Sunday, 11 July 2010
Blue Room, St Julian's, Malta
Chic, minimalist yet cosy
At first, I thought it was a trendy lounge bar or nightclub. No red lanterns, no flashy 'open' sign in the window currently en vogue with Chinese restaurants in the UK, nobody touting for business. I wasn't sure if this was a good sign or a bad sign- as you know, I am into bargain cuisine and the name of the game with this blog is to visit affordable places. There is nothing I hate more than pretentious 'lounge-bistro- boutique-bars' where the portions are minimal and the atmosphere is like a doctors' waiting room.
On close inspection of the menu, this was not the case. 'Normal' dishes like sweet and sour, satay and noodle soups peppered the menu, plus a few more experimental ones. The restaurant was on the second floor with beautiful views of St Julian's, the cool blue lighting and mood music creating a luxurious yet chilled ambience. I selected a Vegetable Soup to start; sounds unimaginative but this veggie soup was an artwork unlike the oily, salty slop what they serve up back home. The tableware was a sight to behold too, my soup was served in a black hexagonal bowl- trendy!
For my main course, I opted for a braised tofu hotpot (see pic) served on a bed of Egg Fried Rice. We waited what seemed like an eternity for the food, but the quality and careful presentation made it worth the wait. The tofu came in an ornate lidded pot; a melt in your mouth texture fusing with zingy chilli. Even the EFR was perfection; it tasted lighter and fluffier compared to its UK counterparts, no remnants of burnt fat on this baby!
I would like to give the waitress a special mention too as her service was impeccable. She was working alone and managing the bar, food and cash all by herself, keeping a cool head and remaining smiley at all times. Beautifully dressed and with perfect make-up, her manners were outstanding and put most restaurants to shame.
Would I go back? In a heartbeat. Blue Room offered a romantic setting without being cheesy; a slick, sophisticated location.