Charlie's Inn | More than just rabbit

Charlie’s Inn is synonymous with the traditional fenkata, but has developed over the years to offer so much more than fried rabbit and pasta in rabbit sauce.

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar
23 January 2014, 12:00am
Rabbit-stuffed ravioli at Charlie's Inn
Rabbit-stuffed ravioli at Charlie's Inn
Having had childhood friends living just up the road from Charlie's Inn in Salina, Charlie's Inn has been on my list of go-to restaurants since I was a kid. With fantastic fields to run around in while parents are enjoying their after-meal liqueurs it was also one of my favourite spots to eat while growing up.

Charlie's Inn has been run by the Zammit family for the last 80 years. Starting out as a tea house for the British military, they soon began serving local rabbit and have perfected the recipe over the years.

The rabbit is served either fried or stewed, with delicious gravy and hand-cut chips. And once you've gone through the all the meaty bits, use the Maltese bread to sop up all the remaining gravy for the best part of the meal. In my opinion, theirs is the best rabbit on the island and going to Charlie's Inn and ordering anything other than the spaghetti with rabbit sauce, followed by fried rabbit is sinful. However it really is worth straying from the usual and trying some of their other dishes.

The handwritten menu changes daily as they believe in only serving the very best of what is on the market, from soups, to salads, fresh fish and quality meats.

The fresh, local ingredients are given an exciting twist. Try the oyster and sea snail and watercress served as a warm salad, beautifully presented in an oyster shell balancing on a bed of coarse sea salt. Or why not go for something a little different - aged boar with spinach and beetroot jelly, served with foraged leaves. Whatever is on the menu that day you can trust Chillion to turn it into a magical explosion of flavours.

If you have to stick to rabbit, try the rabbit stuffed ravioli for starters instead of the usual spaghetti with rabbit sauce. The meaty centres, wrapped in fresh pasta, drizzled with olive oil and topped with rocket and Parmesan cheese are a delightful twist on the pasta starters.

Whether you're eating rabbit or something else, the nibbles before the meal are  - warm bigilla on fresh, crusty Maltese bread and a garlic and tomato dip that is so moreish, not even the thoughts of frightening off your partner with your garlic breath will deter you. To keep in with the traditional theme, fresh snails are also served and, if you can get past the squeamishness, offer a bundle of flavour to prepare your palate for your meal ahead.

The winter months are cold and dreary and are the perfect excuse for long lunches. Charlie's Inn is a great place for large groups or more intimate occasions. Whatever your numbers, head down to Charlie's Inn for a great meal of rabbit or otherwise.

Charlie's Inn is open from Tuesday to Saturday for dinner from 19:00 and Sunday for lunch from 12:00.

Charlie's Inn

Coast Road,

Salina.

Tel: 21573455/99495595

Find them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-Inn/353125124709287

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