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Uncle Matt’s Kitchen in Marsascala. A 15-kilometre drive down south not worth it.

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Uncle Matt’s Kitchen in Marsascala | There was not much in our experience which made us think we would ‘call again’.

I have to admit I find Marsascala quite particular. The sea view is beautiful, but beyond that, looking towards the mainland, there is now just and endless crescendo of buildings on one side and a succession of bars and restaurants on the other. Parking can be a nightmare and finding a quiet place can be rather a challenge, especially on weekends.

So, with that in mind, I admit I wasn’t enthusiastic about our planned visit to Uncle Matt’s Kitchen. To be fair, Uncle Matt’s Kitchen do have another outlet in Msida, in case you’re feeling like somewhere more central, but as for parking, good luck there too.

Uncle Matts Mussels

We opted for a weekday dinner and it worked a charm. Within minutes we had parked and were on our way along the promenade and towards the playground, near which Uncle Matt’s Kitchen is situated. On a chilly winter night, we skipped the option of staying outside and settled for one of the indoor tables. Only a couple of tables were occupied so we were rather spoilt for choice as to where to sit.

The wood-like wall tiles and patterned floor is an attempt to give Uncle Matt’s Kitchen a sense of familiarity, but to me it felt sterile and without any appeal. The décor was reflected in the menu which, apart from a couple of items, is basic and includes your usual pizza, pasta, meat and a few choices of salad. Service at Uncle Matt’s Kitchen initially appeared quite efficient, although it did get a bit comical at one point, but more on that later.

Uncle Matts

We started our culinary experience at Uncle Matt’s Kitchen with some veg stuffed potatoes, or more specifically, two potatoes halves filled with grilled vegetables and topped with mozzarella cheese. Vegetables consisted of chopped peppers, carrots, zucchini and aubergines. Now I cannot say for certain as to whether the vegetables were fresh or not, but honestly, they tasted exactly the same as the type you find in frozen bags. As for the potato, it was well cooked but tasteless, lacking even the basic salt and pepper seasoning.

The whole thing was topped off with mozzarella cheese, which overall gave the dish a feeling of a pizza which had gone terribly wrong. We were also given a generous helping of a sauce which, honestly, I just couldn’t recognize, mostly because it had a hint of sweet and zest, but nothing else. I did try to like it, but the more I tried it, the more I hated it.

Charlene opted for some deep-fried calamari, which were served with a remoulade dip. The calamari were crispy and smelled good, maybe slightly overcooked for my taste but overall decently cooked and well-seasoned.

Uncle Matts Calamari

As for the mains, I was enticed by the Guinness battered fish – aka fish and chips, that cornerstone of Great British culture – whilst Charlene picked the Pot Mussels, cooked in white wine with cherry tomatoes, garlic, herbs and fish liqueur. The fish was served on a bed of chips and was accompanied by tartar sauce.

The Guinness batter was crispy enough to make that sound of crack as soon as I dipped my fork, whilst the fish, a Nile perch fillet, was soft and good tasting. Nothing to rave about let’s be frank, but I liked it. As for the chips, we would have preferred if these would have been thoroughly salted.

Charlene’s pot of mussels was served with a plate of toasted garlic bread and fries. Now someone please illuminate me, who thought that a plate of garlic bread served with mussels would be a good idea? Ok, we need to hold our hands high and cry ‘mea culpa’ because this was clearly written in the menu. For a second of madness we thought this might be a good idea, but trust me, it’s not.

This was no plain crispy bread, but three normal ‘panini’ cut in half and garlic buttered to death. The whole was topped with flaked onions which clearly burnt during preparation out making the overall taste quite bitter. Forget dipping some plain warm bread into an aromatic, briny sauce created during the cooking process.

Here was a combination of garlic butter and burned onions overpowering everything else. Not that we would have dipped that much to be honest, the mussels were chewy and didn’t taste fresh at all, whilst the sauce was as salty as seawater, probably as a way to make up for the lack of freshness of the mussels.

Uncle Matts Fish&Chips

By now, having barely touched the bread, the chips and all veggies, we had a few items left and since we hate wasting food, we asked the staff at Uncle Matt’s Kitchen for a doggy bag to take home. May we also point out that sides come at an extra cost of €2.95 each. Instead of taking our food and bringing it back to us packaged, the waiter brought us an empty aluminium container, dumped it at the table and said, “there you go”. Oh, err, thank you sir.

For dessert we were brought a tray with six options all of which looked quite inviting. At a loss on what to choose, we took a chance on the waiter’s suggestion (yes, the same one) and decided to share a chocolate ganache because, you know, you can’t go too wrong with chocolate. It was quite rich, and Charlene did enjoy the soft chocolate cream, but to me it tasted like buttercream frosting, which I’m not too fond of.

Uncle Matts Cake

Charlene liked the fact our dessert was a sort of mini cake, which was exactly what I didn’t like about it (since then i’ve come to avoid ready made desserts that come shown in a trolley or large plate). The gianduja heart was much nicer so I focused on that part and let Charlene have all the rest.

Overall, there was not much at Uncle Matt’s Kitchen that told us “please call again”. With covered outdoor seating and playground right next to it, I understand that Uncle Matt’s Kitchen is one of those family friendly places some consider for a Sunday afternoon lunch.

Seriously though, even if you’re not too picky about food and would rather focus on a decent outing, I’m sure there are better options where to go and spend your money. Your taste buds will thank you.


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