Le Bistro: A Maltese and Mediterranean Haven
Looking out to the Mediterranean Ocean whilst dining in a sophisticated and tranquil restaurant may sometimes only ever be possible in a dream. Think again. Le Bistro, located at the luxurious Radisson Blu Hotel in St Julians, allows its diners to transport to a Mediterranean bliss, enjoying seasonal foods with both locally sourced ingredients and foreign influences.
Le Bistro is a big believer in serving food that is fresh, unique and tasty whilst also taking a genuine interest in creating and serving dishes that best complement the season. Their menu generously changes with the season, to help show off seasonal local ingredients whilst giving diners the chance to enjoy meals that best complement the naturistic atmosphere. My guests and I visited Le Bistro and their menu screamed summer as the new season was right on the cusp of approaching the island.
At first glance, the menu consisted of multiple dishes that were jumping out at us. The Marinated Prawn Salad, the Red Quinoa and Chia Seed Salad, the Spaghetti Aglio and Olio Pepperoncino, the Pan Fried Meagre (Gurbell) and the Ricotta Di Pecora Cake were all of our front runners.
We were craving dishes that would both present well on the plate with fresh and vibrant colours and complement the warm and sunny weather. In the warmer months, diners tend to go for foods that are lighter which in turn, often boast fresh ingredients and delicious flavour profiles thanks to their carefully sourced ingredients. Restaurants aren’t always successful in offering an even balance of the two – Le Bistro was.
As mentioned, were drawn towards the Red Quinoa and Chia Seed Salad, the Spaghetti Aglio and Olio Pepperoncino, the Pan Fried Meagre (Gurbell) and the Ricotta Di Pecora Cake with the addition of the Classic Beef Burger. We went ahead and ordered.
To start the lunch off, we were treated to the ever-so-delicate Red Quinoa and Chia Salad. Bursting with colours, an array of delicious ingredients and an aromatic smell, we simply could not wait to dig in. The green leaves of the spinach, iceberg and microgreens took this salad to the next level and successfully encapsulated summer on a plate. The figs were fresh and vibrant and their flesh boasted a beautiful plump pink colour. Along with the figs, the raddichio leaves that were amongst the mix cut through the otherwise all-green salad which further created the feeling of summer as the colours were light, consistent and vibrant. The asparagus provided a crunchy texture to the leaves, whilst the quinoa balanced out the contrasting textures with its al dente cooking preparation. The dressing itself was also nicely balanced due to the citrus of the lemon being cut with the sweetness of the local honey. A perfect way to start the meal as it was light, fresh and delicious. Truly, a fantastic start to our lunch.
Our mains were served and out arrived our Spaghetti Aglio and Olio Pepperoncino with prawns, the Classic Beef Burger and the Pan Fried Meagre (Gurbell). The spaghetti was served with fresh chillies which truly bought the dish to life, both regarding appearance and flavour. The chillies complimented the prawns perfectly as they were able to enhance the flavour further by bringing out the garlic and olive oil flavours which is an already Mediterranean flavour combination. One of my guests opted for the Meagre which was splendid. You could taste the freshness of the fish fillet with the ever-so-subtle kick of salt from the clam sauce. Paired with the fish was a smooth carrot puree sitting aside a creamy mashed potato with delicately placed grilled vegetables. The fish and grilled vegetables reminded my guest of a warm Mediterranean summer – thanks to the fresh seafood and abundance of grilled vegetables.
My second guest dug into his beef burger which consisted of two softly toasted buns, a moist beef patty, fresh and crisp lettuce and an in-house tart BBQ sauce with bought all of the flavours together. A simple, yet delicious dish. It is important to note that whilst placing our order for the burger, our waiter asked us how we prefer to have the beef patty cooked – a small gesture that truly does make all the difference.
Whilst cutting into the burger to gain a better understanding of the carefully constructed layers, we were happy to see that the beef patty was in fact, cooked to our liking.
To complement the lunch, we opted for Le Bistro’s Ricotta Di Pecora Cake. The cake was precisely layered with thin pastry and sweet ricotta that had a smooth mouth feel. The softness of the ricotta paired with the flaky crunch of the pastry perfectly balanced each other as it gave the diner a number of textures to experience. The cake itself left a sweet yet subtly aftertaste, to not completely overpower the palette after the entirety of the lunch. The cake was paired with a fabulous pistachio ice cream that appeared a soft and delicate green. My guests and I could not wait to dip our spoons in. The ice cream was smooth and left a slightly toasted flavour in the mouth, leaving us wanting more. It had the slightest element of saltiness which perfectly complimented the sweetness of the cake and tart orange and berry gel. It was of high quality as we could all successfully identify the pistachio flavour and were all extremely satisfied that it boasted a strong flavour.
After our delicious dessert successfully finished our lunch, we were all very satisfied. If you’re after a stunning view, with friendly and attentive service and a menu that accommodates each season whilst highlighting locally sourced and in-season ingredients, Le Bistro is the place for you. Diners can also be happy to know that there is free parking which is an extra bonus. Be sure to check out Le Bistro to be submerged in a sophisticated Mediterranean haven.