Where five star meets street food

The Tabloid High STReat at the AX The Palace Hotel marries relaxation and chic perfectly.

I’ve never actually lived in Sliema but both sides of my family come from there so I always feel a sense of ‘home’ when I’m there. Memories of visiting my grandparents when I was young (one nanna still lives there) or going shopping with my mum or my friends abound.

Nowadays, I still enjoy going ‘down to Sliema’ to pop into the shops with my son or partner, and sometimes also have a quick bite to eat. However, my latest visit last weekend was a more ‘lavish’ visit as it were.

I’d been to AX The Palace Hotel quite a few times before but never to its Tabloid High STReat restaurant – a new concept for Malta where five star meets street food. I was intrigued.

Arriving there with my partner Mark, I was already pleased that our temperature was taken at the entrance of the hotel. We were given the options of inside and outside dining and we chose to go outside as the weather was still relatively warm. It helps that the outside area is roofed so really, you get the best of both worlds.

Assistant Food and Beverage Service Manager Andrea Koliskova immediately appeared at my side with the menu which is full of delicious fare such as paella, tagliata, tacos, fish, burgers, pizza – honestly I was spoilt for choice and it took me quite a while to decide on what to order!

As an aside, Andrea was the perfect host – knowledgably about every single dish (the way she lovingly described the paella made my mouth water) and absolutely lovely to boot.

After a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided to go for a half rack of ribs accompanied with chicken wings, while Mark went for the tagliata. For starters, we decided to share a Greek platter. But first a lovely cocktail – Dry Martini for Mark and Bombay Cooler for me – and I could already feel the stresses of the week fading away.

On to the meze – I especially enjoyed the vine leaves (a favorite of mine). And the hummus deserves a special mention – perfectly creamy. The mains were also excellent and the portions were just right… well I left a tiny bit of mine to leave space for dessert, so Mark got my leftovers – no complaints there! Add a lovely apple cake for afters and I was a very happy bunny.

When we were there, the other patrons were a mixed lot – from a couple clearly on a first date (lots of giggles emanating from their table), to two girls on a Ladies Night to a bunch of colleagues who had come over straight from work. That’s what is so great about this place – it is the epitome of ‘smart casual’. Not too stuffy that you feel a bit awkward if you drop your fork, and not too casual that you forget your manners and get a bit too loud.

Just perfect for a nice, relaxing night out in fact.

The Tabloid High STReat is open from Monday to Sunday from 7.00 to 9.30 pm and for Sunday lunch from 1.00 to 3.30 pm.