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The Daily Grub serving steady food in the heart of Naxxar

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

The Daily Grub | Gave us more a feeling of a place aimed for breakfasts and lunches rather than evening dinners.

I believe the locality of Naxxar is underrated. Okay, there are no beaches, no magnificent heritage like Valletta or Mdina, and for many it is just another (relatively) big locality with a growing population (yes that’s the case for all Malta, but you get my point). Located in the northeast of the island, this locality is graceful and has the imposing ‘Tal-Vitorja’ church, as one of its main historic sights.

Daily Grub Naxxar facade

It is also becoming home to a number of cafeterias and restaurants which have been recently popping up in the locality. One of these is The Daily Grub, which opened its doors in 2018 and is located just behind the parish church. The place has a small terraced area on the front with vista on the church, which I would have enjoyed, but this was midweek on a chilly evening, so staying out was not an option.

The Daily Grub has all the elements which have become so popular in the last decades like hardwood tables and chairs, steel details and a brick wall (or in this case, a tiled brick wall). I do feel this ‘industrial’ (or ‘manufactured authenticity’, as I recently read) restaurant décor is becoming a bit repetitive, making most places look like workshops or factories.

Honey Mustard Chicken

Yet, The Daily Grub does not feel factory-like cold, but warm and welcoming. The place is small. The tables are so close you could almost invite those seated next to you to share meals. The open kitchen in full view somehow makes you feel you are a participant in the cooking process. Since we like a bit of grub, we looked forward to this.

The menu at The Daily Grub comprises a good range of choices, from pasta to burgers, risottos to ribs, as well as grilled meats. There are some bites you can have as starters and some snacks in the form of sandwiches and burritos. Another possibility, if you go there in the morning, is the make-your-own salad option, which for us was no option because, by the evening, the salad bar was closed.

Something that did catch my eye was the breakfast selection (which at The Daily Grub is served till 11.30 am) which includes smoothie bowls and the full English, along with quite a selection of juices, smoothies, and protein shakes.

Indian bhaji burger

Looking for some health injection, I opted for a ‘vitamin boost’ fresh juice. Made from orange, ginger and carrot, trust me, this was a very gingery drink. If ginger is key to keep yourself healthy, this must have added an extra 10 years to my lifetime. As for Charlene, her ‘daily touch’ fresh juice made from apples, oranges and basil was more balanced in taste.

As dishes, we picked two of The Daily Grub specialties available on the day. Charlene’s ‘honey mustard chicken’ was golden brown, tender, with enough crunch to give it an enjoyable BBQ taste, if perhaps a bit too salty. The honey mustard sauce, a chicken’s classic partner, was interesting to say the least.

It tasted like a sort of dense and spicy pumpkin paste, complemented by parsley. I am not sure it was the kind of sauce I expected but it did have enough consistency to go well with the chicken. The ‘aromatic basmati rice’ was the also-ran of the dish. It had enough aromas to justify its name, but was also dry and didn’t contribute much to dish overall.

As for myself, I like experimenting with food. Reinventions and combinations (or as they call it these days, fusions) of classic dishes excite me. The ‘Indian bhaji burger’ sounded like the perfect choice for the evening, enticing me to the prospect of intensive exotic aromas flowing around an old time classic.

The menu promised a beef patty mixed with Indian spices and egg yolks, topped with spinach, tomatoes, smoked cheese, onion bhaji and a mango chutney. What was promised was delivered.

Although usually a ‘burger’ adapted for vegetarians, this one was definitely aimed for the carnivores. The burger was as meaty as it could get and really juicy. For sure it could have done with a bit more flaming. Don’t get me wrong, I like my steaks rare, if they are quality steaks, but this was barely cooked meat. At no point I had been asked if I wanted my meat rare or not.

Indian bhaji burger, the rare view

Anyone who doesn’t like rare meat would have felt palpitations at the sight, almost fainted, then sent it back immediately. Overall, I thought the whole thing was good though, with the chutney particularly combining perfectly with the rest of the ingredients. The whole was served in a lovely brioche bun.

This was a juxtaposition of Indian cuisine with the classic American burger, a fusion of flavors that was really big and satisfying. If you ever feel like a classic with a touch of exotic, with this you will be killing two birds with one stone (it’s just a saying of course, please don’t kill the birds).

To accompany my burger, I chose waffle fries with bits of bacon and drizzled cheese. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a reckless decision, as the fries were disappointing. Tasting like packaged food, the fries were overwhelmed by some strong melted cheddar cheese and clearly lacked enough bits of bacon to justify the mention. The less said about this, the better.

There was no dessert to choose from apart from a few ice cream flavours. To be honest, I was already full after the burger, so I gladly skipped the dessert option, as did Charlene. On that happy note, we called it a day.

The Daily Grub gave me more a feeling of a place aimed for breakfasts and lunches rather than evening dinners. There’s nothing wrong in that. Often choosing somewhere for breakfast or brunch can be tricky business. The food at The Daily Grub is good, but there is definitely room for improvement. Still, we do think this place should be on your list of considerations.

The Daily Grub closed it's doors in 2022.


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