There is so much more to Japanese cuisine than sushi and sashimi. So, so much more.
There are probably 200 varieties of different Japanese dishes, some you would’ve heard of, some not (not all available here unfortunately).
We don’t expect to have a big Japanese food scene in Malta, but we have searched far and wide to find some of the most authentic plates on the island that fly the flag for Japan, and we were pleasantly surprised.
Here we go!
1. Takyoyaki at Tokyo Fried House, St Julian’s
Takoyaki is a very popular Japanese street food with origins in Osaka.
Tako means octopus and yaki translates to grilled, so takoyaki is (drum roll please) grilled octopus.
Specifically, this dish is basically battered balls filled with chopped octopus and has different toppings.
The Takoyaki at TFH are legit. And what’s more very Tuesdays and Sundays, they host a Takoyaki event.
2. Pork Belly at N Japanese Bistrot, Valletta
A traditional dish of pork belly slowly cooked in a signature shoyu based sauce.
3. Salmon Teriyaki at GENKI Asian Cafe
St Julian’s, Msida
A healthy concoction of fresh grilled salmon served on a bed of wakame seaweed, mixed green leaves, carrots, white radish, tomatoes, spring onions, coriander leaf, peanuts, cucumber, lime, chili and served with a rice wine and soya dressing.
4. Tori Karaage Chicken at KuYa Asian Pub, St Julian’s
Karate is basically Japanese fried chicken. Bite-sized served with a scrumptious sweet chili sauce.
KuYa are always spot on with their dishes.
5. Pork Tonkotsu Ramen at Fat Louie’s, St Julian’s
We promise you that you won’t regret the new ramen menu at Fat Louie’s! The’ve certainly done their research to ensure that their ramen transports you to Japan.
We especially love the tonkotsu bone broth with pork belly ramen.
6. Tonkatsu at Tokyo Fried House, St Julian’s
Tonkatsu is a famous popular Japanese dish which is a breaded, deep fried pork steak/cutlet.
If this sounds like your meaty cup of tea, you can get an authentic enough version at Tokyo Fried House.
7. Prawn Tempura at Sakura, Sliema
Because who doesn’t like huge prawns (aka ebi) covered in a light Japanese batter?
8. Tataki at Zen, St Julian’s
Not to be confused with sashimi, tataki is very thin lightly-seared raw slices of beef.
Zen offers its takati topped with spring onions, fried garlic chips and Ponzu sauce.
9. Katsu Curry at YUGTO, Valletta
You got to try this curry YUGTO are offering! A comfort winter warming kinda dish, it’ll have you coming back to this beloved Asian resto in the capital.