If you’re a born-again gluten hater, you might want to sit down and read this carefully. Specifically, you might want to take a seat at Genki, an Asian café on the Ta’ Xbiex seafront that’s offering rice burgers. That’s right: burger buns made of steamed rice and grilled to perfection.
They’re not small either. These babies are more filling than most burgers and quite frankly, you shouldn’t be eating this much rice even if it’s the only carb you allow yourself.
Genki serves two kinds of rice burgers. One is served with a Vietnamese beef patty that’s lightly spiced and pretty goddamn delicious. Unfortunately for real celiac’s, the beef patty is not completely gluten free (so make sure you discuss your allergies with the staff beforehand). But the second is a vegetarian option featuring a vegetable and soya burger, topped with a slice of tofu. We didn’t try this but it sounds pretty legit too.
The burgers don’t photograph too well and you can’t really grab them like a normal burger without the rice falling apart. They’re also not very cheap at €10.50. But they do make for a really wholesome meal, especially with the grilled and marinated sweet potatoes on the side.
Rice burgers may be the most interesting thing about Genki Asian Café, but really, they’re just the start.
The small restaurant is situated on the busy Ta’ Xbiex seafront road, overlooking the marina. But as you enter the automatically sliding doors, you’re transported to a pretty little eatery that’s more tranquil than you would expect. The wooden decor, chilled music and fresh sushi ingredients displayed alongside the bar creates a great atmosphere.
If you like, you could sit by the bar and order food off the sushi belt. Alternatively, you could dig into the varied menu and choose anything from Indonesian Cimahi for breakfast to a lovely Chinese dumpling soup or Thai oyster beef for lunch. There’s also plenty of salads, including a Japanese Yakitori Salad which includes grilled chicken breast, yellow raddish, spring onions and Teriyaki sauce.
Genki Asian Café also offers takeaways which is great because the place seats fewer than 35 people and is already a lunch favourite among all the iGaming folk in the area.
If you’re a group (maximum eight people), you might also want to try out Genki’s Omakase menu, especially suitable for a big dinner.
Omakase is Japanese for “I’ll leave it up to you” and at Genki it means letting the master chef create a 10-dish “delicate and innovative menu” just for you, including appetisers, soup, salads, sushi, warm food and dessert. You need to book for this experience and prices start from €45 per head. But it sure sounds like a great way to taste everything this gem has to offer.
And don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of the reviews on Facebook which helped get this place a 4.8 rating.
Genki also has some fresh desserts on display, including the not-very-Asian carrot cake, red velvet cake and apply pie. There’s also some fruit salads and a couple of Asian daily specials. But if nothing tickles your fancy, just go directly opposite to Busy Bee’s gelateria and grab yourself a cheeky ice-cream. Or if you’re feeling especially naughty, one of their freshly baked waffles.