Updated 5.45pm with ACE response
A restaurant in Sliema - the Fernandõ Gastrotheque - has gained One Michelin Star status joining another five restaurants in Malta that also boast the star - Under Grain, Valletta; Noni, Valletta; ION – The Harbour, Valletta; De Mondion, Mdina; and Bahia, Balzan.
Five new restaurants also joined the Michelin Guide Malta 2023 selection. They are: Giuseppi’s, Naxxar; Loa, St. Paul’s Bay; Grotto Tavern, Rabat; Legligin, Valletta; and Rosamì, St. Julian’s. This brings the 2023 Malta selection up to 35 Michelin-recommended restaurants.
The Bib Gourmand status maintained the same restaurants - Terrone, Vittoriosa; Commando, Mellieħa; Grain Street, Valletta; and Rubino, Valletta. These restaurants represent good quality and good value cooking.
Michelin Guides international director Gwendal Poullennec said Michelin was proud to welcome a new restaurant to the large family of Michelin Stars.
“The development of the Maltese culinary scene is extremely exciting, with the selection of an additional five new restaurants that take their inspiration from the Mediterranean region, yet without holding back on the occasional touch of fusion to surprise and delight gourmets. Whether for its UNESCO-designated heritage, its status as a Mediterranean crossroads, its ancient history or its colourful and joyful cuisine, Malta has everything needed to seduce travellers,” she said.
Sectoral lobby group unhappy with Michelin selections
A sectoral lobby group, the Association of Catering Establishments, was underwhelmed by the list of local eateries in the prestigious French guide.
The association congratulated all restaurants that made the list, but said that it was not a "true reflection" of all the best local catering has to offer.
Various establishments have invested heavily in the much-touted farm-to-fork concept, it said, while others are working on niche food concepts "at par to what is being offered by leading international eateries."
"ACE feels that the gist of Michelin is primarily to truly reflect the talent and quality of a country’s catering industry. A principle which we feel is not necessarily being achieved year after year with the Michelin Guide list," it said in a brief statement.