Today I’m doing a restaurant review from my recent (birthday!) meal at Charlie’s Inn, a rabbit house in Salina, Naxxar, Malta. This place doesn’t look like much from the outside and it’s in an area I’d never really find myself in but it’s absolutely worth the journey and somewhere I hope to get back to very soon! It’s a rabbit house, which means they specialise in the national dish of rabbit however they do have other options if that’s not your thing; choose from salads, pastas and steak too.
About Charlie’s Inn rabbit house, Salina, Malta
Charlie’s Inn, Malta is a family owned and run restaurant situated in Salina, which I believe is either part of, or close to, Naxxar. It has been run by the Zammit family for over 80 years and aims to remain traditionally Maltese whilst adding a modern twist. They offer seasonal, fresh and (where possible) local ingredients in their dishes. We found everyone at Charlie’s Inn, Malta to be warm and welcoming and happy to attend to any need we had. I did find the wine options a little on the expensive side but nothing extortionate and I really don’t mind paying a little more for some things when there is a great feeling and atmosphere. To balance that out, I thought the food was actually very good value and that’s what really counts, right!
I heard a rumour that the chef at Charlie’s Inn rabbit house in Malta has a michelin star however, I don’t know if this is true as I can’t find it anywhere on the Charlie’s Inn facebook page. However star or not, the bottom line is the food is great, the atmosphere is lovely and the prices are very affordable.
Charlie’s Inn Opening Hours
They are closed on Mondays, open from 19:00 from Tuesday to Saturday and on Sundays they open for lunch at 12:00.
When I went for a birthday meal here, we were a table of around 10 so rather than each order our own thing we asked them to bring us out a selection of starters and a selection of mains so we could each try a little bit of lots of different things.
Appetisers and Starters at Charlies Inn, Malta
Before we even got onto the proper food we found the table covered with lovely dips, biscuits and even cooked snails (taste = good, texture = uggghhhh). Then for the first course we each received some tuna tartare and a few other little bites of deliciousness served atop a beautiful shiny pebble. I’m afraid I don’t remember what all the components were but I can tell you everything tasted amazing and the presentation was so different from anything I’d ever seen before and I think it worked perfectly.
After that first visual treat, we received a second course of starters and I tasted a mix of the rabbit ravioli, pigeon and mozzarella. I know my plate looks a little sad and empty but this was just my first taste, I went in for seconds of the ravioli and the mozzarella. I didn’t get a snap of the whole mozzarella but it was super tasty, so often restaurants charge a lot for cheap mozzarella and the proof really is in the pudding as it just has no flavour when it’s not good quality. This was so good!
Rabbit Ravioli at Charlie’s Inn, Salina, Malta
The rabbit ravioli at Charlie’s Inn, Malta is something I would absolutely recommend. Perfect for pasta lovers, rabbit lovers and, in my opinion, a great way for people who want to try rabbit but are a bit nervous, to give it a go. The dish was very tasty and it didn’t taste obviously like rabbit, if that makes sense, so if you’re not sure how you feel about rabbit, but want to try something traditional, this is one to go for.
Pigeon at Charlie’s Inn, Malta
Pigeon. Not really sure how I feel about that one. I didn’t even know that pigeons were something that people ate. For me, this wasn’t amazing and I wouldn’t try it again. Probably that’s just personal preference and I’ve never had pigeon before so can’t really say if it was cooked well but everyone at the table seemed to enjoy it and there was none left over! Next time though, I’d definitely go for the rabbit ravioli over the pigeon.
Main Courses at Charlie’s Inn, Malta
For the main course we all shared huge bowls of traditionally fried rabbit, BBQ fried rabbit and then Joe had a veal steak instead as he’s not really a fan of rabbit. I tried a bit of both rabbit flavours, which each came with chips and gravy as is traditional.
Fried Traditional Rabbit at Charlie’s Inn, Malta
I am not a big fan of rabbit in general, I’ve tried it once before and found it quite dry and I did again this time. The gravy does go some way to rectifying this though and tasted lovely so my advice is, if you’re not quite sure about rabbit yet, make sure to get plenty of gravy! The only thing I out right didn’t like about the meal were the chips. They were not to my liking at all, and I’d probably have preferred boiled, roasted or mashed potatoes so in future I’d ask if they could be made instead.
Once it was covered in gravy I did enjoy the rabbit main and left the place with a very full stomach. However, if you’re a little squeamish or a big fan of cute fluffy bunnies, you might struggle when eating rabbit as it generally comes with all the bits and bobs included… that means the head, so you have been warned!
Veal Steak at Charlie’s Inn, Malta
I didn’t try the veal stake at Charlie’s Inn, Malta myself but Joe was very happy with it. It was cooked to his liking, tasted great and there wasn’t a scrap left on his plate once he was finished so I think that’s a seal of approval right there.
Overall Charlie’s Inn, Malta Review
To summarise, the location may be a little out of the way, especially if you don’t drive, which is a drawback, but the family that run this place are lovely and will make you feel right at home. The food is excellent, something very different to what I’m used to in Malta. You can see that everything is made with passion and served with love. My top picks were the dips to start with, the rabbit ravioli and the mozzarella salad but I’m confident that there is something for everyone at Charlie’s Inn, Malta and it’s the perfect place to get a real taste of Malta.
Thank you so much to Charlie’s Inn for providing such a lovely birthday meal for me (even though they didn’t know that!), thank you to everyone who came and thank you to Kevin, who I had never previously met but who really helped to make the night!