I had never heard of or seen Il Pirata Restaurant before but Joe noticed they had a voucher on deal.com.mt for a 3 course meal plus appetisers for €20. As we’re living in a hotel we’re having to eat out constantly right now so are trying lots of new places and looking to save a few pennies wherever possible so we gave this a go. It’s on one of the back streets of Paceville, away from most of the noise and chaos but also somewhere you’re not likely to stumble upon by accident. You’d have to be looking for it to find it.
I’d called up and booked a table, mentioning the voucher and we walked into a restaurant with just one table occupied. A lovely couple were sitting enjoying their meal. I gave my name and they told us our table was the table right next to this lovely couple. The tables were literally 2 inches apart. Out of a huge empty restaurant why would you ever place two separate bookings so uncomfortably close? WHY? Joe asked if there was anywhere else we could sit and we were taken to another section of the restaurant- which we had to walk THROUGH THE TOILETS to get to.
Despite this bad start, the staff were very friendly and polite. They hadn’t actually seen this voucher deal before but were still perfectly happy to accept it and everything went as it should. We received the foccacia appetiser which was the nicest part of the whole meal- it was just so small. Two small triangles of lovely warm and soft focaccia bread dipped in oil with sliced tomatoes on top.
For the first course I went for the
Risotto Funghi Porcini Aquarello–
aged rice with porcini parmesan and butter
and Joe chose
Paccheri with Maltese Sausage–
The world famous paccheri from the town of gragnano are served with maltese sausage, pepper goat cheese, tomato and a touch of cream.
Mine was nice enough, it tasted mainly of butter. It was very creamy and the portion was absolutely enormous considering this was a starter! It was nothing special but nothing offensive either. Joe’s was much nicer, if you like Maltese sausage that is! Very creamy again, a huge portion with a lovely bolognese type feel with the herby kick that Maltese sausage gives. It’s a bit too overpowering for me but he cleaned his plate.
And then… the main. We both went for
Bistecca di Angus Milanese
Breaded Aberdeen angus rib-eye with grana shavings, rucola anad cherry tomato
Maybe we are terribly uncultured and have incredibly common taste palettes… but I just cannot understand why you’d ruin a perfectly good bit of steak with oily breadcrumbs and over cooking. We were asked how we wanted the steak cooked and we both asked for medium but it was well done all the way through. It was absolutely tasteless and just… oily. To be honest, it was horrible. I just do not understand Milanese, or else I’ve never had one cooked properly. It came with a plate of weird looking extras- some kind of onion bhaji looking thing, some peppers with couscous and something that could either have been cooked ham or a human finger. The potatoes were super nice, really buttery and the saving grace of the main.
We didn’t stay for the dessert as we actually had tickets for a film booked and we had to run, the meal took a little longer than we expected. I was also pretty full from the huge portions, even if they weren’t amazing. But perhaps the dessert would have saved it all for us- who knows!
All in all the restaurant decor was nice but weirdly set out, the staff were lovely but the food was a big let down- even paying €20 each for the 3 courses seemed too much as the only bits we actually enjoyed was the one slice of focaccia at the start and the potatoes with the main. Not one I’d recommend I’m afraid and so the hunt for a good restaurant in Malta continues!