Top Malta restaurants retain Michelin star, new entry for Bib Gourmand

Plenty of choice to eating out in Malta with five Michelin stars, four Bib Gourmands, and 21 recommended restaurants

Under Grain, Valletta
Under Grain, Valletta

The five restaurants awarded One Michelin Star in 2021 have all retained their Star status for another year.

These are: Under Grain in Valletta; Noni in Valletta; ION – The Harbour in Valletta; De Mondion in Mdina; and Bahia in Balzan, previously located in Lija.

The latter moved from a neighbourhood spot in Lija to elegant new premises within the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Balzan.

“The talented kitchen offers three menus: ‘Past’ features sophisticated dishes inspired by various time periods throughout Maltese history; ‘Future’ explores new, sometimes daring combinations of flavours; while seasonal à la carte ‘Present’ focuses on local ingredients,” the Michelin Guide said in its official announcement.

As for the Michelin Bib Gourmand, a new restaurant joins the line-up for its good quality, good value cooking, bringing the total number of ‘Bibs’ in this year’s Guide to four: Grain Street in Valletta, which comes from the same stable as Michelin-starred Under Grain.

This joins the three other restaurants who all retain their Bib Gourmand distinctions: Terrone in Birgu; Rubino in Valletta; and Commando in Mellieħa.

As well as Grain Street, Michelin inspectors found three other restaurants worthy of a place in the guide: Marea in Kalkara, described as a “cool, contemporary restaurant” with a tiered terrace overlooking the Grand Harbour, and its kitchen mixes Mediterranean food with Japanese influences; AKI in Valletta, a stylish basement restaurant with an Asian-influenced menu; and Rebekah’s in Mellieħa, which occupies a period farmstead and specialises in hearty Mediterranean flavours.

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, said: “Thanks to the increasing optimism surrounding Covid-19, many people are starting to think about travel and holidays once again. The beautiful islands of Malta and Gozo should be on everyone’s list. Five MICHELIN Stars, 4 Bib Gourmands and 21 recommended restaurants mean there is plenty of choice when it comes to eating out”.

Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo said the gastronomic sector plays a crucial role in the government's vision of making Malta a hub of tourism excellence in the Mediterranean. “The road to achieving this goal is an ambitious one but together we can make it happen.”