The Village Kitchen | A homey resto worthy of repeat visits

With so many restaurants opening all the time, it takes a special kind of place that encourages repeat vistis. This one hits the spot.

You’d think picking a restaurant for Sunday lunch is a walk in the park. Seeing I’m on the look out for new places all the time, I should have a great bank of restaurants with plenty of options for a last minute Sunday lunch. The reality is very different. The truth is, though I love to try out new places, there are few that I return to regularly. So finding a restaurant I know I’m going to return to is always hits me with a wave of excitement.

In the past, if you wanted a good meal, you had to head down to the Sliema/St Julian’s area (with a few exceptions). Today there are good restaurants opening up all over the island – avoiding the extortionate rent and catering to customers who couldn’t be bothered with the stress of getting into those congested areas.

One such place, opened a couple of weeks ago is The Village Kitchen. In the quieter communes of Naxxar, The Village Kitchen is an easy spot for Sunday lunch. Parking is easy and congestions (at least on a Sunday) is minimal in that area. But a restaurant that’s easy to get to is not quite good enough. The food, the ambiance, the price… these are all things that need to be taken into consideration.

Run by the Zammit Tabona family, owners of the Fortina and their associated restaurants, you know that they have enough experience to get this right, and taking their Fortina chef, Clifton Grech with them, you can be sure this is going to work.

The décor is modern yet homey, cool, steely greys with bright winter sunshine streaming in through the large front windows. Familiar faces seem to occupy every table making it seem more like home than a restaurant.

On to the menu, which you can have a look at while enjoying the winter sunshine on the patio with a drink. The cuisine is also homey, with Mediterranean dishes like pasta, meats and fish. Fresh ingredients, simple recipes, these are the types of meals you expect to eat at home and these are the same dishes that are served at The Village Kitchen – just with a little extra finesse.

If you’re a big wine drinker, this is the place for you. Their range of wines varies from the affordably quaffable to more expensive bottles that deserve to be savoured. Whatever you’re going for you can expect both old and new world wines and, as they import the wines themselves, you won’t be able to find the same wines anywhere else on the island.

We decided on a “lighter” lunch this time and stuck to one dish – pasta because you can’t be too serious about the light part of the lunch. I went for linguini with lobster. Served in the shell of half a lobster, there was certainly enough meat in the sauce to make this the perfect main and after the amuse buche of deep-fried goat cheese smothered in tomato sauce and basil, this was the perfect amount of food to leave full but not stuffed.

Then came dessert. I went for a tiramisu. This was simple, homemade, made fresh every day. You can’t really get better.

After the perfect lunch I wandered home thinking this is a restaurant I can return to regularly. That it is within walking distance of my house is just a bonus.

What I ate

Linguini with lobster

Tiramisu

Total: €25, excluding drinks

Address:

Marquis Scicluna Street,

Naxxar

Tel: 27484554

Follow them on Facebook.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 – 14:30; Tuesday – Saturday 19:00 – 22:00

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