Charles Grech | Sometimes you just want to eat a burger with a fork

When you get struck by a burger craving but you want to pair it with an expensive bottle of wine, Charles Grech Bistro has all the answers.

Sometimes you want to sit down at a fancy restaurant and really enjoy every aspect of your dining experience, be it fine glassware and cutlery, knowledgeable staff and a quality glass (or three) of wine. Other times you just want to get down and dirty with takeaway burgers you eat in the car on the way home.

Sometimes you want to do both. The burger cravings won’t let up but you also want some of that fancy restaurant experience. Though there is many a, decent restaurant with burgers on the menu, not all are spectacular. If you are looking for spectacular, both in burgers and in dining experience, then Charles Grech Bistro, in Sliema is the place to stop.

So what makes Charles Grech Bistro so special? Though there seem to be an abundance of new restaurants opening (and closing) their doors on a weekly basis, new places that provide the experience we have come to expect are few and far between. The devil is in the detail and Charles Grech seem to have got this one right. Even as you drive past the restaurant there is an air of French chic about the place, tables on the terrace with young beautiful patrons enjoying drinks, and nibbles in the early evening and moving on to dinner as night falls.

The décor inside is impeccable. Though it is far from a fine dining establishment, the quality of tableware, glassware, cutlery, seating etc is at least on par, in a casual, friendly atmosphere. Waiting staff are top notch – not only do these speak English (not something to be expected in Maltese restaurants today) but they are friendly and ready to dispense advice about what’s on the menu and have items changed to your specifications.

As we always do when we go to Charles Grech Bistro we ordered a few dishes off of the Bites menu – small dishes a little smaller than a starter so that you can order many of them. We went for breaded Pecorino in pistachios, because there is nothing quite like warm cheese and a seasonal dish of grilled artichokes with a creamy burrata.

The burger arrived – its thick, beefy patty pink on the inside (the waiter did ask us how we wanted it cooked, so if pink burgers are not your thing you could opt for one that is better done) and oozing melted cheese. The bread – often the burger’s biggest downfall – didn’t disappoint with its perfect brioche texture. The gherkin is served on the side, probably because of a local hatred for the sweet pickled vegetable.

And of course, because we were in such a pretty place we ate the burgers – and the fries – with a fork, although management won’t shoot you dirty looks if you pick it up with your hands.

What I ate

Grilled artichokes with burrata

Breaded pecorino

Angus beef burger

Address: 59, Sir Adrian Dingli Street, Sliema

Tel: 2132 0926

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 12:00 – 22:30, Saturday 9:00 – 23:30, Sunday 9:00 – 16:00