D’Office Valletta (Malta)
The latter told us we should keep this spot in mind for our next Valletta visit. We were to spend a month here in the vicinity so the chances of revisiting Valletta were numerous. Two days later we run into a real estate agency in Marsaskala (our base camp) selling apartments at the very Birgu marina spot we adored… Stepped inside, made an appointment and went soul searching for our restless minds (and budget).
After gathering some food for thought we thought it was time to find us some food for belly. Crossed the Birgu harbor by taxi boat in between a Costa cruise ship and an even bigger container ship. Beamed us in 20 seconds to the Upper Barrakka Gardens by elevator (what a stunning view on the Grand Harbour + free if you still have that taxi boat ticket) and made our way through the narrow Valletta streets.
We reached D’Office Valletta around 2pm. Cozy interior and a handful of outdoor tables lined along the outer side wall. First impression: this place was almost packed with people, a mix of locals and tourists. One outside table was free so we went inside and were enthusiastically invited to make it ours.
The charming waitress handed us the menu cards immediately and tried to explain as good as possible the specialties of the day, consisting of fresh fish: sea bass, brown meagre and so on.I immediately went for the pasta rizzi, a local specialty: fresh pasta with a sea urchin and tomato sauce (€11,50). Since the fresh fish was around €25 the dish my hubby chose the bragioli: local Maltese beef olives (roulade) stuffed with onion, carrot and hard-boiled eggs, simmered in a tomato sauce (€12,50).
We decided on a white local wine (€11,50), a mix of chardonnay and girgentina grapes (girgentina is a local Maltese grape).The waitress patiently took note of our orders and even found the time to talk about the unusual windy weather that had been flogging the island with sahara sands for the last 2 days. The wine was brought to the table in a few seconds time together accompanied by a basket with crunchy slices of fresh Maltese bread and a buttery dried tomato spread. I tasted the wine, wow excellent! Bubbly, fresh, zesty, light and delightful. The butter spread was OK but this is a flavor and texture we wouldn’t expect in such a Mediterranean city like this one. Ricotta is the main dairy product in Malta, sure you could work something out here! But hey, not bad at all. We act like 2 spoiled kids after some days in a foreign country, that’s all.
We talked for a while about the buildings we had visited earlier that morning, sipping our beautiful local wine from time to time. Got up to take some pictures of the place as well. The dishes arrived about 10 minutes after ordering, great! Bragioli for monsieur, pasta rizzi for me. First impression: no fufu meals, straight from granny’s casseroles. WYSIWYG.
beef roulades served with a tomato and pea sauce, just the way I expected it to be. Just a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top, nothing fancy because it also added to the flavor. The beef stuffing was flavorful.Beef bragioli: 2 huge This dish was accompanied by a generous side portion of cooked potatoes (sauteed in some butter right before serving I suspect) and grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell pepper and spring onion. Huge meal!
The pasta rizzi is a generous portion of perfectly cooked linguine in a seemingly simple cherry tomato sauce. Once you taste that first spoonful the seafood flavor is definitely there as well as the grainy urchin texture. Delish. The only thing that seemed out of tune was the drizzle of pesto on top. Overpowered the seafood flavor quite a bit at times, pity.Both plates were nevertheless polished off easily.
D’Office Valletta offers tasty local cuisine for a fair price. Service is extremely attentive and with a smile! We decided to have a coffee at the famous caffe Cordina nearby and asked for the check. Paid €29 for our lunch and only noticed when we were home again they had charged us for a bottle of water and a beer instead of our pricier bottle of wine.
132, Archbishop Str C/W 1 & 2 Fredrick Str