Malta – Northern Region – Bugibba – Cheeky Monkey

I visited the Cheeky Monkey in Valletta last year and rather liked it, but they also have a second venue in Bugibba which I thought that we’d visit.

There’s a pleasant view from the terrace at the rear of the bar, as well as plenty of seating inside.

The craft beer selection is at least there, so that’s great, but much of it was out of stock and the staff member who served us returned to tell us that the drink I ordered wasn’t available. The bars pride themselves on their informality, but it all felt a bit scripted and forced, I’d have rather had a laid-back environment where the staff members wanted to engage and were proud of their beers.

The Golden Bay from Lord Chambray, the brewer on Gozo. It’s OK, not exceptional, but it was refreshing and served at the appropriate temperature.

An interesting concept, swings in the bar.

I’ve never seen any bar advertise a beer sampler of lagers like this, and, to be honest, I hope I never do again. The bar advertises that they give customers the chance to “try the many kinds of high-end beers”.

This bar was nowhere near as good as their other one in Valletta as the service was a little distance and I got the impression that the staff didn’t want to be there. The server asked if we wanted our change or were going to leave a tip of nearly 35%, but I decided that we’d have our change and didn’t mention the difficulty we’d had in actually getting the bill and paying. There’s a concept of cheekiness at the venue, hence the name, so it didn’t feel entirely out of place, but it sort of has to follow a similarly engaging service.

The bar was all a bit dated in its style for my liking, but having written that, the reviews aren’t poor (indeed, they’re actually very good) so they must be doing something right. Given how much others like the bar, I suspect that if we’d had food and had a different server then the whole experience would have been much better.