Sciacca

Are you in the mood for a splurge? Then yeah, this restaurant is the place to be.

The ambiance is superb, with soft lighting enough for any meal to feel intimate, but not soft enough that it’s an obvious ‘couple’ restaurant. In fact, I actually went to Sciacca with a bunch of friends. But I would consider it for a romantic night out too.

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The staff were also very friendly and outgoing. They were all men, but not for a second did I feel uncomfortable with my partner. So definitely a big kudos with that.

Regarding food – definitely delicious. The meat was cooked well and was very tender. The sauce was interesting and the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. However, as to be expected in these kinds of places, the portions were terribly small. So maybe don’t go when you’re constantly hungry.

The wine list was vast, and could be perfectly coupled with the food, but terribly overpriced. So maybe do away with the wine unless you’re intentionally going to splurge.

The dessert was to die for. And if you’re taking the tiramisu, which is served in a mug, then you’re definitely getting your money’s worth on that one.

 

All in all, a good meal. So in summary:

Pros: extensive wine list, soft lighting, kind staff, extremely well cooked food, central location.

Cons: Expensive, the staff took long to notice us at times, the food took a long time to arrive, small portions, not many options in the menu.

 

Trabuxu’

We had the pleasure of visiting this restaurant for Valentine’s of 2015. We had been searching extensively for a place which looked romantic, with good food, which would hopefully be accepting of a same-sex couple. It was Valentine’s after all, so it would be quite evident that we were a couple, and we did not wanting anything to ruin this special day.

 

Accessibility: The restaurant is located in Valletta, so parking is ample just outside the city.

 

Decor: A quaint little place, with just a handful of tables. Which is all the better because the staff could focus on the clientele without getting burnt out. The place is advertised as a wine bar as well, and so as expected the venue is decorated with a lot of wood and wine bottles. The wood and the soft lighting really added a romantic touch to the venue.

 

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Food and Drink: The food was chosen from the menu. I’m really not a fan of set menus, so one of the criteria for this date was that the place would not have an obligatory set menu. So kudos for giving me the freedom to choose my own food!

And the food was…delicious. Superb. Incredible. Admittedly, there was not much on the plate, but definitely worth the price we paid. Each bite was an experience. I literally cannot describe it in any other way. So many months later, and I can still remember how amazing it was.

As a wine bar, the wine list was extensive, detailed and informative. And delicious as well. It perfectly complimented the meal. I have yet to taste a wine like it.

 

Staff: The waiter on the night was incredibly polite and friendly. He did not treat as any differently for being a same-sex couple. And he obviously won brownie points for complimenting me on my tie and general attire. He made us feel very comfortable, which I am grateful for. We enjoyed our time there so much we ended up losing track of time and missing the party we were supposed to go to after dinner.

 

In conclusion – the venue is incredibly romantic, the food is delicious and the wine is to die for. It’s on the pricey side, so I would keep this place for special occasions, or for a romantic splurge. The staff is friendly and educated.

 

Monaliza

This is definitely the go-to place for anyone LGBT. So here goes the review!

 

Accessibility: Not wheelchair friendly, but it’s in Valletta so a central location. Parking can be easily found close to the venue. Plus with a great view of the sea it’s quite amazing.

 

Decor: The decor can only be described as chique and sexy. It feels very high-class…and in fact, high-class is what you get. Outside there are some sofas which really give the client a relaxed environment to just chill, either on a date or with friends.

 

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Food and Drink: Food is delicious. However, you get very little and it’s on the pricey side. At the same time, this place is a lounge, so whilst wearing those tight pants and dresses eating a lot is probably not advised anyway. Nevertheless, I would not recommend this place for dinner. Lunch, or a light snack in the evening over a glass of wine is recommended however.

 

Being a lounge, the wine list is extensive. There are some special drinks which one should definitely try. And there are some fresh non-alcoholic choices for those who don’t want to (or can’t – we appreciate you designated drivers) drink. I would recommend the non-alcoholic mint and strawberry cocktail. It’s almost addictive.

 

Staff: The staff are very friendly and impeccably dressed. I’m talking waistcoats here. So even though the food is pricey and the place itself looks high-end, at least so do the staff.

 

Other comments: this venue is completely open that it’s targeting people who appreciate the finer things in life, and with the rainbow flag right outside it’s a clear indication that anyone on the spectrum is welcome. I would definitely recommend for you to go at some point, either as a romantic date, or a ‘treat yo self’ splurge. You won’t regret it.

 

Emperor of India

Emperor of India

I was really looking forward to eating here. However, there were certain issues. Let’s jump right in.

 

Accessibility: Not really accessible for wheelchair users. However as a locality it is very central (St. Julians) and it even offers free parking in the parking lot right next door. So a pretty great offer.

Decor: Superb. Very stylish and it verged on a slightly romantic feel, even though it would work as a place to eat with friends as well.

Food: Impeccable. Very tasty and interesting with a wide selection of food available. The meat was tender and well-cooked, and the sauce was amazing.

Price: Affordable, probably the cheapest place to eat Indian food on the Island. Wines were incredibly cheap as well, I had to check the price a few times to be sure.

Staff: Here comes the problem. The waiter serving us did not even try to hide his desire to be anywhere but there. At first my partner thought he could be hyperactive, or waiting for a big table to arrive since he was constantly checking his watch while we were giving him our order. However, after seeing him cracking jokes with the other tables, and being overall very friendly with the other couples (who were straight I might add), it was obvious that his problem was with us.

To give you a few examples:

  • When the wine was brought, the waiter shoved the bottle right into my face – I’m not sure if he thought I was blind, or if I somehow made it seem like I wanted to read the label without a magnifying glass.
  • He was constantly checking his watch while taking the order.
  • He got mixed up and thought that our starter would be a main course, when I clarified that it was actually a starter he said that I told him it was a main course, in a very rude tone.
  • When coming over to our table he would not make eye contact, or even look at us.

 

Overall, the food was great, the place is beautiful. However do not choose this place to go on a date. The staff is not accepting of same-sex couples, so to avoid a night of awkwardness and feeling as though you do not belong I would avoid this place.

 

For the sake of it, I will try this restaurant again, since I don’t like judging after just one visit. However, I have my doubts that this was a one-time thing.

Shakinah

Definitely one of my favourite places to visit in St. Julians. The interior decor is so romantic – there’s soft lighting, candles, and small tables for added coziness. Of course, the place itself is quite tiny, so the small tables are there due to necessity not romanticism, but hey, we take what we get.

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The food is a blend of Indian and Arabian and the service from the waiters/waitresses is impeccable each time. I’ve probably gone there with my girlfriend a million and one times, and each visit the staff are kind and welcoming.

 

The food is delicious and considering the type of food it is very affordable. You can easily pay less than twenty euros each – and that’s including side dishes, a starter and wine.

 

Definitely a place to go if you’re looking for somewhere romantic which is also LGB friendly. Booking beforehand is recommended.