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“Our worst dining experience in Malta in 5 years”
Review of Assaggi - CLOSED

Assaggi
Price range: US$22 - US$67
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: Situated in the heart of St Julians right behind Pendor gardens,up the road from HSBC bank, Assaggi is established and a favorite in the heart of the locals, with a chique, rustic dining room, that doesn't fail to impress .Our focus is firmly on great seasonal produce, a combination of Italian and French influences offers a unique tasting experience.Private parking available.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
44 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Our worst dining experience in Malta in 5 years”
Reviewed 9 November 2013

My second mistake of the evening was hunting for a building that resembled a restaurant. It was as prepossessing as a funeral parlour. The Maitre D should have dressed the part.

Our waiter had a rictus of a smile; no doubt borne of evenings hiding in the kitchen to avoid the avalanche of complaints and airborne cutlery. My request for water was ill timed. It seemed that the water boy had lost the map to the restaurant’s artesian well. After 15 minutes we were going to send the tracker dogs to see if he’d fallen in. The water appeared as if by magic. The restauarant obviously does not have many literate customers. We were afforded 32 minutes to read the menu, again…and again….and for good measure again. Let it never be said that the waiters at Assaggi are pushy to resell your table.. With a fanfare our starter arrived. The starter was a pasta with wild boar which was delicious and the highlight of the night - all that was missing was a Magnifying Glass to find the food on the middle of the plate.

Had I known what was to follow I’d have run screaming from the restaurant. The light at the end of our culinary tunnel was in fact the Bad Service Express. It had not yet arrived at our table. There were clearly problems in the kitchen. Some 30 minutes after the pasta starter our waiter sidled up the table and dumped some Intermission ‘ Hors D’oeuvres ’ on the table with an apologetic shrug of the shoulders and shot way before I could stab him with my fork or interrogate him.

So, dear reader, 63 minutes after inhaling our starter, the main courses arrived. Not so much with a bang as a whimper. Putting past disasters behind us we picked up our utensils with gusto. My fillet mignon was cooked correctly and had deep earthy truffle flavours, not exquisite but good. My partners dish however was a disaster. It said Entrecote on the menu. Not only didn’t it seem like entrecote but the chef couldn’t even be bothered to cook it properly - it was partly raw. This meat also had sinew, literally chunks of meat impossible to even chew. Perhaps it was from an animal with which I am not familiar. She said the potato was tasty though.

Our waiter at this point was looking worried. He had seen his tip disappear; he was now worried just how sharp the tines on the steak fork really were. The Bad Service Express was had now arrived at our table. It is my experience that only sleazy badly managed restaurants always offer some cheap over-sweet tacky complimentary drink at the end of the meal after they’ve screwed over their customers. As if this balm of a free drink makes it ALL OK. It doesn’t, It didn’t, it never will.

The chef visited our table to apologise. Much wringing of hands and crocodile tears. He blamed it all on another table who’s order had got ‘lost’. The chef seemed very hard of hearing when I suggested that he should waive all food charges.

I am now out 100 Euros. If this had been New York or London I’d have called the police from the table to report a theft in progress. This restaurant is a disgrace and reflects very badly of Malta. It needs new owners who care.

My first mistake was of course to book the table, after 5 years living in Malta, this restaurant was without doubt our worst dining experience.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Nick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

225 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    176
    22
    13
    7
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
95 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Under-stated elegance in Malta!”
Reviewed 24 October 2013

We ate here one evening to escape the crowds at the Hilton, so were looking for an atmospheric, elegant and - most importantly! - calm restaurant with good food and wine for a romantic dinner.

We couldn't have been more pleased - our experience certainly mirrors that of the other very positive reviews.

We turned up without a reservation, but were accommodated very swiftly and welcomed to a nice table inside (which, personally, we preferred to sitting outside - a view which was vindicated when leaving some two hours later when there were crowds spilling out of the pub / bar opposite).

Excellent food and service - they very easily accommodated my vegetarian partner although there were no vegetarian meals on the a la carte menu. My starter (crab ravioli) and main (ribeye steak) were both delicious, with the steak cooked beautifully. We both had the white chocolate and orange fondant for dessert, which was delightfully soft inside, but not too rich. The wine list was expansive, with a good selection of Maltese wines as well, but not over-priced at all (many options in the GBP 20-30 range). And all served at a nice relaxed pace, so we didn't feel that we were being rushed through to make room for another party.

All in all - a lovely meal at very reasonable price indeed for the quality. We would definitely come back if ever in Malta again. The only reason this wouldn't qualify as "one of the best meals I've ever had in a restaurant" is the location - it is a little tucked away - but this makes little odds if sitting inside!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jdingley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alicante
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“are there two assaggi,s ???”
Reviewed 21 October 2013

judging by reviews read and my experience think we must have visited assaggi 2 (possibly in a parallel universe!!! )
the location is pretty dire in a rundown apartment block courtyard (complte with resident ´topcat´style brigade of stray cats on parade). this could be forgiven if some effort was made in terms of ambience in the restaurant or on the dark dismal terrace but had the feelin no money or very little has been spent on the place for some cosiderable time !!!
onto the food - the ´complmentary´amuse bouche served in what appeared to be a ceramic nite lite holder struggled to live up to its elaborate description, the cauliflower soup (which i love) managed to be overly rich and creamy whilst devoid of any taste of caulflower and a little stale tasting as though, heaven forbid, it had been made some days ago, the scallop perched in the middle was however tasty and perfectly cooked .
the duo of foie, was pretty tasty but the presentation whilst trying hard ended up looking pretty amatureish - oblong metal tray with walnut size ´blob´of warm foie directly on tray, confiture (jam) in that nite lite holder again!!! , biscottes (toast) in individual metal flan holder and the cold foi covering the bottom (just) of a 5 inch tall lid less old jam jar!!!
the rack of veal turned out to be a veal chop, not seasoned, pretty chewy and tastless served with a rather non descript gooey sauce on a bed of mash - all in all a bit of a mess!! the duo of fish whilst ok was simply 2 pan fried fillets (no rocket science there) on a sweet rather sickly fennel foam - oh how i dislke ´foams´- think they,ve had their day!!!
overall so disappointed as had been really looking forward to some fine dining based on reviews. when mentioned to the waiter the rather unbalanced menu with 7 steak based dishes, 1 fish, and 1 rabbit (no chicken, no pork, no lamb , no duck !!!) was told they were predominently a steak house and NOT fine dining (his words not mine) - i suggested then they really should not be charging fine dining prices - 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 x 16 euro bottle wine (good value the vino) - total 99 euros !!!
only 2 other tables of 2 on night we visited , so could hardly say thay were slammed - service was good - friendly and professional - chef walked by our table twice but never stopped for a little chat - perhaps just as well!!!
whilst might not quite be in need of a ramsey kitchen nightmare visit (yet) think as trading on gordon as their ´mentor´he,d probably say they need " a right good kick up the ****** **** !!!!!
really hope one day , maybe , to find assaggi 1 as per T.A. reviews but not holding my breath !!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank realmcoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle
Level Contributor
55 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Possibly the best beef ever.”
Reviewed 14 October 2013

I took a party of 5 to Assaggi to celebrate a special birthday, having discovered it on my last day in Malta back in April. Back then I had a lovely lunch of local tapas, wonderful belly pork, succulent chicken and splendid prawns. Last night however it was a full on dinner. We were pleased to accept the semi private dining area, which gave us some seclusion but we could still observe the comings and goings in the restaurant. We chose the fresh fish, cooked to order and presented perfectly, on the bone as requested, veal, again cooked beautifully only small complaint, there wasn't sufficient, slow cooked belly pork served with rabbit leg, wonderful combination and I lucked out with the most tender and tasty beef fillet ever. Attentive service, knowledgeable staff, decent wine list and not excessive bill at the end of a special evening. They even, at no notice accommodated my wheat allergy with freshly baked rolls. I would suggest it is worth finding this slightly old fashioned restaurant, wood panels, skin rugs and if you ask them they will arrange a nearby parking space.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Janis G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hungerford
Level Contributor
174 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“OMG You must go here!”
Reviewed 2 October 2013

The food and wine is Michelin class at a third of the price. Plus the staff are exceptional, going again tomorrow night

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank thatwhitewoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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