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Le Bistro at Radisson Malta impressed us with some great dishes!

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Le Bistro at Radisson Malta gave us a pleasant dinner and great service, as we expected.


I tend to associate hotel food to ‘all you can eat’ buffets. Hotel restaurants tend to take the formal business-like style, giving up a sense of individuality you find in other places.


So, when Charlene suggested we try the vegan-dedicated menu at Le Bistro, at Radisson Blue Resort in St Julian’s, particularly their vegan burger, I pulled one of my funny faces. Looking for burgers in a gourmet bistro? I sneered. “These days, burgers have become gourmet too!” was the reply. The woman’s got a point, I guess.


Le Bistro Radisson Malta

Le Bistro is the main restaurant at Radisson. The interior décor is warm in colour and has a pleasantly elegant look. Whilst it retains the formality of a hotel restaurant, it does have some character of its own. We entered a very warm and busy atmosphere.


The staff at Le Bistro was very welcoming, each member seeming busy making sure everything was running smoothly. Most importantly, it was served with a smile. Adequately spaced dining tables gave us all the privacy we wanted.


Now, to the vegan burger issue. As a meat eater, I never showed much interest in vegan burgers, but having recently tried vegan food for the first time and liked it (if you haven’t read that article yet, what are you waiting for?), I looked forward to my first-ever vegan burger. Vegan meat substitutes seem to be becoming popular, with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian endorsing their consumption.


Having read recently that approximately 70 million Americans are reducing their meat intake, I’m not surprised some investors have started backing meat alternatives (maybe with an eye on profits too). Wall Street is also going vegan, with Beyond Meat, founded 10 years ago and having people like Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio amongst its early backers, debuting at a valuation of about $1.2bn. Who would have thought eh?


Le Bistro Radisson Malta

Debates still rage on the ethics of eating meat, its nutrients, the side effects, and whether plant-based products can realistically become and alternative. Here, we will skip that and concentrate on the food and drinks served to us. The menu at Le Bistro was not extensive, but each item seemed interesting, with vegan and vegetarian options as starters, salads and pasta.


As for mains at Le Bistro, the choice was between a vegetable burger, Beyond Meat burger, a vegan millefoglie and a vegan strudel. There were two vegan wine options – a Merlot and a Sauvignon Blanc – priced at €22. Other drink options were two vegan cocktails, homemade lemonade, a smoothie, soft drinks, water and hot beverages. We didn’t come to a gourmet restaurant for a smoothie or lemonade, so we opted for the Merlot (noted as 100% organic) and proceeded to order our food.


Le Bistro Radisson Malta

As a starter dish, we diverted a bit from 100% Veganism and ordered the vegetarian ‘Maltese Brittle’. The dish consisted of local sheep cheese and three large wheels of roasted onions, salad and tomatoes, placed over a baked disc of puff pastry. Gozitan honey was drizzled over for good measure.


We loved the cheese and caramelized onions, though I was not sure about the salad leaves, especially since they did not look and taste very fresh. We loved how the puff pastry retained its crust to perfection, even after it absorbed the juices from the cheese and onions.


The second starter we ordered was a vegan ‘Oyster mushroom Strozzapreti’, and it was a triumph of a dish. Beautifully cooked pasta with artichokes, sundried tomatoes and scented with sweet-smelling Maltese orange zest. The dish was very well presented and had wonderful colours, which made it more appetizing.


Le Bistro Radisson Malta

I would guess a good amount of pasta water was added to the pan with the rest of the ingredients, blending all flavours and resulting in a broth-like sauce. I thought the portion size was perfect, and none of the flavours was overpowering, giving the dish a perfect balance. What a great start!


Next came the Beyond Meat Burger, which was priced at €14.95. A plant-based patty with melted vegan cheese, tomatoes, pickled gherkins, lettuce and avocado was in between the bun. The burger came with sweet potato fries and was served on one of those small wood pallets – like the ones you usually see in industrial areas, but miniature. The burger patty was juicy, but we couldn’t decide what it tasted of. Chicken? Beef? Grass? It didn’t taste at all like your usual beef burger.


Le Bistro Radisson Malta Beyond Meat

Also, I expected the bun to be different; by different, I mean much better. This looked like the cheap, ready-packaged bread at your local grocery store. The roasted potato looked like it had a good crust but was soggy. After a number of bites, I couldn’t take it anymore. I started feeling stomach cramps. I’m sure not everyone experiences the same effects, but I did, and if this should be the future of burgers, then I don’t like it.


The ‘Aubergine Millefoglie’, a classic of Italian cuisine, was quite pricey at €19.50. Layers of melting soft fried aubergines with mushrooms, spring onions, melted vegan cheese and tomato jam, with some deep-fried parsley on top. The dish was bursting with flavours, each layer of aubergines soaking oils, tomatoes and cheese to perfection whilst retaining a bit of crispiness on the edges. Whilst I hated the burger, I liked everything about this dish. This was Parmigiana heaven and the perfect dish to lift our spirits.


There was an ample choice of desserts including chocolate brownies, cakes, pears marinated in Marsala, and Imqaret, all priced at €5.50. Our ‘Apricot Maple Jar’ came with thyme scented maple syrup apricots, over an oaty vegan cheesecake. The whole was presented in a preserve jar and over a, yes, another small wood pallet.


Le Bistro Radisson Malta Apricot Jam

The apricots were sweet and lovely, though the cheesecake felt somewhat gritty because of the oats, making this part of the dessert feel almost breakfast like. The thyme definitely left its mark on the dessert and was a fine complement to what was a simple and sophisticated dessert.


This was mostly a very pleasant meal and we enjoyed eating here. Food and service were great, exactly as we’d expect from such a place. As for vegan burger, it’s a shame but life goes on. Unless I find something much better than this, I’ll be sticking to real beef patties.



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