Tradition means a lot to the Maltese, as does food, so it is no surprise that we have been a little stuck in our ways over the years when it came to restaurants.
While returning to a good favourite is all well and good, stepping outside our comfort zone could lead to adding a new favourite to our list.
This list will also exclude our happy Mediterranean classic of Italian cuisine since We believe it is even more normal to Maltese than local cuisine restaurants, which have only really been popularised in the last few years – excluding the working man’s eateries which are less restaurant and more home from home.
The first Asian cuisine to find itself in Europe, and actually in a lot of the west, Maltese Chinese is no different from other western versions as it must be called just that.
With less availability of foreign ingredients and facing a much more hesitant audience than today, the Chinese owners were known to adapt their dishes to suit both ingredient availability and more importantly: local taste.
What Maltese Chinese tells us about the Maltese that influenced it is, well, we really like things fried.
Chinese cuisine in Malta is an indulgence, but one that never disappoints.
Portions are consistently large, with most restaurants also offering all-you-can-eat buffets on particular days of the week.
Our personal favourite has always been Shaukiwan in Xemija, which offers set menu eating which We quite enjoy.
Japanese food, in particular, sushi, has exploded on the island in the last ten years.
From being pretty much non-existent, sushi restaurants can be found all over now, and all of a pretty decent standard.
For those who are not ready to step out of their comfort zone of cooking fish before eating it, don’t worry, most sushi restaurants have a number of rolls containing various other options, including chicken, smoked salmon, crab, tofu, cooked fish, as well as vegetable only rolls.
Once again, all you can eat is a popular choice, for this we recommend Okurama in St. Julians who offer it for just €25 a head, and don’t worry if your party is a mix of big eaters and little nibblers, they’ve never had a problem serving a la carte to other people on the same table who don’t wish to overindulge.
For a more fine dining experience, there is always the classic Zen Japanese Sushi Bar & Teppanyaki, which actually serves more than just the sushi it is known for.
Speaking of Japanese food that isn’t just sushi, a new restaurant has just opened in Paceville called Tokyo Fried House and everyone is going crazy for it.
So if you want to discover what else Japan has to offer in terms of food apart from Sushi, Click Here to Book Your Table at Tokyo Fried House NOW!
The owner supposedly opened it out of frustration at the lack of truly authentic Japanese cuisine in Malta, so if you want to feel as though you’re in Tokyo without the jet lag, this is the place to go.
A quiet classic, not quite as normalised on the island as Chinese cuisine is, but close enough.
Local culture shares a lot with that of Indian culture, most notably in how important we consider food as part of our family life.
If you fear confusing foreign dishes with mysterious spices and a high heat don’t worry too much.
Most Indian restaurants in Malta contain a clear description along with each item, and servers are always super friendly and helpful with any questions you have regarding spice level.
Our best advice for eating Indian is to go with a few friends, each order a curry you all enjoy and share among yourselves for some variation.
It is always advisable to ask the waiter how much naan bread and rice they recommend for your number as serving sizes often vary, but keep in mind that it is usually easy to reorder these two part way through your meal if you see you will not have enough.
Our absolute favourite Indian restaurant on the island is Maharajah on Gzira seafront.
The family that run it are lovely and helpful, and the Bollywood music video playlist on their tv just add to the atmosphere.
We highly recommend their speciality curry ‘Kerala Chicken’, though it is large enough that we have never once left there without leftovers for reheating the next day.
We all have a favourite place to go for a Turkish kebab, but how about somewhere a bit different?
If you want to stick to simple and cheap Olive House and Levantina both have great options, the first is Lebanese and the latter more Middle Eastern fusion.
Levantina also does pretty great full meals too, with meaty main course options and mezze platters alike, for an average restaurant price.
If however, you would like to truly challenge the stereotype of Middle Eastern being more suited to fast food then Ali Baba is your place to be.
More on the pricey side but you definitely get what you pay for, a true Lebanese fine dining experience.
So there you have it, our Taaable guide to foreign cuisine in Malta.
Tell us what your favourite cuisine is and if there are any other cuisines you would like to know about in the comments section.