some of you may or may not have heard of Palazzo Santa Rosa in Mistra Bay
i heard great things about the place and the chef Claude Camilleri

i had joined his mailing list and after a long silence i received this:

Dear friend,

First of all we have to apologise for the silence.

So many have written to us and we have never replied. It is not through lack of trying. Many times we get into the car to go home and fall asleep before we even put the key in the ignition. See, we haven’t been idle. We have been extremely busy creating something really special. So many people have called and we have been unable to answer the phone – it makes you wonder if we wer OK or not. We were just fine; just very busy. Besides apologising for not being in touch, we have to thank you for your thoughts and concern.

We have great news though . . .

We have given birth to a healthy and wonderful new baby called Margo’s.

Margo’s Authentic Neapolitan Pizza is more than just your average pizzeria. It is the only DOC (Denominazione d’Origine Controllota) pizzeria this side of the world. You know by now that we do not do things by half. So we went the whole hog and created what can be described as a Little Naples in Mistra Bay. Not so much the decor, but the food, the pizza is as authentic as it can be, so much so that we have been granted the DOC certification through the authorities in Naples.

It would be quite accurate to say that we believe we have exceeded the standards required by the the Council to be granted the certification. Let me explain why.

We use a wood fired oven built by Mario Acunto. This is standard practice. A wood fired oven is the most basic of requirements. Acunto is one of the oldest people to build such ovens and his family have been building them for generation. It is a superb oven in that it is rudimentary and very effective.

We use Caputo flour. With the demands put on us to choose a flour with very specific characteristics, we opted to use the finest flour that is specifically milled for pizza. It does make a difference. The result is a light, fluffy, delicate and beautiful taste.

We only use San Marzano tomatoes. We are not allowed to use anything but San marzano tomatoes. Like Roma tomoatoes, San Marzano are slightly smaller and have little seeds. We grow our own of course, but for the lean days we import Solania tomatoes that are simply outstanding in taste and quality.

We use fresh water buffalo mozzarella. Garofalo have their own herd of water buffaloes and we wanted to bypass the scandal related to mozzarella that hit Naples earlier this year. So we found a producer with their own herd and on top of that, the production is organic, although the organic certification will not be officially in place until September.

We use Lurisia Pure Spring water for the impasto. Lurisia is the purest italian spring water. If you think that all water is the same, it means you have not tasted Lurisia. It is very very light.

We burn only oak. Of course we can burn other wood, but oak imparts such a wonderful taste to the final pizza.

We have a Neapolitan pizzaiolo. Meet Pasquale. He has San Marzano tomato juice running through his veins, he says. He comes from a family of pizzaioli and his work shows it. We are very lucky to have someone so passionate about pizza.

So this is just a small invitation to come and see Margo’s for yourself. It is in the back area of Palazzo Santa Rosa. The entrance is through our car park.

Of course Palazzo Santa Rosa is still going strong and we have had some amazing reviews over the last few months, from all over the world. But we are not ones to sit and settle for the status quo, so we will be getting back to presenting the Last Tuesday Clubs as of August. We have been planning the August LTC for months and we are sure it is going to be an amazing and exciting one.

Margo’s is open from Tuesday to Sunday in the evenings.

This is the soft opening. So you are the first to know about our new baby.

The manager Chantalle will be more than glad to welcome you for the pizza experience of your life.

Come and meet Pasquale and the rest of the staff and we really hope that you approve of our work.



me and some friends headed down there to the idyllic setting of Mistra Bay
from the letter and the replaying of the wonderful trappings about Margo's pizza
great expectations were not absent

the restaurant is spacious and welcoming
you enter a hall acting as a lobby facing a cleverly designed wall that has been covered in framed paintings
the paintings themselves: meh!
but the wall idea is a good use of space and colour

the next room houses the pizza oven and makers
the hub of Margo's

this leads to the outside garden area which tables Margo's patrons

our table was exactly adjacent to the pizzaiolo and his DOC pizza workshop
this proved to be very hunger inducing
but was beneficial to Kari who acted as the night's photographer(see photos below)
being next to the pizza kitchen with nothing separating us but glass increased our appetites
i don't mean to exaggerate but
watching Pasquale work his magic into the night amplified that fucking void that was now beginning to swell like a big entrenching vacuum at the bottomless abyss of my viscera

and that carried on for about an hour after we ordered
the staff was friendly and helpful
maybe too friendly
or maybe that's just me being too anti-social
we were offered help by 3 different people
who got us drinks and starters
we were deprived of our food for what seemed like the longest hour or so
the food being pizza which is usually quick didn't bode so well

somewhere in between all of this
two of our party got smoked buffalo mozzarella starters
this tasted nothing short of divine
milky but fibrous

the menu layout was superb with only about 8 pizzas available or so
let's headcount

there was
the margerita - tomatoes and mozzarella

the marinara - tomatoes and garlic and no mozzarella

pizza cruda - with parma ham

pizza affumicata - with smoked ham

the pizza al pesce fresco - self explanatory

a calzone - with ricotta and cherry tomatoes i think

margo's pizza special - i doubt that was the name with seasonal ingredients

i think i m missing one

i chose the affumicata
when it came
the appearance of the pizza was different from what i am used to
the toppings where minimal
a bit too minimal on the mozzarella for my pizza
the others' looked just about right on the cheese
the dough had carbonized blisters
the overall taste was different
the crust had no crunch
it was light and fluffy
but thin
much like Indian nan bread

i've never been to Napoli
so i don't have a clue to what they do there
what i know is that i've tasted and loved pizza before
and i know what a good pizza should taste like
i like the crunchy thin and toasty pizzas which are rampant
in the good Maltese pizzerias
pizza is Italian and all that
but for me it could be as Maltese as the pastizz
it is the ever-present meal in the dominant culture of globalized earth
if i find myself in any strange foreign land in the world
i expect to eventually have to encounter two things
spoken English and pizza

upon my and the affumicata's initial encounter my general feeling was that i don't care how true to Italian standards this was
i love standards
but i have my own

then it happened
the great thing about great food is that
it can alter your reality
and topple your standards

although unusual i got to love the airy nature of that crust
the toppings were great and as expected nothing looked like it came out of a can or a freezer
we were a party of seven
most of us loved this novel pizza experience
some still have reservations
but we all want to return

for what is being served the prices are phenomenal
8.50 euro for this pizza compared to what some other bozos charge for sacrilege
is just right

desserts were great
i had the titled-with-overkill Orgasmic Valhrona Chocolate Delight
few chocolate desserts make it to this wonderful wonderful place

then there was the Rum baba
those who ate/drank this got very cheery by the end of it
it tastes beautiful and it makes you tipsy
all in one go
i think this is a good thing

when payment time came we weren't too pleased with the itemised bill listing everything as 'beer'
it was tricky to separate between the 3 course and main course and dessert only people

a couple who was eating there at another table later told me that when they asked for Neapolitan wine they didn't have any
what's that about!?

whatever the setbacks i recommend Margo's heartily

the thing is that there will be times when i want the usual crunchy pizza i love so much
and there will be times when i will pop back down there to Margo's for their DOC stuff


Tagine, Marokkin

(served with Grilled Pita bread triangles)

Couscous with lemon zest, coriander, spinach, peas and parsley accompanied by 2 dips:

Aubergine dip (with Aubergines, tomatoes, cumin, chili, paprika and kalamata olives)

Hummus dip (made with chickpeas, olive oil, cumin and lemon)


The right balance between sweet and savoury is the cornerstone of Moroccan Cuisine. The food is cooked slowly and it's almost essential to taste whilst preparing these dishes in order to get the right balance.

Beef and Pistacchio Meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce with dried apricots. A variation on the traditionally Maltese 'pulpetti'.

Couscous with lamb, onions, honey and raisins. The lamb is first grilled and then cooked for a long time with the rest of the ingredients until it becomes deliciously tender. The end result is exquisite.

Chicken Thighs with caramelized baby onions, honey and pears. This was reduced at the end to a sensationally rich and caramelized sauce, and finally topped with sliced almonds.

Pork Ragu with tomatoes, carrots onions, raisins, cumin, cinnamon and coriander. Exquisitely offensive, Sahibi :)

Boiled potatoes with garlic, onions and parsley.

For dessert we had Oranges with orange blossom water (ilma zahar), cinnamon and mint, and sipped on a traditional Moroccan Green tea prepared with lots of sugar and fresh mint.


Моё судно на воздушной подушке полно угрей: Russian Themed Night

Cocktail : Black Russian made with Vodka mixed with Kahlua and ice.

As an appetizer we had toasted bread with mascarpone, and black and red beluga caviar.


Red lentil soup made with red lentils, tomatoes, onions, garlic, dried apricots, thyme, cumin and a splash of honey. The soup was served with a dressing of sour cream, natural yogurt and fresh mint.

Cold pasta with smoked salmon and asparagus tossed with a lemon-vodka-mustard-tarragon vinaigrette.

Sauteed mushrooms and spring onions in sour cream, double cream and cheese.

Meat and Cabbage pie prepared with minced beef, sausage, bacon, cabbage, onion, paprika and pepper.

A potato salad prepared with turkey sausage, pickles, green onions, peas, eggs, and mayonnaise.

Potato dumplings served on a bed of cabbages with a garlic sauce.

For dessert we had Khalva, a syrupy walnut and cinnamon dessert.

Don't worry about a thing, everything's gonna be alrite with rum and a joint : Jamican-Themed Night

Cocktail: Jamaican Fizz made with dark rum, pineapple juice, soda water and sugar.

We started with barbequed bread (bruschetta-style) with a topping of tomatoes, garlic, lemon, cumin and cinnamon for a very satisfying aromatic finish.

The highlight of the night arrived in the form of pork and pineapple kebab skewers. The pork was dry-rubbed with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice (allspice with peppers) that combines harmoniously with the sweetness of the pineapple. Excellent.

The side dishes

Rice and red kidney beans cooked in coconut milk.

Shrimp in a curry sauce

Plantain barbequed in a cinnamon and coconut juice. Plantain is a versatile fruit very popular in the Caribbean. People who are not familiar with it could easily mistake it for a banana. It looks and smells like a banana,however it's much bigger, harder to peel and is not eaten raw.

For dessert we had a cheesecake formed of a topping made with cream, cinnamon and nuts upon a base made from biscuit.

How much heat can you handle? Mexican Themed Night

Cocktail for the Night: Margaritas made with tequila mixed with citrus juice as well as fresh lemon juice, served on ice with salt on the glass rim.

Food Menu

For starters we had some grilled bread with fried serrano ham, jalapeno peppers and cheese.
Then an assortment of home made dips served with nachos:
tangy avocado based dip with sour cream (similar to guacamole)
red kidney bean dip
and a spicy salsa dip.

It was at this point that we dished out Beelzebub's favourite dip: the Habanero

A few weeks back whilst holidaying in Barcelona we came across a stall selling chillies in La Boqueria, a large market in La Ramblas.It is there we spotted the Habanero Variety.Habanero is one of the most intensely spicy species of chili peppers of the Capsicum genus.

Beelzebub travelled on a very efficient Click-air Flight and landed at the Maltese Airport safe and sound. Upon arrival my father, a chili devotee, crushed him into a seedy red pulp and placed him into a jar without any strings or ribbons. A few days in the fridge for him to get saturated and vengeful on the main author of this blog..

Glen scooped out a whole tablespoon of the notorious habanero with his nacho.
At first he seemed to be able to keep his composure.
But then all hell broke inside his mouth.
No milk in sight. He was seeing red. (ix xitan m'ghandux halib)
For relief he stuffed his face with roasted almonds and galletti. He sipped at the Margarita vigorously. To no avail.
He huffed and puffed his way to the bathroom to freshen up.
I never saw Glen leave the dinner table so quickly in my life.

Next up was the Chili con carne made with minced beef, habanero chilies, tomatoes,red wine, garlic, onions, carrots. red kidney beans, cumin, coriander and some cinnamon for a new twist.

The Tacos with chicken and tomatoes spiced up with taco seasinings were accompanied by wild rice with a medley of vegetables and hot spices

For desert we took out some Turrón, a Catalan nougat confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts shaped into a rectangular tablet.


from drafts limbo: university student nutrition

this will be a small series of posts
that got stuck in the drafts limbo of the blog
and i never got round to finishing them off
i will leave them mostly intact without much change since they are dated
the following one is from a bit more than two years back when i was finishing my university degree

the next couple of months will be the last of those spent at the university of malta
its been five years that i have been in the company of well fed stray cats, unnecessarily confusing bureaucracy and shit-ugly architecture

and on my last year in this would be nurturing environment
a sort of humble food revolution has occurred

University Canteen - Brought to you by papillon caterers
the name papillon (pronounced pap-iyy-oghg) comes from the french term also used in english "pap"
most of the food they serve is based on the culinary philosophy of pap

a few years ago the only food you could get in and around the university of malta was whatever was supplied by the nasty papillon caterers at the university canteen
here the only thing i could ever classify as above edible were a few food items
the pastizzi have never been any good
both the traditional diamond shaped ones and the flat party types
the round thin pizzas are somewhat semi-decent but are small and over priced
the squarish ones as stated somewhere else in this blog as "suck ass"
the ok food items for me have so far been some of the arancini when they look fresh, the mexican pie which two years ago was the second best thing you could eat on campus and then they have semi-decent cordon bleus
they also have a chicken wrap thing in the fridge section which is sometimes passable

about two years ago aswell the insiter
a university magazine
published a front page article claiming that university table-tops were cleaner than toilet seats
apparently some chemistry students carried out some tests on this comparison the previous year and the insiter published their findings as front page material
the pap people went ape-shit
and tried to sue the editor and journalist etc etc

i personally never understood what the fuss was about
since it does make sense that a place where all sorts of crumbs and spills gather would be more bacteria infested than a place where
a) urine gets miss-aimed, in the case of the guys' toilets, and urine being antiseptic as far as i know would get to kill bacteria (not too sure about this)
and b) in the case of the ladies' toilets the seats get wiped clean continuously by the patrons (not because chicks are cleaner, but because they need to sit down and make physical contact to pee)

anyway this resulted in a directive from the managers of pap who had the poor guy who cleaned the tables and canteen to wipe those tables clean every fucking minute
it is quite bothersome when you re eating and someone comes to clean your table
what the fuck!
leaving a thin line of dampness from an overused piece of damp cloth

anyway the university canteen really sucks on many accounts, freshmen/women/persons might think that they have quite a variety but after a while you truly learn to despise their food and disservice

Sandro tal-hotdogs:
two years ago this guy provided the best food on campus
really ace hot dogs and burgers
this year it seems that he has left the premises and he is never there when i look
that corner is now empty truly empty
i think that maybe the other recent eateries and restaurants which have opened have forced him out
either that or i m always around when he takes a day off or something
a moment of weblog silence is in order for his absence

that was all i wrote as a draft
there was more to write of course:

spuntino's pizzas are definitely in the top ten for pizzas on the maltese islands
the owner and chef is an italian guy who knows what he is doing
the design of the place is cool and fresh unlike many run of the mill diners or eateries in malta it contains interior design with a plan
the rest of his menu also reflects this

meet and eat had some good aspects like the custard pie which i thing was on my first post for this blog
i think this was the first place that offered close to campus competition to pap-illon
they also had toasted baguettes and wraps which were very decent
the design and space of the place had flaws but i think they now moved to a different place on the same street
hopefully bigger and with better interiors

hugo's was a breath of fresh air for those who had money to spend and wanted fancy risottos and baguettes
they offered and probably still offer a wide selection of high priced but decent food
of course all the good looking people in their branded clothes huddled here
as a homogeneous eyesore
i loved going there though for calpico (this japanese weird drink) and sushi
which although nothing too special as sushi
at least it tasted like the cheap stuff in japan
except yeah this was expensive
they had great milkshakes too
i think my favorite was the gingernut biscuit milkshake

white arrow
i loved hanging out here in my last year
mostly for the silence and cutting off from the rest of university
save for the usual gang of teenage skaters that never bothered me as much as the crowds at the canteen, hugo's
toni the guy who handled junior college's notorious white arrow
moved here
he had some good pastries and a hot meal that was different everyday
the bill was always very cheap
and his hot meals always felt like eating directly from someone's kitchen
having a chat with him was always fun
he had a secret policy of being open to customers he liked
but closed to everyone else (put in effect by the strategic 'sorry we re closed' sign on the locked door)
white arrow at university is his retirement plan apparently
he is open for business
but only if he feels like it
white arrow was the only place that served te bil halib tal bott u wahda zokkor
that's why i started going there in the first place
his tortellini had a standard overcookedness
but for less than one lira who's going to complain

how could i have forgotten matilda's
i ate a good Caesar salad there once
but i don't know what else to say for the place
it was also in the off campus section before meet and eat
dunno if it still there

there is a new pizzeria which is amazing apparently
pizza by luca i think its called
which replaced the old snackline with clement
yes that was another place off campus pre meet and eat

also in the meantime there was also that incident with the same people of papillon serving half a rodent or something like that to a patron at the newly opened mater dei hospital canteen last year
hehehe you crack me up papillon

over and out


new contributors

i ve been chillin out maxin relaxin all cool
and all shootin some b-ball outside o' the school...

and not really writing too much
so i issued forth a call for writers
to fill the vacant posts of additional contributors
of food writing content for zaqqu mimlijja

me and my administration team
of five veteran recruiters and a woman
beckoned forth the three hundred and thirty six or so applicants
to an underwater cave in msida yacht marina
where after lengthy tests, investigations and daunting multiple interviews
i asked each of the dozen runner ups an ambiguous and vague question about tropical fish
in private of course

from these finalists
only two answered* correctly
the rest were sent home in despair
only to find packs of hidden ninjas waiting to surprise-murder them and their loved ones

the names of the recruited are kari and stanley
their selection was also helped by the coincidence that they were good friends of mine and that they can cook killer food and talk about it as if they were verbally transcending prophetic psalms

they will be writing in here soon enough

*for the curious readers
the correct answer to the ultimate question was that individual oscillators with momentum(p)t and displacement (q)t vibrate with frequencies of the optical spectrum, also being infinite matrices, attributed to stipulations in heisenbergian matrix mechanics

or the alternative "tropical what?!"