I like the restaurant and food scene in Malta and I’m currently having tonnes of fun exploring it. So before you start being keyboard warriors in the comments section… this isn’t me complaining.
Right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me get straight to the point.
I’m always thinking about food and my current thoughts are about foods that we so desperately lack and would love to have on the Island (either that expats miss or that locals would love).
1. Actual buffalo wings
Hear me out.
Malta has tonnes of amazing chicken wing options. But apart from NOVI whose are decent, no one else seems to serve proper buffalo wings (or get them right).
Listen up restaurant owners and chefs: stop calling your chicken wings buffalo wings if they’re not. Lesson 101: buffalo wings are unbreaded, either gently deep-fried or baked but more importantly…it’s about the specific sauce.
Buffalo wings must have an orange sauce that is based with vinegar, cayenne pepper and tossed with butter before serving. The most authentic sauce you’ll find (if you can’t make it yourself) is Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce.
If it isn’t orange in colour, crispy, slightly spicy and tangy, then it isn’t a buffalo wing. Thanks for coming to my TEDTalk.
2. French food in an actual French Restaurant
No, I’m not talking about bakeries with French pastries and breads or restaurants that use French techniques or have the occasional foie gras or duck confit. I am talking about an actual French restaurant in Malta… with a full French menu.
Potato dauphinois gratin? Mmmerci.
3. Jerk chicken
Although there is one Afro-Caribbean joint here, (and we need more), I’m specifically talking about authentic, no-fuss jerk chicken.
A jerk chicken BBQ shack, for example, will go a long way here (in my opinion). Especially with Malta’s weather. Imagine smelling the aromas of jerk chicken grilling on a BBQ with the sun shining on blast!
And let’s not even get started on the taste!
4. Yum Cha / real dim sum
There aren’t any real dim sum on the island, not even in one Chinese restaurant.
Sure; there are places that serve a platter of dumplings or have har gau on the menu, but there aren’t any actual dim sum joints or decent dim sum menus, and whoever launches one will make some serious cash!
What I mean is proper Cantonese style dim sum dumplings (these are steamed with translucent skin). Go to any good dim sum restaurant and you’ll see prawn and chive dumplings, cheung fun (rice noodle rolls with meat or prawn filling), BBQ pork puffs, chicken feet, steamed beef meatballs (ngao yuk) and proper siu mai (Chinese steamed pork and shrimp dumplings).
Bonus points if there’s a typical yum cha experience where dim sum are pushed around in a trolley and you just grab and eat!
5. American food, Southern style
I’m not talking burgers, wings and ribs. I am talking food from Southern ‘Murica (a really big foodie region).
Think proper authentic buttermilk fried chicken (nothing like KFC or the chicken shops), shrimp & grits, collard green, fried catfish and cornbread, to name a few.
6. Vietnamese food from a Vietnamese restaurant
We do have the amazing Bahn Mi, but that’s unfortunately a van that you have to follow (and only feeds people during lunch hours).
We need a fully-fledged Vietnamese restaurant (not a place that has one or two ‘Viet’ dishes on the menu) serving all the popular dishes the country has to offer. Pho, authentic Bahn Mis, Ca Kho To (caramelised fish in clay pot), Vietnamese soups, fragrant salads and fish dishes.
We do have eateries that serve nice spring rolls Vietnamese style though!