A Chef and a Foodie on Tour: Café Olavi

A Chef and a Foodie on Tour: Café Olavi

I have been a frequent visitor of Mosta every Friday night for the last two years while my children take a Friday night sewing class. This gives me time to explore restaurants and discover some of the best dishes. There is a lasagna dish in Mosta that is literally the only restaurant that I order lasagna from. I’m not usually a huge fan of lasagna, simply because my mother’s side of our family is Italian and it was served at every family gathering and holiday my entire life. Lasagna is a dish I would always pass on until I ate Ronnie’s lasagna one evening in Mosta. This is by far my favorite lasagna in the entire world and it happens to be right here in our own backyard.

What makes this dish so much better than the rest? For one, it’s sweeter than most sauces. You can taste the Kunsurva in the sauce. You can also taste the red wine in the sauce. There is no one single ingredient that overpowers the others and I like that. All the flavours blend into each other perfectly.

Chef Ariel noticed that the lasagna is very delicate and detailed, noting four separate layers. He also noticed that while most chefs top the lasagna with a decent amount of Parmesan cheese, this topping was only mozzarella cheese, which browned up perfectly and lent to a sweeter final layer.

 This recipe is a family recipe that Ronnie got from his sister-in-law and that has been served at their family meals since he was a child.

Mosta dome

Ronnie Vasallo began his career at the age of 14, when he asked his father for a loan to open a flower shop. He continues to be a florist as well as a café owner. He finished school and began catering, which led him to study hotel management. All the while, his flower shop, which remains open to this day, was still operating at top speed.

After that, he decided to open a sweet café in which to serve food and beverage; Café Olavi. which translates to the coffee kitchen. They use only family recipes in this sweet little café and you can taste it. Homemade ravioli, and specialty pies; especially lampuki pie when in season. When we frequent this café, especially during the colder months, my husband and I order the same thing always. We share the cream of vegetable and bacon soup and we order one lasagna that Ronnie serves in the perfect size rectangular pan with two plates. He divides the soup for us before bringing it to the table.

The coffee that is served there is of very high quality and does not ever disappoint. He has indoor and outdoor seating as well. To top if off, you will likely find some sweets in the window of his front counter that rotate each week. Ronnie caters to the feast days and we have joined the celebration by coming to Café Olavi and eating a special meal prepared for the various saints’ celebrations. Ronnie is a true Maltese born and raised and it is reflected in his wonderful and warm hospitality and tried and true recipes.

But don’t just take my word for it…if you are on the hunt for delicious lasagna, go check it out for yourself and let  us know what you think!

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