Three Bibs and three stars in first ever Michelin Guide to Malta

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 27th February 2020

Three restaurants were awarded a much coveted star in the first ever Michelin Guide to Malta, released today. 

Altogether, 26 restaurants located on the islands of Malta and neighbouring Gozo made it into the little red book.

In addition to the three single stars awarded to Mdina's De Mondion, Noni and Under Grain in the capital city of Valletta, three received the Bib Gourmand distinction - a relatively new accolade introduced by the guide to spotlight high quality, good value food: Terrone, in the south,  Rubino, in Valletta, and Commando.

Furthermore, 20 restaurants were singled out for offering “fresh ingredients, capably prepared," with a Michelin plate symbol. 

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, said: “We are delighted to present our first ever edition of the MICHELIN Guide to the islands of Malta and Gozo. This selection reflects the diversity of the islands’ cuisine, the talents of its chefs and the quality of the ingredients available to them.”

“Traditional dishes of Malta and Gozo are represented, with kitchens making great use of the influences of the surrounding countries of the Mediterranean. There are also restaurants embracing a more modern style so it’s clear that the restaurant scene is buoyant and that the cuisine here is constantly evolving.” 

Despite it having been founded in 1900, the Guide's Michelin’s star-rating system for restaurants didn’t start until 1926, and it wasn't until the mid 1950s that it began a true international expansion.

In fact, there are still no guides for Australia or South Africa, and it only went to America (New York) in 2004 to Japan (Tokyo) in 2006, Brazil (Rio, São Paulo) in 2015, China (Shanghai) Singapore and South Korea (Seoul) in 2016, with further expansions including guides to San Francisco, Bangkok and Washington D.C.

Though Michelin has explained that this is due to logistical difficulties, it is worth bearing in mind that Michelin  is a commercial entity - which recently struck a controversial deal with TripAdvisor - and is increasingly seeking out financing from local and national tourism boards to fund its expansion. 

Yesterday, Michelin UK announced that it would be opening public ticket sales for its annual awards ceremony, which will be spread across today with a separate event delivering the Bib Gourmands for 2021.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 27th February 2020

Three Bibs and three stars in first ever Michelin Guide to Malta