59 Republic | The perfect spot for special occasions

Sitting down to a perfect meal is not something that happens often. Everything has to be right, the decor, the service and naturally, the food. This is what you can expect from a meal at 59, Republic

The Blue Room has been a permanent fixture in the local culinary scene for as long as I can remember, so the news of its closure was not taken well. Whatever restaurant took over that spot, it sure has some big shoes to fill.

On my mother’s 59th birthday, she thought it was appropriate we try and new restaurant that doesn’t really have a name and just goes by their address, number 59 in Republic Street. Malta’s foodies already have this spot on their radar with social media awash with images of perfectly plated dishes on perfectly pressed linens.

On a cold and rainy afternoon we arrived at the door of what used to be The Blue Room and pushed through the heavy doors, ready for a warm and comforting afternoon of eating (and maybe a little drinking).

The décor of the restaurant is simple but smart – white linens and steel grey walls, simple lighting and smart and friendly staff there to help you with your choices, bring over and extra drink and even crack a joke or two.

The menu is simple, with a few great dishes you know are going to be spectacular. The hardest part of the meal is deciding which of things you’re going to leave out. How can you say no to a saffron infused risotto with salami and a lobster tail? But if you say yes to lobster risotto you have to say no strozzapreti pasta with a 12-hour braised pork cheek ragu served with aged pecorino shavings. The decisions are impossible. And if that’s not enough as soon as you think you’ve decided, the waiter comes over and lets you know that there’s a whole other list of dishes on the specials menu that you haven’t taken into consideration yet!

I decided on the foie gras. While most restaurants in Malta will serve you a pate version of this delicacy, at 59 Republic you can expect the real deal – pieces of whole liver that has been perfectly pan-fried and served on toast with jam and fresh strawberries.

For mains decided to go with their signature dish – beef Wellington served with rainbow coloured carrots. Beef Wellington, though a very simple dish, is really easy to get wrong. A few minutes too long in the oven and the beef in the centre is overcooked, not enough time in the oven and the pastry is undercooked at best, at worst raw in places. This dish was pretty much the same as the rest of the meal was – cooked to perfection.

By the end of a meal it always seems like a good idea to skip dessert, but why would you want to cut a meal short like that. This time I went for a vintage classic that is slowly but surely making a comeback – the baked Alaska. Made with a pistachio ice cream centre and covered with gorgeous meringue, this was the perfect end to a perfect meal. Will we be going back again? I think the answer to this is pretty obvious… all the time.

What I ate

Pan-seared foie gras on toast

Beef Wellington

Baked Alaska

Address: 59, Republic Street, Valletta.

Tel: 99995900 / 79264613