‘Our eyes were always on the prize’, De Mondion welcomes historic first Michelin star

History is made in Malta as three restaurants, De Mondion, Noni, and Under Grain, are awarded their first Michelin stars

Masterchefs! Under Grain executive chef Victor Borg, Noni’s Jonathan Brincat, and De Mondion chef de cuisine Kevin Bonello
Masterchefs! Under Grain executive chef Victor Borg, Noni’s Jonathan Brincat, and De Mondion chef de cuisine Kevin Bonello

Culinary history was made in Malta yesterday when the first Michelin stars ever were awarded to three Maltese restaurants.

As expected, Mdina’s De Mondion restaurant, for years the recipient of numerous accolades, was accorded its first star. Two relative newcomers, Noni and Under Grain, joined the triad of proud Michelin star restos.

“We have worked incessantly in the past years and always aimed to gain this worldwide prestigious title. Our eyes were always on the prize, and this is what the team at the de Mondion Restaurant has been working on endlessly,” the restaurant said yesterday on the Xara Hotel’s website.

Led by group chef de cuisine Kevin Bonello, De Mondion has been widely acknowledged as one of the top restaurants on the islands, offering a beautiful view of more than half the island at its perched location on the Xara Hotel. The restaurant’s menu is revamped every six months.

Joining the trio of Michelin awardees was chef Jonathan ‘Noni’ Brincat’s Noni restaurant in Valletta, who worked under Michelin-starred chef Gary Hollihead at the Corinthia London.

“We are honoured and humbled by the news that we’ve gained a Michelin star,” Brincat said Facebook. “We would never have come this far if it wasn’t for your continued support and the hard work our staff put in, every single night. We owe this award to you, our customers, and our staff, partners, and suppliers. Our goal remains the same from tonight on – the pursuit of our modern approach to traditional Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine and to serve you humbly, happily, and proudly.”

Brincat returned to Malta to set up shop on 211, Republic Street in Valletta, where he took over what was formerly an old bakery. With him works his sister Ritienne, a restaurant manager with over 12 years’ experience in the high-end food and beverage sector.

A more concise celebration from Under Grain, at the Rosselli Hotel in Valletta, which simply said, “We’re honoured that Under Grain has been awarded a One Michelin Star! Well done to all the team!”

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