Tuesday, 6 July 2010
45 minutes? For a STARTER?
After an exhausting journey from Edinburgh via Manchester, I wasn't in the mood for a trek into deepest Malta for a meal. I dragged myself out of bed and headed to a restaurant over the road from my hotel called Melita. It gave the impression that it was opulent and sophisticated like my beautiful hotel the Corinthia Palace, but upon stepping in, it was more a case of fur coat and no knickers.
From the outside, it looked like a Bedouin cave mixed with a villa. The decor was actually quite impressive, consisting of a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, set in gardens of cacti and (cue minus points) FERAL CATS round the diners' ankles, spraying their scent. Talking of bad smells, the staff looked as if they'd been recruited on a council estate. They had the communication skills of Kevin and Perry and one young man had a black eye! What a classy joint. Shrugging their shoulders as they worked, they did not utter 'please', 'thank you' or 'is there anything I can get you'. The young lady who showed us to our seat wanted to plonk us in the aisle and refused to give us an outdoor seat.
The menu looked promising and was in fact a vegetarian delight. It consisted of Italian staples plus a few Maltese delicacies. I opted for the Maltese take on Foccaccia (pictured) and Penne Arrabiata for my chilli kick.
Tick tock, tick tock....where is my starter?
After 45 min, my starter finally arrived and it was absolutely beautiful, it would have done two. The foccaccia was cut into triangles and it was heaped with Maltese salad. If you like Greek salad, Maltese salad will take you to heaven. A mix of capers, Gozo cheese (similar to feta), olives, onion, tomato, served with a rich, Mediterranean dressing. This was the only good point of the restaurant so far.
Immediately after the starter, I was presented with my main. Oh my God. Did a student make this? Did Wetherspoons cast this aside? This was the most dire pasta I have seen! The chef is definitely not Italian, or maybe he isn't even a chef! The pasta quills were bobbing up and down in the watery pasta sauce like bloated goldfish, drowning in the slop what was supposed to be Arrabiata. And why was this Arrabiata as weak as dishwater? I tried to eat this monstrosity but decided to give up. I didn't want to be suffering from heartburn or holiday tummy in the night.
After complaining to the staff, I managed to get the main course knocked off the bill. Only one member of staff apologised and acknowledged the fact that there was something wrong with the meal, the rest of them avoided eye contact with the diners and let them go hungry and thirsty out of pure laziness.
All I can say is that no wonder the feral cats were so thin. Even they have the common sense not to eat at this hellhole.