Hi dear followers. It has been a touching week for Malta including our families and friends, when we heard the terrible news about the sad incident in which one of Malta’s strongest online voices was totally shut down. Daphne Caruana Galizia will never be forgotten and I hope from my heart that some justice about this shameful incident will be done and that her sould will rest in peace. Freedom of expression is our right and nothing will stop humanity from speaking. Our hearts are stronger than ever in the wish for our voices to be heard.
On a lighter note, last week, it was that time again – an opportunity to explore a fine dining restaurant in Malta presented itself. We all have our favourite restaurants but as food lovers, who doesn’t like to try out new restaurants! So, it was my pleasure to invite a couple of friends to join me on this enjoyable mission, to savour the food and experience the service at “QUADRO” the restaurant at Westin Dragonara Resort.
Situated on the Dragonara Casino resort grounds, its entrance is from the street that leads to the Dragonara Casino and it offers indoor seating in winter and outdoor seating in summer and warm days. Parking is available at the underground car park of the hotel. I couldn’t wait to try it out and catch up with my friends!
So let’s start right from the entrance. Voila’! This is the door signage outside. It is interesting to note that although the logo is in the shape of a trendy fish and gives you the impression that it is a fish restaurant, you will learn that it offers way more than meets the eye. The menu offers soups, fish dishes, fish grills, meat dishes, meat grills, shellfish sensations, vegetarian and dessert options. As you can see in the photos, I was sporting my new stylish outfit from River Island’s new collection including a dark orange asymmetric dress, black leather jacket and black leather bag.
On this occasion, I invited Martin Hammer a German friend whose successful career includes being a consultant for vacation owners at Azure a vacation ownership company based at Golden Sands. He is one of the sweetest and most jolly persons I know. In a cool joker kind of way, in his sharp German accent, the twinkle in his blue eyes and his awesome sense of humour ,he makes me laugh so much every time we meet. Love his dress sense too. Always so smart, with all his shirts personalised and embroidered with his initials “MH”. He is currently single so ladies out there, he is a good catch haha!
I also invited Linda Gillich to join me on this little adventure. Linda is a beautiful talented lady, a mother to a very handsome teenager, who has been residing in Malta for over a decade. She loves Malta with all that it offers and she has just recently kicked off ( after many years of keeping it at bay) one of her passions, which is to design personalised matching skirts for mothers and daughters in her small new business called Linbada. And although we have known eachother socially for quite a few years, my blog and the passion for fashion made us meet again.. So stay tuned for a cute feature about these skirts some time in the near future when I find time to put it together! Linda enjoys socialising and fashion so she was so happy to be my guest on this experience.
Our experience at QUADRO
Upon entering the large restaurant, you immediately get that feel of an elegant atmosphere with the décor being classic with rich detailing including interesting lamp shades, mirrors and sofas which set the tone to classy fine dining at Westin Dragonara’s Resort. There is a bar at the entrance to have that first drink together as a group or solo while you wait for your dates to arrive. Here I enjoyed a glass of wine with photographer Carlo Jourdan, and we were soon met by Martin and Linda. We were ready to be seated! It was a little chilly outside so we sat indoors. Staff were very alert and welcoming.
Quadro Chef – Jonathan Vella
As I mentioned earlier, the menu offerings are quite vast ranging from starters to fish to meat to vegetarian dishes. However, for this visit Chef Jonathan Vella and the team at Quadro inform us that they have prepared a special degustation menu, to show us some interesting creative dishes and to let us know that for special occasions we can also order set menus, as long as the chefs are informed in advance to allow for planning and preparation. Wow! Thank you for this! So thoughtful.
Special Degustation Menu
Let’s go through some of the dishes in detail.
• Prawn carpaccio, squid ink, shoot salad
We began our dining experience with servings of this Prawn carpaccio. Now we all know that this dish has been done to death, by so many restaurants but Quadro’s version here does stand out from the crowd. With the prawns, we tasted a mix of other herbs, olive oil, and garlic. I loved the flavour imparted by the herbs and how it played so well with the weightiness of olive oil. All of us loved it.
• Grilled asparagus, cheese, fig and pecan salad, truffle and Dijon dressing
The second dish included an interesting mixture of sweet and savoury to the palette, from the asparagus, the cheese and the sweet fig served with a dressing.
• Fresh mussel ravioli carbonara served with a guanciale vinaigrette
One pasta dish I have most certainly never tasted in my entire life was this one. Imagine Italian fresh pasta ravioli filled with mussels and served al dente with a carbonara sauce, served with Mediterranean olive oil and truffle shavings. This dish was truly unique and outstanding. Kudos to the chef team!
• 3rd dish was called the “Bloody Mozza” – a soft mozzarella di bufala served in a celery salad, fresh with fresh fennel pollen.
This dish came presented beautifully with a flamboyant twist. It was uncovered at table to reveal a musky scent and smoke puff into the air. Interesting smells are a part of this culinary experience and by this third dish my guests and I are really having fun commenting about the food and having a few laughs courtesy of Martin, our joker at table!
• Macarons, Worchestire sauce and vodka jelly, served lightly smoked Interesting and a contrast to the previous dishes.
• Pan seared scallops, pulled pork, lotus crisp, smoky hollandaise sauce
I’m a huge fan of scallops so this dish was one of my favourites. It had the perfect balance between taste and light bite size goodness and it came served in such a pretty way as you can see here.
• Meagre Fish with an almond chorizo crust, bean and lentil casserole
As a main dish, we were served meagre with a very rich tasting curry sauce. Grilled for a few minutes and served with gold leaf shavings and Mediterranean vegetables, it was one very inspiring dish. For fish lovers, this one was one beautiful dish worth visiting Quadro just for this. By this point, the three of us had eaten so many different dishes that we could not finish this one and we apologised for it.
Make Space for the Chocolate Fondant!
However, Martin and I managed to squeeze some space for dessert which Chef prepared for us, which was the final confirmation of my esteem for this place; We were presented with a chocolate fondant, that is guaranteed to make you cry with happiness it is sooooooo tasty. I was groaning with glee with every bite while the camera person and everyone in the room was laughing at me. I almost called my husband who loves chocolate to tell him what an amazing dessert this was! I didn’t because I didn’t want to waste time dialling and risk someone taking too many bites out of it haha. Splendid! Heavenly!
So as a generic conclusion, I would like to say that QUADRO restaurant, one of the restaurants with the WESTIN DRAGONARA Resort Malta is an elegant and sophisticated fine dining venue, ideal for special occasions, business dinners and romantic dinners.
It is important to reserve tables in advance due to its popularity by hotel guests and local business delegates who bring their international clients here for a high class experience. From this experience, I have a different, a more respectful impression of this venue and I will certainly return with my husband and other clients of mine because I know that they will truly appreciate both the cuisine and the service here.
Thank you for this opportunity to review your venue!
5/ 5 stars
Blogger & entrepreneur at www.graziellecamilleri.com
Photography: Carlo Jourdan