The Blue Room | Stylish, oriental dining

Though theatre season is drawing to a close, Valletta dining need not. Not only does The Blue Room, on Republic Street, offer some of Malta’s best Chinese food, but a great overall dining experience.

Stylish, contemporary décor sets The Blue Room apart from the tacky decorations of other Chinese restaurants on the island
Stylish, contemporary décor sets The Blue Room apart from the tacky decorations of other Chinese restaurants on the island

From my experience of Chinese restaurants, not only in Malta but right across Europe, they are generally poorly decorated with tacky traditional items that look like they came from a flea-market - lots of red tassels and gold dragons. The Blue Room is nothing like that with its contemporary décor and stylish owner overseeing the show - real wooden floors, high backed, varnished chairs, contemporary, oriental prints on the walls and a surprising amount of light for a restaurant with no windows.

The menu is extensive, with five or six dishes of meat, chicken, seafood as well as a vast array of starters including the regular favourites like wontons and spring rolls to more exciting steamed dumplings, soups and sizzling hotplates. The menu does include some vegetarian options and, in today's modern age of food intolerance, there are also some gluten free options.

The last time I went there with a group of ten friends we decided to have a quick meal after the theatre. We arrived late, not only was it after a theatre performance but an added half an hour of arguing where we were going to eat and roaming around Valletta trying to find somewhere we were all happy with and that would feed us without a reservation. We were seated without so much as a frown. The last table in the restaurant were just finishing off but the waitresses were happy to set up a table for our large group without a booking.

Once we were seated we proceeded to order every starter on the menu, a quarter of a duck... no, let's get half... or just go for a whole one, some soups and then forget the mains... or maybe we'll just have one, or three, some rice and some noodles. So much for a light meal. Though we did stay away from the wine.

The service was impeccable and the food came out quickly, we ate quickly and was cleared away quickly. We decided to skip dessert as we were quite full after our "light" meal. However before I sat down I caught a glimpse of a young girl digging into what looked like pineapple fritters that I have been thinking about ever since.

When the bill arrived, we split it, paid our dues and left without the liquor offered on the house. Though a little on the pricey side, the food is fresh, the service is good and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly making a trip to The Blue Room definitely worth a night out.

The Blue Room is open daily from 12:00 to 14:00 for lunch and from 19:00 to 23:00 for dinner (closed all day on Monday and Saturday lunch).

Address: 59, Republic Street

Contact: 2123 8014