Malta Restaurant Review – Saturday 7th November 2015
I went for a wander around Bugibba, looking for somewhere to eat, and I came across Envy. Envy is a newly opened steakhouse not far from the main square. It’s only been open a week so everything looks brand new and clean. It is smartly done out in reds and creams. On the ground floor there is a nice bar to one side and the tables are reasonably spread out. The room is brightly lit which suited me as I was on my own and wanted to read. There appeared to be a downstairs area too which I didn’t see.
I was quite early so I was the only diner. There were a lot of waiters and waitresses and the service was over attentive to the point of being annoying. I will forgive them for that though, given that they are newly opened and keen to please.
The menu is not too large which I took as a good sign. As you would expect from a steakhouse, the dishes on offer contained beef, pork, lamb, horsemeat, poultry or game. Vegetarians be warned!
I started with potato skins with bacon and cheese. It actually turned out to be two whole potatoes, halved and served with three very large rashers of bacon, six large, warm slices of a dense cheddar-like cheese and a small pot of chutney. The ingredients were all out of balance and I only ate one slice of the cheese. And there is a very good reason why people don’t eat potatoes with chutney. Oh, and the food was presented on a bed of leaves (rocket?). The troubles is, if you put warm, moist food on top of leaves, the leaves wilt and discolour. That’s not pleasant.
For my main I had a chicken breast stuffed with bacon, served with a gorgonzola sauce. Again, it came on top of wilting leaves. The chicken was seriously overcooked almost to the point of being burned on the bottom. I don’t know how they managed that, given I was the only diner. They hadn’t removed the bones from the bacon which was unpleasant. The gorgonzola “sauce” was a small pot with a partially melted slice of gorgonzola in it. I ordered fries as a side dish and they were frozen oven chips. They also provided plastic sachets of ketchup and mayonnaise. It doesn’t get much more down market than that.
The food bill came to €30 for two of the cheapest dishes on the menu, so by anyone’s standards, it was expensive. For that price I could have eaten much, much better at many of Malta’s high end restaurants.
To summarise, I thought the dishes were poorly conceived, poorly cooked and poorly presented. I felt like I’d been fed by a no-hope contestant in a preliminary heat of Australian MasterChef.