Something smells fishy | Ix-Xlukkajr

If you’re one of those people who tastes a fish soup and says “This is too fishy for me” then this restaurant might not be for you. If, however, you have a cultivated palate which appreciates the fresh taste of sea with each mouthful then look no further than Ix-Xlukkajr, in (where else?) Marsaxlokk.

Prepare to be greeted and treated at Ix- Xlukkajr by excellent service in a warm, cultured environment. Ix-Xlukkajr can be said to be an authentic fish restaurant, employing the traditional concepts associated with a successful establishment of its kind: that is, making use of fresh and seasonal ingredients. However, Ix-Xlukkajr has put a twist on the dining experience – not to the extent that it will shock people, however, because its management has been careful to remain well within the grounds for our Mediterranean taste buds.

Subtle blends of butter, cream and vegetables have played a big role in this, yet with every mouthful, the soft, delicate textures mixed with the freshness of the fish make the taste of the sea ever more evident.

While speaking to owner Neal Debono about the restaurant, I could tell that he runs the restaurant with a definite sense of pride. This is an original concept based on the traditional values held so dear by our ancestors that have passed from one generation to the next.

The Viva Crostacei themed night every Friday is something not to be missed. All for the price of €30 a head, prepare to indulge yourselves in a full five-course fish haven. Beginning with a nice hot

fish broth served with fresh mussels, clams, fazolari and local prawns.

Sautéed calamari, sea urchin terrine and a nice crispy prawn pastry pocket follow the broth. This dish was my personal favourite, the terrine is to die for and the sautéed calamari, always a favorite of mine, is cooked to perfection, where the texture can be said to be buttery with a fresh lemon zing to tantalise the taste buds.

A delicious plate of home-made black ink tagliatelle soon followed. At this point, I was already wowed by the service and quality of food. This dish does not fail to disappoint. Using king prawns, zucchini and a lobster cream, Debono conjures up a very fruitful dish. The final fish dish was a Sea bass on a bed of Rosti potatoes and wilted spinach. Not to push the fantastic fish out of the limelight, but the potatoes were the communal hit at the table, a fantastic rich and crumbly potato base creates a perfect blend of flavour that leaves your mouth watering.

Last but not least, you are treated to a very small serving of three desserts, a dark chocolate dome, a white baked chocolate cheesecake and a chocolate delight with almond praline. The white baked chocolate cheesecake was another hit of the night.

The verdict: get yourselves to Ix-Xlukkajr on a Friday evening for the Viva Crostacei theme night that is available until 25 March. However, Debono teased me about yet another concept for the res- taurant, currently in the works…

More in Restaurants