Friday, 23 May 2014

Creatures of habit

Have you ever had a lightbulb moment when you've thought to yourself "why didn't I do/try/see (delete as appropriate) that earlier?" I have those sorts of moments quite often and I had one when I was in Malta with the family in March.

For as long as I can remember I've always wondered what a particular restaurant in Mellieha was like. It was a stone building and looked rather charming to my young eye. Set above the street with fairy lights and natural stone it looked very romantic and elegant. In my younger days we used to stay in the holiday apartments directly opposite this restaurant but never in all the years I've visited Mellieha, as a child nor as an adult, have I ventured inside, always preferring to side with the eateries I know of old and have deemed a "safe" choice. However all that changed this year when the husband and I ascended the steps into "il Mithna".

I didn't know what to expect from the food but was beside myself with excitement when I learned that the building I was about to spend the next few hours in was at one point, hundreds of years ago, a windmill. And not just any old windmill; it was built by the Knights of St John in the second half of the 17th century and the building today is still full of its original features.



The restaurant consists of two cozy dining rooms and two picturesque terraces which make for a memorable experience. We didn't get to take advantage of either of the terraces as the weather was a bit too cold to sit outside. I couldn't have been more delighted when our waiter led us to a cozy little booth big enough for three tabes of two. I had a perfect view of the length of the restaurant as well as of the roaring fire.   





  


 Before our starter arrived we were presented with complimentary shot glasses of pumpkin soup, and chicken legs. I've never tasted pumpkin soup before and was really pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't hesitate to order that in the future.  The chicken legs were coated in honey and rosemary and were delicious. 



   
For starter we shared a platter consisting of chicken in filo, duck spring roll, shrimp and sesame toast and a vegetable samosa all of which was accompanied by a rich honey dip. To be honest it was worth ordering this dish for the honey dip alone. It was finger lickin' good.




My main was braised pork belly with mash and seasonable vegetables the pork was quite fatty but as it was so tender it wasn't too much effort to work around the fat. It sort of just fell apart at the slightest touch.



The husband opted for the rabbit pasta. I've never tried rabbit before (I'm a total wimp when it comes to trying new foods) but on this night, buoyed slightly by the lovely Maltese wine we were sharing, I accepted the proffered tester of rabbit with grace and didn't embarrass the hubby by pulling a funny face or worse still, spitting it out. So all in all a thumbs up from me.

As for pudding, well I was still on Lent so I just had to watch as the husband delved spoon first into this little beauty......




By all accounts, and judging by what was left (not much) I think he liked it and wouldn't say no to another one.

After a thoroughly enjoyable evening we paid our very reasonable bill and made for the exit. Not before I got to take a quick peek in the wine store.....




The husband practically had to drag me out of there; I was happy to chat to lovely gent who let me in for aaaaages, but even I knew when enough was enough. 

Needless to say this place get a thoroughly deserved thumbs-up from me and is definitely somewhere I'll be booking in August.



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