You know you have had a very special dining out experience when you wake up the next morning and it is the very first thing you think of.
My partner Mark and I were recently lucky enough to have the opportunity to dine out at the Under Grain restaurant, which recently was the recipient of a Michelin Star.
Executive Chef Victor Borg and his team bring a new meaning to refined dining, and the ambiance of the restaurant itself – which is inspired by the tailoring profession – adds to the overall feeling of being somewhere very magical indeed (this summer, the restaurant is normally operating from the rooftop of the Rosselli Hotel where it is located; however, on this occasion, strong winds meant that the meal was held in the restaurant premises proper).
The evening certainly started off on the right foot with the offer of Prosecco, Champagne or Mimosa, followed by some of Chef Victor’s delicious and delectable amouse-bouches, including a Parmesan crisp which I really wish I could replicate at home (but won’t even try as there is no way I can reach the heights of such tastiness!)
For starters, both my partner and I opted for tartare of wild sea bass, oyster Chantilly, pickled white radish and dill oil. Not normally a radish fan, I have now had my mind well and truly changed. The whole dish was melt-in-your-mouth superb.
For mains, Mark didn’t even need to think before going for the roasted fillet of black Angus beef, aubergine with dried olive, parsley puree and sauce diable. He said that the meat was on par with what he considered the best beef he had ever tasted, in Brazil – high praise indeed.
My choosing process took a little longer as I was tempted between the slow cooked rump of pork and the trio of lamb. I finally settled on the assiette of Welsh Lamb, aliums, mustard and smoked yogurt. And was I glad I did – the lamb in all its three iterations was absolutely delicious.
Time for dessert… and this time, it was my turn to choose without any hesitation whatsoever. It just had to be the warm chocolate mousse, ginger ice cream (my new favourite ice cream flavour since that evening) and honeycomb. Mark went for something more unusual – salt baked pineapple, seaweed ice cream, Marmite and caramel syrup, which he graciously allowed me to sample. Both desserts were exceptional in very different ways.
All this was washed down with a lovely bottle of Amira Nero D’Avola wine.
The service throughout was impeccable; the waiting staff is the epitome of grace and politeness, with just the perfect amount of friendliness (although we could not see their smile through the mask, we could hear it in their voice), as well as being knowledgeable about every aspect of the meal.
All in all, it was a most excellent way to spend our evening.
Under Grain is located within the 5-star Rosselli – AX Privilege on Merchants’ Street, Valletta. It is currently open in the evenings from Thursday to Sunday. More information is available on their website.