time to explore with esplora

Eating our way through Rabat

We begin our tour of Rabat at Peristyle Restaurant Est. 1997 as they walk us through the process of making traditional Maltese savoury pastries called Pastizzi, a marriage between flaky pastry filled with fresh ricotta cheese or a paste of mashed peas and spices.

Though traditionally diamond-shaped, the chefs show us a puff-pastry version, which are more rounded and called Pastizzi tax-xema. Next, we head to Is-Serkin, also known as Crystal Palace, ordered another batch of pastizzi, qassatat, a short cut pastry, also traditionally filled with mashed peas or fresh ricotta, and Kinnie, a Maltese bittersweet carbonated drink, brewed from bitter oranges and wormwood extracts.

Back at Peristyle, they treat us to traditional fried rabbit, or as the Maltese would say: fenek moqli. The dish is usually served with french fries or baked potatoes, and some fresh Maltese bread, to mop up the delicious gravy and juices.

Next, we visit Ta’ Doni, where we sample local craft beers and a ftira biż-żejt, a ring-shaped leavened Maltese bread, filled to the brim with kunserva – a tomato spread, olive oil, tuna, onions, capers, olives and Maltese cheeselets called ġbejna.

Next up, a platter with ġbejna, Maltese sausafe and a Maltese broad bean dip called bigilla. We visited Cafe Santa Lucija for some traditional sweets, including imqaret, diamond date-filled pastries of Arabic origins, and pudina tal-ħobż, believed to be a variation of the classic British bread pudding.

Our final stop was Parruċċan Confectionary for some traditional kannoli, tube-shaped fried pastry filled with ricotta, and qubbajt tal-lewz, brittle nougat with almonds.

Filmed by James Bianchi

Featured restaurants:

Peristyle Restaurant Est. 1997


Ta’ Doni

Cafe Santa Lucija


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