keen on going out to dinner but arrangements had already been made so I reluctantly got into the car and made my way there

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar
29 August 2013, 12:00am
Almost every dish has a hint of truffle at Assaggi, such as this Maltese rabbit on a bed of truffle mashed potato
Almost every dish has a hint of truffle at Assaggi, such as this Maltese rabbit on a bed of truffle mashed potato
Perhaps my only complaint about the restaurant is the location. Dean Hamlet in St Julian's is not the most upmarket area I would imagine to put a good restaurant in, however, there is private parking for diners and once you get into the restaurant all hope is restored. The décor is welcoming - simple but comfortable, linen napkins and an overall style of luxury.

On opening the menu, a smile came over my face almost immediately. Truffles everywhere. Later, talking to Ivan, I realised he is as much of a truffle addict as I am - no... much more of a truffle addict! He goes through a kilo of truffles in a couple of weeks - when they are available - and not only generously shaves them on a number of dishes but infuses them in oil and butter to preserve them. None of that store-bought truffle infused stuff, with just a tiny shaving floating around at the bottom.

As I get older, eating large quantities of food is getting more difficult for my digestive system, however I still like to taste a number of dishes. Though Assaggi offer a menu of starters, mains and desserts, let them know in advance and go for the degustation menu - taster portions of a number of dishes that won't leave you stuffed and bloated but allows you to taste everything (or at least some dishes).

We started off with an arancina of rice in squid ink with Parmesan shavings with a hint of truffles. This was followed by a duo of foie gras, parfait and seared liver served with a berry compote and toasted bread, carpaccio of prawn and monkfish, served with asparagus and a tiny hint of truffle, pasta in and Alfredo sauce, with generous shavings of black truffles and Maltese rabbit, served on a bed of creamy, truffly, mashed potato. We rounded off the meal with a white chocolate and orange fondant served with ice cream.

While it is possible to choose your own wine from the extensive wine list, I highly recommend you allow the Assaggi team to do this for you and offer you a glass of something special with every course so that the flavours of the wine are suited to every mouthful.

Last year, Ivan took Assaggi to The Lido in Sliema with Assaggi al Mare. This year however, he is no longer involved and has reserved his energy for Assaggi in St Julian's.

As summer draws to an end, and an evening at the beach is starting to feel repetitive, head down to Assaggi for a perfect meal, outside under the stars or if you'd rather, sit inside in the cool comfort of the AC.

Assaggi is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 19:00 to 23:00 (last orders) in summer and Monday to Saturday from 12:00 till 14:30 and 19:00 till 23:00 and on Sunday from 12:00 till 15:30.

Parking is available on request for both lunch and dinner.

Assaggi

 

Triq il-Qaliet

 

St Julian's

 

Tel: 21336625

 

Web: www.assaggi.net

 

 

 

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar graduated in economics from the University of Malta...