It’s a new chef and a new menu for Grana Restaurant and the results are likely to tempt your tastebuds into indiscretions.
|Proper Face Covering
|Reasonable Distance Between Tables
|Hygienic Bathroom Facilities
Grana Restaurant is not a new discovery for me. In this current climate, long walks and dining out with those who are part of my ‘bubble’ are two of the few outdoor pleasures left remaining. Which is why I’m always on the lookout for restaurants that give me peace of mind.
Grana Restaurant, part of the Neu Collective group, is one such place. Some of you may remember the launch of the restaurant, back in 2019. Since then, the restaurant has firmly placed itself on my list of favourites – it is extremely good value for money, the menu is diverse and genuine, the claim to Italian food is likewise genuine, and the ambience is pretty chill.
So it was with pleasure that I accepted the invitation to sample Grana Restaurant‘s new menu, which has launched just this month. It’s a new chef and new dishes, which somewhat filled me with trepidation as I like the old chef and old dishes just fine.
Happily, the new Chef is continuing and improving upon the reputation for flavourful dishes and a convivial atmosphere that Grana Restaurant has built for itself. Let’s start with this basic fact – the restaurant is huge. To ensure that maximum COVID-19 precautions are taken, every other table has been put out of use, so that diners are assured of more than adequate distance between themselves and other bubbles.
Add a super-high ceiling that creates a very ‘open’ feel, temperature checks at the door, and clever ‘in and out’ system so that you never need bump into anyone…basically, I was smiling all the way to my table, behind my brand-spanking new mask.
Grana Restaurant – genuine Italian flavours
So those are the COVID-19 considerations out of the way, which brings us to the super part of the evening. Which is the new menu. At Grana Restaurant, all sorts of food requirements are catered for, I was pleased to note – from vegetarian to vegan, glute-free, lactose-intolerant… the menu is informative and almost removes any necessity to ask for information from your server (not that you cannot, of course).
This is something I’d love to see being taken up by more restaurants in Malta, as it makes the lives of those of us who have very specific requirements less stressful. But on to the actual food, after all this is why I was here.
Chef clearly operates on a ‘let’s make everyone’s tastebuds happy’ approach, which I can’t not laud. A committed carnivore? There’s some delectable speciality burgers, steaks and various other creative meat-based dishes. After a quick pizza? Eccoti accontento. A pasta fanatic? The tagliolini alla carbonara are prepared come si deve. Apologies for this sudden lapsing into Italian, but the place does have that vibe about it, and the food even more so.
Oh yeah there are some salads too, but I wasn’t looking at those. Sorry, not sorry. My main dilemma, in reality, was which pasta dish to go for. In the end I didn’t and, instead, opted for one of the risotto offerings. Risotto is a favourite dish and if a restaurant promises risotto and delivers a mess, then we are going to be having words.
My choice was the Risotto Funghi Porcini e Brie, all ingredients being favourites. The mantecatura was done perfectly, the brie creating a luscious, decadent consistency, the funghi porcini being gorgeously juicy and the arborio itself presenting a nice touch. New chef, I like you.
My guest opted for one of the specialty burgers, the Abbazia di Chiaravalle – pure beef, Caciocavallo cheese, bacon, tomatoes and crispy lettuce. Accompanied by golden fries, this was a real sight indeed.
For starters we opted to share a Carpaccio di Carne, thinly slivered, replete with taste and with a zingy lemon aftertaste. We went light simply so as to leave space for a gran finale, one of Chef’s homemade desserts. The Tiramisu and Cassatella really saw us closing off in style. It is so lovely when you find genuine desserts, rather than the frozen stuff, and Grana Restaurant really owns them.
To conclude, Malta bids a warm welcome to the new chef at Grana Restaurant – keep them coming! Check out their menu here.