After a week+ travelling in Europe, I will always start to crave Asian food. One lunch, I decided to try one in Malta as recommended by the Michelin Guide. Here is what the guide says: “they offer an appealing blackboard menu of Asian classics. Cooking is fresh and authentic, with bold, vibrant flavours.” Would this be the case? Lets find out.
We started with the tori karaage described as “Japanese crispy fried chicken coated with a homemade sweet chilli sauce” and crispy fried calamari “with a tangy Thai dressing and wasabi mayo”. Was it tasty? Yes! Was it authentic? Not really. I would say that the food was good in a “Panda Express” kind of way. It was also the case that I had not tasted Asian flavors for a few days so was just glad to have ANY sort of Asian food. If this was in a city with a lot of Asian options, it would not do well. On its own in Malta, its decent enough.
Next, the pork belly bao buns which were just ok.
…and for my main I had the Shoyu Pork Belly Ramen. The broth was disappointing without depth of flavor or umami. A bit bland. The noodles were not ramen noodles. It was ok considering where I was but this was in no way authentic or “good” compared to other ramen globally.
One thing that WAS outstanding was the homemade lemongrass and ginger tea. Full of flavor.
The desserts were pretty good. We had the sticky rice and mango, and the gave us a free coconut panacotta.
Overall, service was good and the owner and servers were friendly. The food was ok with some dishes flavorful while other like the ramen needing work. On a global scale, this is not good Asian food. I don’t know if the Michelin Guide calibrates its ratings globally or on a local basis. I believe they should do the former so that everything is consistent. They just released a Guide in Vancouver and the Asian food on the list IS good. Something happened with the Malta guide though. A lot of the places we visited were not up to standard globally.