Sammy’s steps it up a notch

Situated in Xemxija heights, and facing the sea, Sammy’s is fairly easy to find. A landmark ever since I was a child, I never really got to venture inside. This summer, Sammy’s steps up a notch having been taken over by Culinary Forward.

Your dining experience is coupled with Culinary Forward’s love for music. As you step over the threshold you are immediately lulled into a state of relaxation by the jazz music coming from the vintage gramophone that occupies a place of honour at the entrance.

The menu mixes various fresh, seasonal produce in unique and innovative ways. What distinguishes Sammy’s from the rest is their affinity to local produce. Although some of the ingredients they use are imported, they make and effort to use the best of what’s available on the island. Their menu is written out on two blackboards at the back of the restaurant as dishes change often depending on what is in season and available on that day.

Focusing on local ingredients, their menu consists of a variety of dishes that are traditional though include an innovative twist. Take, for example, their deconstructed sausage roll. A sausage roll is not normally considered the sort of meal you would consider when dining at a restaurant, however Sammy’s use the components of this delicious snack to make a truly innovative starter. The confit of pork meat, perfect devilled eggs, local sweet onions, topped with puff pastry crusts is nothing like the sausage roll you eat out of a paper bag while sitting on a pavement after a long night of drinking!

Their prawn cocktail is a cut above anything prawn cocktail dish you’ve ever tasted. Fallen out of fashion after the 80s where cheap ingredients ruined this delicate dish, Culinary Forward’s take includes marinated red prawns caught in the Malta just hours before being plated on a heavy slab rather than the typical glass bowl used in the 80s. Pickled cucumber adds an interesting kick to the delicate flavour of the seafood, grilled romaine lettuce, and roast prawn mayonnaise with a sprinkle of smoked prawn salt, restore your faith in retro cuisine and make you realise why this dish became so popular in the first place.

Every detail is important to Culinary Forward and not just the actual dishes that you order. For instance, the bread they serve is home-made and filled with herbs – perfectly crunchy on the outside and warm and soft and buttery on the inside.

Arthur, their sommelier, is never to busy to share some of his extensive knowledge on the subject, that he imparts with a sparkle in his eye. You can really feel that food and wine is not just a job for Culinary Forward as this sort of passion cannot be faked!

The little tavern that is Sammy’s surprised me in the very tastiest of ways, so if you haven’t given this little restaurant a chance this summer, then its probably about time you did!

Sammy's by Culinary Forward Malta

24, Xemxija Hill, CFM01, St Paul's Bay

Tel: 27441546