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Malta’s First Balkan Fusion Restaurant Brings A New Twist To Beloved Dishes

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Malta has easily become a hotspot for restaurants of all types of cuisine to open up. Nearly all parts of the world are represented on the plate within the restaurants in Malta – including everything from Japanese to Ethiopian. Now, we have our first and only Balkan Fusion restaurant to add to the mix.

Paprika now joins an ever-expanding range of restaurants proudly welcoming guests to enjoy all that they have to offer. Located in Gzira, Paprika offers a fusion of Balkan cuisine (including Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Macedonian and Greek) with a modern twist to an ancient and vibrant type of cuisine.

Having opened its doors in October 2020, Paprika has shown itself to be a never-before-seen experience in Malta which is a bold but definitely justified statement.

The fusion elements of these beloved Balkan meals offer an innovative and creative twist that keeps the most cherished elements of Balkan cuisine whilst also raising it to international levels of appeal.

It should also be noted that not only are the types of dishes seen at Paprika unique in Malta, but they are also committed to offering a guarantee of quality in making everything in-house, sourcing produce from across Malta.

Lovin Malta reached out to the owner of Paprika, Mariijan, who explained that Paprika has been an endeavour he has wanted to embark on for many years now.

“I grew up in the Balkans – I am half-Croatian, half-Serbian,” he explains when asked what made him want to open Paprika, explaining that he decided to open Paprika in order to “do something that is new and exciting and I was told that if you want to make something new, then Malta is the perfect place to do it.”

When dining at Paprika, expect an assortment of dishes inspired by traditional dishes across the Balkans. Diners have the option to either go by an a la carte menu or to try a bit of everything with their tasting menu.

Yet, there are definitely a few dishes you may want to look out for. Considered a signature dish of the restaurant is the Boskarin Tongue Carpaccio, made from the Boksarin Cattle indigenous to Croatia – a unique dish to Paprika.

Additionally, you may enjoy other unique dishes such as the Smoked Mackrel – which was introduced specifically to try and encourage Maltese people to see Mackrel fish in a more positive light, and the Pork Belly Roast glazed with beer and honey and drizzled with a Greek olive oil powder.

All of these dishes can be washed down with amazing signature cocktails – including Paprika’s signature Tesla’s Juice with homemade Chamomile infused gin.

Whilst the restaurant brings the more sophisticated, fusion and fine-dining elements of Balkan cuisine, Paprika Soul Food intends to focus on the traditional Balkan food – comfort food to make it feel like a homecooked meal. It is also done so that the edge of fine-dining dishes is not lost in the delivery process.

If you happened to also wonder why any restaurant would open during the economic struggle of COVID-19, it actually is due to a saying in the Balkans. “We have a saying that if you do something in very hard and harsh times – and you succeed – then it is destined to last forever” Marijan explained.

This idea of determination and resilience is also reflected on their website, which explains that “we decided to open a restaurant and bring people together through every bite of Balkan food that we grew up with. […] The Balkans has always prevailed and presumptions are made that our strength and determination come from the food we eat.”

Their mission for bringing people together has seemed to pay off as well. Paprika is considered to be doing extremely well ever since it has opened – to the point where its success has made them open a special project via Wolt: Paprika Soul Food.

Whether you choose to go to the restaurant itself or enjoy some comfort food through Paprika Soul Food, you may enjoy a unique experience with this type of cuisine.

After all, Balkan food is not only one of the oldest cuisines in the world – it also offers the vibrant mixes of Ottoman, Austrian, Italian and Hungarian influences to their food. To all foodies out there, Paprika is a must-have on your dinner list for 2021.

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