My husband and I heard about La Maltija
in Paceville/St. Julians, Malta, from our hotel concierge at the Hilton Malta
, who recommended it to us when we asked for a traditional Maltese restaurant. We had expected something maybe a bit more provincial, and were pleasantly surprised by this rustic, but refined, yet cozy space only a few blocks down the road.
By the way, Paceville is pronounced more like “pacha-veal” than “pace ville”. Just in case you were wondering.
There is a good deal of outdoor dining space, but the weather being as beautiful as it was, we found that we could only eat without waiting for a table if we sat at an inside table.
It was sweltering hot for the first half of our meal, in the back room of the restaurant where we were seated, because this Russian/Eastern European family had complained before we arrived that they were cold so the air conditioning was turned off. However, as soon as they left, our server turned the air on and it became paradise. While it could be considered a minus, I admired the staff’s dedication to pleasing their customers (even if it meant we were not as comfortable at first…)
Temperature concerns aside, our server (I don’t recall her name but she was blonde, on the tall side, and spoke several languages) was excellent and helped us decide on our entrees and even made a few suggestions to help us create our perfect meal. We started with bread and olives (part of the cover charge of 1.50 Euros per person – a steal) and decided on a traditional Maltese cheese dish (Gbejniet Moqlija) and some bruschetta.
When it came time to select our entrees, we opted to share the lobster spaghetti, as well as the prawns with a garlicky cream sauce and rice.
Prawns over rice
Both dishes were excellent but the lobster was just phenomenal. Our server even portioned out the lobster dish so that we could share it easily, onto separate plates, which probably avoided an argument between us about who got to eat more of it.
I still think about the special of the day: lobster spaghetti.
Why do I still think about the lobster spaghetti? Because it was rich and creamy, but somehow still light and had the most amazing layering of complex flavors. There were some Italian flavors, but also some Arabic and Indian influences like cumin and coriander. None of it was overpowering and all of it was delicious.
I loved the tablecloths and regret not buying one from the restaurant (they sell them on-site).
You can check out more information on La Maltija at their website here. The menu on the website is more limited than the menu on premises, so fear not. If you’re looking for good, honest, what seems like traditional Maltese fare and don’t want to break the bank, then this place is for you. The bonus? It’s located in Paceville (the nightlife area), so after dinner you can head out for a drink and some dancing if you want. Enjoy!
How to find La Maltija:
Not easily found in Google Maps, La Maltija is at the corner of Triq il-Knisja and Triq il-Wilga
Church Street (Triq Il-Knisja), Paceville
Tel: (+356) 2135 9602
Have you been to La Maltija? Do you have a dish that you loved that I didn’t get to try? Tell me all about it! Leave a comment!