Malta – South Eastern Region – Birgu – Cafe Rouge

This Italian restaurant isn’t part of the UK chain, but is an independent restaurant located near to the harbour area in Cospicua, near Birgu. It was rather busier than I had expected, although the reviews for the restaurant are excellent, and it transpired that I was fortunate to get a table. I arrived around ten minutes before they were serving lunch, but by the time they had offered the menu and taken the order, the wait wasn’t noticeable.

I didn’t order this tower of beer.

It didn’t seem right to sit in an Italian restaurant eating pasta without having a glass of white wine. Since I don’t understand wine, I just order the house wine which nearly always tastes fine and is just at the price point that I prefer.

This is the homemade tortellini Maltese sausage pasta filled with local sausage, spinach, blue cheese, walnuts and a sun-dried tomato paste. It was as well presented as pasta can be and cheese was served alongside for me to sprinkle on. The pasta was excellent, the blue cheese was evident by taste and the sausage meat had a pleasant flavour to it. The walnuts added texture and the tomato flavour was rich, with the portion size being sufficiently generous.

Service was attentive and polite throughout, with a staff member noticing I had entered and helped me to find a table. I struggled slightly to get the bill at the end of the meal, but that was more because I think they were trying not to rush customers, and I was hardly in a massive rush to get to the next museum. The prices were a little expensive, but that was perhaps inevitable for a fashionable harbourside restaurant.

I can only imagine how busy this restaurant must get during the summer months, and it’s clearly in a wealthy area given the amount of yachts in the nearby harbour.