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2020 Michelin Bib Commando Restaurant. Loving our special Valentine’s!

2020 Michelin Bib Commando Restaurant was one of the three Maltese restaurants that got a Michelin nod.

We may be in the food delivery age right now, but restaurants are still the date-night go-to places for a reason. Valentine’s day comes once a year, so choosing the right restaurant to share a night with your partner to can make or break the celebration.

Commando Valentines Menu

Take them to a fine romantic restaurant, however, and you’ll have them swooning over. Besides, with all the restrictions and troubles catering establishments have faced in the past months, they do need all the bookings they can get.

There was a time before COVID-19 though. It was February 2020, trouble was just around the corner, when news broke out of three Maltese restaurants getting Michelin Stars, and three others getting the ‘Bib Gourmand’, that is, Michelin’s distinction for good quality and value restaurants where the food is very good and at a very reasonable price.

Commando Valentines Menu wine drinking

2020 Michelin Bib Commando Restaurant was one of the three that got a bib. The restaurant is hosted by a 300-year-old building, which has been refurbished and modernised. Commando has been family-owned since the 1930s.

The name is peculiar for a restaurant, but its origins refer back to the time when the place provided hospitality to the Royal Marines, hence the military nature of the name.

Commando restaurant interior

Having seen their menu for Valentine’s Day, we decided that their set menu priced at €55 per person was tempting enough for us to decide to have our Sunday lunch there. 2020 Michelin Bib Restaurant Commando is cosy and nicely decorated.

The two wide openings give light without taking away too much from the romantic atmosphere but still manage to give you sight of the open space and scenery of the area. The internal roofing with stone arches is a reminder of the architectural heritage of the place. The staff was very helpful, attentive, and charming in their manners.

Commando Valentines Menu Parmesan Doughnuts

We started things off with Parmesan doughnuts. We are used to sweet doughnuts but being served savoury ones was an interesting way to start the experience. Similar to the ones you’d find at Krispy Kreme in their style, you would think this would have been a heavy matter.

Instead, the doughnuts were surprisingly light, with a very soft texture, cheesy nonetheless. The light tomato glazing was welcome, and the small bits of mint were a great touch. Most importantly, the doughnuts melted in our mouths, and were a nice way to begin the experience.

Pressed Lamb shoulder with an Aubergine and Tomato relish at 2020 Michelin Bib Restaurant Commando

Our first starter was pressed lamb shoulder with an aubergine, tomato relish, potato terrine, and yoghurt dressing. The meat was very tender, its texture moist and fatty. The relishes were both very nice, in particular the aubergine one in which the taste of aubergine really came out in a smooth, not overpowering way.

The yoghurt dressing gave a very welcome acidity to the palate. When combined with the lamb, they balanced each out perfectly. The terrine was an extremely crispy accompaniment, the only crime was that it left us longing for some more.

Seared scallops with Octopus roulade, Nduja brioche and Pickled grapes.

The second starter consisted of some very well-seared scallops with octopus roulade, nduja brioche and pickled grapes. The scallops were very enjoyable but what we truly loved was the octopus roulade. We could have had it as a dish by itself.

The nduja brioche was more on the burned side at the bottom and nowhere near as spicy as we would have expected. The grapes were interesting, like small pickled onions with a pleasant taste that reminded us of fennel—great stuff except for the brioche.

Mushroom tortellona with Duck confit and Porcini consomme

As an intermediate course, we were brought a mushroom tortellona with duck confit and porcini consomme. Anyone who loves mushrooms would love this dish. The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the filling was very pleasing. The shredded bits of duck, are tender.

The braised short rib of beef with salt-baked celeriac glazed carrots and crispy onions was easily our favourite dish from this dinner at 2020 Michelin Bib Restaurant Commando. Just like the lamb before it, the beef was tender and fatty (and we mean it in a good way). Each bite was pure indulgence.

Complementing the dish, the roasted celeriac, glazed carrots, and crispy onions played their part well. The roasted celeriac had a slightly nutty sweetness, excellently combined with the glazed carrots. The crispy onions gave a welcome crunch to the tender beef. This dish was not only full of flavour but also, overall, a beautiful dish.

Braised short rib of beef with Salt baked celeriac, Glazed carrots and Crispy onions

The spinach and seabass en croute (in pastry crust) with champagne beurre blanc, caviar and asparagus were beautifully presented. We loved it. The seabass was very good. The potato mash was very pleasant. Overall, a very smooth dish. If we had to be very picky, we would have loved some more crunch from the pastry, which we managed to get from the asparagus.

Spinach and Seabass en croute (in pastry crust)

The chocolate cake had an interesting texture. Although we did not enjoy the centre layer, which had a cereal-like texture and was too hard when combined with the rest of the chocolate, the rest of the cake was delicious.

Chocolate cake with walnut ice cream

The sponge at the bottom was pleasant, but we could have easily done without the centre part. The star element of this dish was the walnut ice cream. Simply amazing from the 2020 Michelin Bib Restaurant Commando.

Writing this in retrospect, we are still reminiscing about what was a very enjoyable experience.

We are happy to add the 2020 Michelin Bib Restaurant Commando to our small list of places in very high regard, and that doesn’t happen too often.


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