Dining in MaltaMy boyfriend organised a mystery holiday to Malta last week. For those of you that don’t know this is a small european island in the Mediterranean Sea south of Italy. As always when I go travelling, I was a little apprehensive of what I would be able to eat, but was pleasantly surprised! The food is strongly influenced by Italy so there were a lot of Italian restaurants, most of which served gluten free pasta & pizza. The weather was wonderful, gorgeous sunshine and very hot! I really enjoyed the holiday as there was no stress in finding places to dine and the country was great with lots of culture, history and scenic places. We stayed in the Corinthia Hotel St. Georges Bay for 5 days from the 15th-20th October 2015. During my holiday I had the pleasure to try out gluten free pizza, pasta, bread, Maltese food and even managed to find a slice of cake in a local bakery! In the main tourist areas I would always find several gluten free restaurants to choose from. Although one thing I will say, is that in Malta they don’t appear to know what a jacket or baked potato is, so nearly everything is served with fries, even salads! Whilst I was away on holiday I tried to dine low FODMAP where possible, but had difficulty with this due to chefs preparing sauces prior to service. I did however manage to successful stay gluten and dairy free which is great, as it meant I didn’t loose any time through illness! Below I have highlighted my favourite places to eat.
Corinthia Hotel St. Georges BayThe staff were very knowledgeable and I was immediately put at ease. At the hotel we had the buffet breakfast every day, which was fantastic as there was so much choice! They had gluten free bread available on request, which I could have with a poached, boiled or fried egg. They offered soya milk so I could have gluten free cereal. I used my own which I bought from home, as I always take some with me now just in case there is nothing suitable for me to eat at breakfast. There were also bacon, beans, tomatoes and mushrooms available, as well as an omelette station, continental section and pastry/pancake station, although the later weren’t suitable for me. The members of staff were very helpful and the chef would always walk me round the buffet explaining what I could and couldn’t eat, if there was anything that I fancied they would do their best to make it especially. We also went to their evening buffet one night and there Sunday lunch buffet. Both times the food was exceptional the first time they cooked gluten free tomato pasta for me and a salmon, broccoli and chip main. Unfortunately the only thing I couldn’t eat were the desserts but they always produced a fresh fruit platter at the end of the meal, so I didn’t feel left out! However, the chef did say if I knew when we were going to be dining at the hotel that he would happily make a dessert for me, but would need prior warning so he could ensure there would be no cross contamination and time allocated. Due to our busy schedule we never knew where we would eat from day to day, so I never had the opportunity to try out the desserts at the hotel. The oasis bar by the pools also served good food and again they could amend the menu to cater for my dietary requirements.
Ciappetti, MdinaLocated in the old capital of Mdina was this cute little walled Italian restaurant. The menu was advertised outside the entrance and in clear bold letters it said “We cater for a gluten free diet, just ask”. There were also some other restaurants in Mdina that offered gluten free but their menu choices seemed more limited and when I queried the staff I didn’t feel at ease to eat there. However, this restaurant really impressed us! The staff knew about cross contamination and when I explained that I was dairy and gluten free she replied no problem showing me what I could eat from the menu. I stated initially what I fancied but she feared that may be bland with no flavour, so kindly suggested an alternative. As she had been so helpful choosing a main, we asked her recommendation on the starter and she said to choose the traditional Maltese platter for two which we had already been eyeing up. I was also served complimentary gluten free bread so I didn’t feel left out. The food was delicious with so much flavour and I would definitely visit there again if I was ever passing!
Peppi’s, SliemaThis was a small café, restaurant on the seafront which had tremendous views looking out from the balcony. I tried their gluten free pizza which I have to say may have just been one of the best gluten free pizzas I have ever tasted! I choose my own toppings to avoid cheese, onion and mushroom and was really pleased with the result. The only issue was that the food took a long time to cook and the service was very slow, so when it did arrive I was very hungry, so forgot to take a picture before diving in! They also offered gluten free pasta and salads.
The Cake Box, MostaThis was a small bakery which offered gluten free cakes, and they even had one that was gluten and dairy free that I could try. The cake was a little dry for my liking, but I was impressed they offered cakes that I could eat and overall it wasn’t bad. I would have liked to have visited it again on a different day to see if the cake selection changed daily and to try out a few more of their options.
The Italian Job, St Julian’sThis was a lovely Italian restaurant on Level 2 Baystreet Complex, a huge shopping mall in St Julian’s. They offered gluten free pasta, pizza and bread, as well as a lot of the meat and seafood dishes being adaptable to cater gluten free. I had the rib eye steak main which was very tender, yummy and well presented. Everyone agreed the food was delicious and that we will definitely return to the restaurant in the future! Their pizzas looked incredible, so I will have to return to try out their gluten free seafood pizza. Yum!
Buddhamann, Corinthia St George’s HotelWe really liked the look of the menu so on the off chance I thought I’d ask whether they were able to cater gluten free. To my delight they could, the choices were limited but the food that I did try was exceptional! We had a gluten free sashimi platter to begin with to share and then both had the king prawn Malai curry as our main. The food was very high quality and presented beautifully. The waitress was very helpful informing me what I could eat and recommending meals we should try. I would definitely visit this restaurant again, it is pricey but the food is worth the money! The only negative I would say is that the portions are tiny, as with all fine dining, so expect to feel hungry unless you have all three courses. There is seating available with great views of St George’s bay and it is a very romantic setting dining on the balcony.
As management and chefs change all the time please contact each restaurant to check they still offer gluten and dairy free options before arriving. This information was accurate as of the 15th-20th October 2015.
There were also many more gluten free restaurants that I didn’t get the opportunity to try due to our short stay.
If you visit or know of any other good gluten/dairy free restaurants in Malta please post them below so everyone can enjoy them.
Thanks for reading!