Drift Meze and Café | Food for sharing

Staying in for the whole of January is never going to happen. Instead of going out for a full-blown, three-course meal, gather around a table and snack on meze for sharing and as much (or as little) wine as your New Year's Resolutions allow.

When it comes to eating out, some restaurants create a more social environment than others. This is the result of the ambiance of the restaurant, but also the type of food that is on offer. At Drift everything points towards a social occasion – the friendly owners who seem to know everyone sitting at every table, patrons, who also seem to know everyone at every table, and the type of food on offer – food for sharing.

Back in the 1990s, when restaurant choices were limited, Bouzouki, in St Julian’s was a favourite among foodies all over the island. Fast forward to today and the Greek appetizers they were so famous for are now available at the Ibragg café. Everything is just as you remember, plenty of dips like hummus (chickpea), taramasalata (salmon roe), melitzanosalta (aubergine), tzatziki (yoghurt and cucumber) and skordalia (garlic) served with warm bread is just something you cannot avoid when you stop at Drift.

Equally delicious – and still just as I remember them – is the saganki (fried feta cheese), dolmathes (stuffed vine leaves), kefthetes (meatballs) and kalamarkia (crunchy calamari fritti). And just as we used to do in the 90s, we over-ordered the starters and skipped the mains. Small sharing dishes always seem to inspire the sort of conviviality the Mediterranean region is known for and the same applies here.

But if you’re didn’t dine like I did in the 90s and are looking for a more well-rounded meal – starters and a main (possibly even dessert), Drift has you covered with a range of Mediterranean flavours as well as their well-loved Greek ones. The menu contains a variety of foods – salads, and platters as well as the traditional meze, breakfast options and sweets – drawing on plenty of different sources of culinary inspiration. There is plenty of room for creativity here.

What’s the average day like at Drift? It starts off with the breakfast service, people popping by for a coffee or a quick bite first thing. At lunch, you’ll find a number of locals enjoying fine weather outdoors or settling inside if it’s chilly, over a protracted lunch and maybe a drink or two. It’s also a perfect pitstop for a cheeky glass of wine after work, with the adding advantage of being able to take some dips home.

The festive season is over and all the socialising and big meals are done for a little while. But that doesn’t mean meeting up with friends is out of the question. Rather than go out for a huge three-course meal, keep it lighter and gather around a table at Drift, nibble on a few dishes for sharing and sip on as much (or as little) wine as your New Year’s Resolutions allow, because locking yourself up for the whole of January is never going to work!

What I ate

Trio of dips – hummus, taramasalata, melitzanosalta





Total: €19.00, excluding drinks

Address: Ibragg Road, Ibragg.

Tel: 27138540

Opening hours: Monday – Tuesday 8:00 – 19:00, Wednesday – Friday 8:00 – 23:00, Saturday 8:00 – 16:00, Sunday 7:30 – 13:30