Grilled Pork Belly And Boneless Quail Inside A Windmill In Mellieħa
Il-Mitħna brought the service and attention on Valentine's day
There were a lot of great menus in Malta for Valentine's 2018.
But it was slim pickings for someone who doesn't like oysters, and seeing as they are said to make you horny, they were featured on nearly every menu on this romantic night.
However, a restaurant inside of a windmill in Mellieħa provided a menu that hit all the right notes. From salted pork belly to buttery pasta, Il-Mitħna may be the hidden gem that you didn't know you needed.
Upscale but not pretentious, the restaurant sits in a 16th century windmill that was built by the Knights of St. John, one of the few remaining, and the ambience is rather unique and tranquil.
Bread was brought to the table, but my companion was gluten intolerant, so they promptly brought out some warm gluten-free bread.
Grilled pork belly with polenta and fig
The first bite of this marinated pork belly in ginger, lime and chili was heavenly. The salty pork blended perfectly with the spongey pan-fried polenta, with the lime and mascarpone adding to the juiciness.
Honey baked brie
Without even asking, they served this brie with gluten-free toasted bread. The slightly sour green apples cut right through the creamy brie and the pecan nuts added a soft crunch to the toasted bread's hard crunch.
Tortellacci and gluten-free pasta
This course was meant to be a six stuffed tortellacci shared between the two diners, but the kitchen split it and brought out gluten-free penne with mushrooms and vegetables for my companion, which received a thumbs up.
The tortellacci with Fontina cheese was supremely buttery, and the pasta had a slight al dente bite to it.
Pan-fried beef flank
This beef flank was served medium, and was nice and juicy thanks to the port jus. The roasted green peppers, squash and onions added a touch of smokiness to the cut of beef.
Grilled boneless quail
Quail can have quite a gamey flavour, but this dish didn't focus on that aspect of the quail's flavour. It was cooked with a sweet and sour glaze, and had quite a crispy, BBQ flavour.
It was served on creamed Chinese cabbage and mangetout which gave it a burst of freshness.
Dark chocolate and salted pretzel tart
This dessert was interesting. The salted pretzel's texture, as opposed to being super crunchy, became akin more to puffed rice, leading to a chewy bite between the dark chocolate. The fresh strawberry and strawberry gel were nice, but the marsh-mellow fritter was a tad too burnt for my liking.
Fig pannacotta was brought out for my companion due to the gluten in the pretzel, which received another thumbs up.
The service was friendly and helpful throughout the night, and the water and wine was constantly refilled with barely a whisper. Their attention to the gluten intolerance was appreciated, especially since they adjusted nearly every course by the end of the meal.
The 4-course came in at a price of €49.95. Next time you are looking for a posh but friendly environment, and especially if you have a gluten allergy, Il-Mitħna could be exactly what you are looking for.