Have you been to Terrone yet? If you haven’t, you should! To be honest with you, it took me a while to get there but when I finally did, I became a frequent visitor of this place.
Do you want to know what I like the most about it? It’s their menu, that changes daily. That is one of the main reasons why I go there. It focuses on what is currently available on the market, paying a tribute to Southern Italian and local Maltese cuisines.
So for someone like me, who is always looking for something new to try, Terrone is a fantastic place to be.
Located in Marsaxlxokk, a place where owner, Adrian Hili, loved to go as a child, Terrone is tucked away in a quiet corner of the seafront. The location is nice and cosy and the restaurant itself is very welcoming.
Pan fried fillet of local lampuki
I like the simple and light interior, which Adrian designed almost entirely by himself. It creates a relaxed and informal atmosphere which complements food perfectly. I like the story behind the choice of the beautiful shade of blue in Terrone’s logo: “Once I saw a church that had one small window and it was painted this colour, this blue colour that I’ve adopted for my logo and I saw how it worked on the stone. And I thought no one has it yet and it’s unique and it works really well”, says Adrian. It really does and I love the combination of cream colour of the Maltese stone and blue details.
Now let’s move to the food, my favourite part!
The restaurant serves rustic Southern Mediterranean dishes. The food is vibrant, colourful and nicely presented. The portions are generous. The quality of dishes is very high and consistent. Simple and delicious food at its best. “It’s about simplicity. It’s always about a couple of ingredients making something fantastic and it’s always about using what’s in season”, I totally agree with Adrian.
Risotto with local monkfish and prawns
It is not surprising, considering that ingredients are handpicked from the best local producers. Аs much as he can, Adrian uses organic ingredients, around 95% of which is locally grown. He uses different suppliers for different types of produce, obtaining the best quality.
Some of the cured meats they serve are also Maltese and one of my favourite Mediterranean delicacies, bottarga, is made in-house, together with some of the smoked products.
Moving to the choice of wines, Adrian follows the philosophy ‘what grows together goes together’. He has a nice selection of interesting wines from the southern regions of Italy – Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, as well as from islands – Sardinia, Sicily, Malta and Gozo are represented in the list and reflect the restaurant’s Mediterranean dishes. I like Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Bianco ’14, Argiolas S’Elegas Nuragus di Cagliari ’15 and Benanti Pietramarina Etna Bianco ’09 of course. The last one is a bit pricy but very worth sampling. The staff are totally competent at giving advice on which wine to choose and you always can go for a wine by the glass too. Adrian personally recommends trying Vermentino: “It goes nicely with antipasti and fish dishes as well. Something that we have here is premium wine by the glass”.
Recently the restaurant started serving breakfasts. The menu is seasonal, provides a good selection of eggs (boiled, baked, scrambled, frittata and poached eggs), as well as something light like seasonal fruits with yoghurt and yoghurt with granola. Personally, I’m looking forward to trying the Polenta and almond porridge with local honey next time when I visit Terrone.
The staff are attentive to your needs, polite and knowledgeable about the dishes and wine.
The main recommendation is to order a number of small plates and share with your friends. “I think that food is about bringing people together and sharing”, says Adrian. “I would encourage my clients to eat in a relaxed way. A lot of people come here and order a number of starters and share among each other.” I strongly agree with him! Apart from this, the food is just too good to limit yourself to a single dish.
Deep fried local baby cuttlefish with fresh chilli
As for recommendation for specific dishes, it is not easy, since the menu changes daily, but honestly I cannot remember ever leaving the place unsatisfied. Seasonal local Yellowfin tuna tartare was fantastic as were the sardines (in fact we asked for a second portion of these). Deep fried local baby Cuttlefish with fresh chilli is just as perfect as deep fried seafood can be. I still remember the sea urchin pasta…one of the best I ever had on the island. Monkfish was cooked to perfection, which means it was tender and this just makes me happy because this fish can easily get spoiled. One more dish to try – tender and smoky chargrilled local octopus paired nicely with fregola and mint.
Chargrilled local octopuswith fregola ant mint
The next recommendation would be chargrilled fillet of local mackerel. This healthy, sustainable fish is still being underestimated and it doesn’t appear very often on restaurant menus. At Terrone it is presented in an appetising combination with oranges and capers.
Serving mainly fish and seafood, the restaurant also caters for other tastes and you will find other options of small and big plates like cheese, cold cuts and vegetables as appetisers and meat and poultry for mains.
Local plum & almond tart with vanilla gelato
As for sweets, it is such a tricky question. I am very picky about them and desperately afraid that I will not like pudding, but you can’t get the full picture about the place until you try the desserts. The high quality of food Terrone offers continues here, too. Classic sweets that we are all familiar with are home made. They are fresh and delicious. They are simply perfect, that is all that I need to say. Local plum & almond tart is moist and light, Maltese lemon tart is balanced very nicely and the pressed chocolate cake with mascarpone is a treat for chocolate lovers – rich, dense and moist.
Additionally, the restaurant has hired a Sicilian pastry chef who makes traditional cannoli. “He makes the best cannoli I’ve ever had” Adrian told us and I think I’ll come and try! And you?
Summarising, I have to say that I had a pleasant dining experience with bright food of the most vibrant flavours. The place is relaxed with a lovely atmosphere and friendly staff. I highly recommend going to Terrone and enjoying what they have to offer.
You simply have to go if you haven’t been there yet!
Terrone’s range of savoury preserves and Gozitan olive oil are available for purchase from the restaurant.
Terrone is opened for morning coffee, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m to 11:00 p.m and on Saturday and Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 8 a.m. to 11:0 p.m.
Address: 1 Wilga Street, Marsaxlokk, Malta