Restaurants Malta | Planetmona

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Il Galeone

Set up like a pub and on Sliema's lacking-in-restaurants front, the Galeone can be great or just plain dull. Mona Farrugia drops in.

 
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Everybody’s at it. Now either our lives have become totally virtual or else we’ve been totally taken over by reality shows, which are, no matter which angle you look at them, shows: the entire western world is baring its soul or whichever bit it wants to show of it, by blogging.

For the uninitiated, and the non-bloggers, a blog is an internet diary. The whole concept of it defies me. I mean, if I wanted to write a diary – and I did for long years of my life – wouldn’t I want to keep it for myself? If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be totally honest with my writing would I? I would write what I want others to read. It’s a bit of a coward’s way out. And when you really know people on a personal level, what they leave out is more of an indication of what they’re doing than what they write.

Not to say that blogging isn’t great when somebody else is doing it. Guze Stagno, for example, a local novel writer with relevant merit, has a fabulous one. In xemx.blogspot.com he tells the world, its brother, and elder gorgeous sister what he thinks about anything from a generation’s obsession with the 80’s to his meeting with Toni Sant.

Do you remember Toni Sant? I do. He’s like a cult figure for most of us. The local boy who was always a man of the world. His radio programmes were as cool as an igloo, his television productions more the level of Rai than Tista’ Tkun Int, and of course, like most locals with an eye on the rest of the world, he joined it by moving to the US (New York, obviously), and he’s now the Director of Studies in New Media at Hull University in the UK. Check out what he’s doing on maltamedia.com/~blog/. It’s listed on New York Bloggers, so Carry Bradshaw darling, eat your Manolos.

I too have been immersed in a virtual world lately, as I prepare to unleash my website www.planetmona.com on the world. Well, ok, it’s been a long time coming, and it’s not a blog at all, but it had to happen at some point. I mean, you’ve only been asking me for it for the past three and a half years.

In the meantime, I have to stick to reality, which bites, until I bite it back. The Writer and I are madly busy preparing for our trip to China next week, the second in the space of less than a year. Basically, like a couple of mad work-eat-sleep automatons, we don’t have time to shop or cook. So we eat out instead.

Now Malta is not exactly New York when it comes to choice of restaurants. In NYC you can order a Sushi delivery at 3.00am, wake up to your latte latte (a coffee without coffee) picked up in a Styrofoam cup on your way to work in the subway, stop for taco at 12, and so on until your life revolves around take-outs and eat-ins. You never even need to buy a kettle if you want. But don’t take my word for it. Take Toni’s. I’ve never even been to New York.

So I’ll stick to Sliema for this week. Specifically, to Il Galeone on the Strand. From the outside, this is a curious restaurant, and it seems really chic, which basically scares a lot of people off unless they have a special occasion. But inside, it’s a mish-mash of quasi-nautical décor, with huge ropes slung across the ceiling and brass and wood bric-a-brac. The tables and chairs themselves are quite horrid, the former strewn with, if I remember correctly (it was dark), pea-green tablecloths which have seen better days.

The waiting is semi slip-shod, but it grows on you in that you forgive if after a while. What’s interesting is the menu. They list unusual items like egg dishes for starters and engaging main courses. The overall effect is very homely and casual, and its visual proximity to a pub diner makes all the English tourists in the area flock to it.

I had Eggs Florentine to kick off. Now if there ever was simple comfort food, this has to be it. Eggs are little powerhouses of nutrients and vitamins (well, they were supposed to be little chicklets some day, but whatever), and these came runny (I was asked, which is great) and in a lovely double cream sauce. The only bugbear I had was with the spinach, which obviously came out of a freezer pack. Using fresh spinach would have made it a stratospheric dish.

TW had the Crespelle with Salmon, shards of fish tied in a creamy sauce and wrapped in a couple of crepes. They were also really filling and satisfying, a good mix of carbohydrate and protein. Things were looking good. Even if opposite me, one young British woman demonstrated how the Brits never quite got the hang of eating spaghetti, as she wrapped it round her finger pinched tines with a knife and with some embarrassment shoved it into her mouth.

Buoyed up by our starter, TW was looking forward to his Filletto Rossini. But the pate’ which came on the meat was lacking flavour and didn’t give with heat, denoting that a creamier texture would have been in order. And the meat was tough, even if he ordered it medium rare. Actually, any chef will tell you that the rarer the meat is cooked, the more you can tell its quality. I will tell you the same thing.

My dott with garlic sauce was definitely acceptable, if not memorable, since I ate it all. It seemed fresh and the sauce was a good quantity which didn’t overwhelm but complemented. TW reports that the vegetables and potatoes were very good. And he reminds me that the potatoes even had a bay leaf in them. You have him to thank for the details he remembers, until I get my digital recorder next week from Dubai airport.

We rounded off the whole thing, when we finally managed to grab somebody’s attention (service had slipped considerably), with a crème caramel which had formed a gelatinous thin crust on the outside, and a lemon mousse which reminded TW of Bird’s Eye Angel Delight. Actually it was zesty and creamy and I enjoyed it, even if both desserts were a throwback to the 80’s.

The meal cost us Lm23 and the bill came on those old restaurant chits which list ‘food’, ‘mineral water’ and ‘champagne’ amongst others, with the prices hand written on the side. It made the experience very good value for money and totally acceptable for a weekday dinner when all you want is some comforting food down your gullet and the computer screen as far from your eyes as possible.

 

Restaurants Malta: Sliema

Additional Information

Location

Address Tigne Seafront
Town Sliema
Country Malta

Restaurant

Cuisine Mediterranean

Contact Details

Contact Number 00356 21316420

Map

 

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Mona Farrugia
November 30, 2010
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Rating:
 
4.0   (1)
 
 
Rating:
 
4.0
Vince Tanti 父
November 30, 2010
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My wife and I enjoyed a good dinner there on a Monday evening. I went there by chance as on Mondays not many restaurants are open, but I was glad I did.

We were not the only people there, but I did realise that we were the only Maltese!

We opted for stuffed mushrooms as starters, which were a delight, and we both took steaks as our main course, with a choice of mixed veg and potatos as contorns.

Throughout our time there Chris the Manager took really good care of us.
In the end, we paid around €65.00 for the food and wine, which I think is reasonable.

 
 
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