Being the first vegetarian restaurant in Malta in about 2007, a visit to Tate Café Bar on the Vittoriosa Waterfront, was on top of my To Do list. The view is beautiful view over the marina, the Grand Harbour, Senglea and Valletta.
As a non-veggie you wouldn’t notice it specialised on meat-free dishes. It’s only the menu that lets you into its secret: A wide selection of pasta, risotto, salads and much more in many vegetarian varieties for a reasonable price. It was harder than usual for me to decide – and everyone knowing me knows that I’m the worst at making decisions.
We found a shady table near the entrance. Fortunately, there were more than enough. The outside furniture was modern, all black and clean, while the inside location seemed quite narrow and dark. Honestly, I could recommend cosier places for restaurant visits on colder days.
The only distraction from the otherwise appealing furniture outside was the table decoration that on the second look has unfortunately not been refreshed for some time. A thoughtful decoration apparently always adds a positive note.
The staff, a young woman, was friendly and quite discreet. Probably at some point too discreet, since she never asked if we wanted anything else or checked in with is part way through our meal. Note: you might have to get up to add to your order.
Let’s talk about the food. Eventually I ordered an Istanbul Delight; falafel salad – the weather is too hot for anything else. It was placed in front of me in less than 15 minutes. The plate consisted of amazingly tasty falafel, 2 dips – tzatziki and hummus – salad and pita. Apart from the falafel and the pita, the salad didn’t blow my mind but the fresh ingredients made it a dainty dish. What I personally missed, especially for a falafel salad, was the middle-Eastern touch. They could have easily added herbs like parsley and coriander, and, while I am at it, improved the salad with a tahini dressing (for which I know a wonderful recipe by the way). Just make it a bit more ‘delightful’!
My friend ordered a Ploughman’s Salad, even bigger than mine. Consisting of different salads, vegetables and fruits, it was a nice mix. On top were 3 sorts of cheese, and relishes including Branston, which she made me taste. All in all, this one was a creative combination for a salad.
When I left Tate, I was full and happy. I’d recommend the Tate Café Bar for outside visits. Next time for me in the evening, as I’d like to experience the night view over the Vittoriosa Marina. The great range of dishes representing vegetarian cuisine impressed me in particular. Where else do you find that much fresh veggie stuff in one place?