Researching food in Malta was interesting. As a small mediterranean set of islands, it would be expected that Greek and Italian influences would colour these foods - and these two countries are home to two of the most flavoursome cuisines in the world. It seemed strange that many reviews of Maltese food deemed it a poor cousin to these. Nonetheless when surrounded by ocean, it can't be too difficult to find decent food especially seafood right?
Mellieha was home for a few days, especially chosen for its proximity to a lovely stretch of beach, access to the northern tip to boat around Gozo and Cosimo, a single bus ride direct to Valletta, and most importantly a good selection of restaurants in town.
Rebekah's Restaurant is rated #2 in Mellieha on Tripadvisor - usually I don't put so much emphasis on Tripadvisor reviews but there isn't much to read online. Reviews are scant and most are overwhelmingly complementary.
It is a nice adventure to find it. It is the one restaurant well off the main street, walking up public stairs, through neighbourhood streets and to a quiet corner. Unfortunately the eating experience didn't live up to the hype of a first meal in Malta.
Complementary bread and croquet was fine; no faults here. The starter Fritto Misto €11.95 (fried prawn, calamari, white bait, fresh fish, mussels) was terrible - heavily over fried and thus the ingredients lacked intrinsic flavour and any fresh texture. The Baked Brie €9.75 wrapped in Filo Pastry had a powerfully strong blue cheese taste - not for me, but cheese-likers won't mind it at all.
Intermission of Cucumber & Vodka sorbet €2 was a nice refreshing interruption. Certainly not necessary, but cleansing (and charged without ordering it).
The restaurant made a point of showing us the fresh fish of the day Dott €23.95 which sadly was again badly overcooked - I really can't remember much else about the dish. The Pan Fried Wild Boar €24.95 (not a local ingredient unfortunately) had an expected game flavour and was cooked to a nice medium rareness but still remained chewy. The Maltese sausage and black pudding fritters (ie. croquettes) it came with was delicious though.
Most of the all the biggest problem was time. The indoor part of the restaurant was only half full (and there is a rooftop outdoor area that I did not see) but the time taken to serve was ridiculous. That no wait staff ever approached to inform us made it even more unacceptable. From the time on my photos, the night progressed as: 1925 arrival 1935 menu 1947 bread 2004 croquette 2031 entrees 2054 sorbet 2123 main. I think 1 hour for entrees and another 1 hour for mains to be served is below expectation.
This is the first restaurant I've researched into and would not recommend. It had to happen sometime and it is sad to be from a small local place.
Next time I would order from the restaurant nearby on the local street named Bouquet Garni. However if you end up here, the Fish Soup entree and Chateaubriand Carved at your Table looked like the best bets.