It’s nice to take a break from the traditional Maltese cuisine of pasta and pizza every now and then and venture out into different culinary territories. Malta, perhaps surprisingly, has a rich and diverse Indian restaurant scene with each one receiving outstanding reviews for their own take on the Asian cuisine.
So if you are looking to try something new, or are just in the mood for a good curry, here are 11 Indian-inspired restaurants that you need to try on the Maltese island (in no specific order).
1. Sapana (Xlendi)
Overlooking Xlendi bay, Sapana may just be the best Indian restaurant in Gozo. Great view aside, Sapana has a versatile menu offering traditional Indian dishes that will set your palette tingling. Not familiar with Indian cuisine? Just ask one of the restaurant’s friendly staff for help…they’ll be more than happy to assist you!
2. Garam Masalaa (Qawra)
This sea-side eatery lets you enjoy an unobstructed view of Qawra’s beach over a plate of divinely authentic Indian food. This spacious restaurant has proved to be perfect for larger groups looking for a wide variety of options; moreover, Garam Masalaa offers its patrons the option to choose their own spice level – simply provide your waiter with a number between 1 and 10 and your dish will be tailor-made just to your liking. Delicious.
3. Gate of India (Qawra)
This one’s quite a hard find, but it sure is worth the looking. With its sleek interior and genuine food, Gate of India is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion with a partner, friends, or family. Food aside, restaurant host Ghosh will have you feeling at home in no time thanks to his passionate and welcoming demeanour.
4. Emperor of India (St. Julian’s)
Emperor of India is considered by many to be the crown jewel of local Indian cuisine. Offering mouthwateringly divine dishes at a reasonable price whilst catering to a wide variety of dietary restrictions, there’s no way you won’t be returning to Emperor of India after your first time. Just be warned that if you plan on paying Emperor of India a visit anytime soon, you’re better off booking in advance; the restaurant’s positive reputation has rendered it one of the busiest Indian eateries in Malta.
5. Saffron (St. Julian’s)
Located in the heart of Paceville, Saffron isn’t just about good food, it’s also about making good memories. Chef de Patron, Sudip, is an avid traveler and draws inspiration for his delicious meals from all over the world resulting in the fine Indian dishes you’ll find at Saffron. With an experienced team of dedicated professionals in the kitchen, polite and attentive staff upfront and a to-die-for menu, Saffron is a diamond worthy of your time and money.
6. Annapurna (St. Julian’s)
Annapurna is not an ‘Indian restaurant’ per se but it’s selection fine Nepalese, Indian and Asian cuisine will make you look past that. The St Julian’s based restaurant offers the most typical Nepali, Indian and Asian recipes, recreating the hundreds of years of flavours and subcultures that influence the dishes of this extraordinary region.
7. Maharaja (Gżira)
Maharaja’s piece de resistance is its fully-stocked bar, offering a range of Indian beers sure to satisfy any alcohol connoisseur. The restaurant’s small interior gives way to highly attentive staff ready to cater to all your food-related needs. Maharaja has also received ample praise for its generous portions and its value-for-money; so you know that this place is a safe bet to visit the next time you’re craving a curry.
8. Shakinah (Msida)
The luxuriously refurbished restaurant in Msida offers an extensive menu with all the usual favourites and so much more. Shakinah is renowned for its fast service which doesn’t take away from the quality of the dishes served. Reviews can’t help but comment on the professionalism of the staff, who serve you with a genuine passion for what they do.
9. TukTuk (Valletta)
This Indian restaurant is located in both Valletta and in St Julian’s, and if you’re looking for delivery, they do that too. TukTuk has everything from rustic roadside delicacies to traditional Indian curries and tandoori dishes and a palette of flavours that oscillate between sweet, savoury, and spicy. With gluten controlled, lactose-free, vegetarian and vegan options available, TukTuk is the all-round safe option for a good Indian.
10. Naan Bar (Valletta)
You know this place is going to be good when it’s run by a Masterchef UK semi-finalist. Naan has some of the best Indian in the Maltese islands thanks Chef Swami’s high standards and criteria, which includes only adding a recipe to his repertoire after researching its provenance and history in depth. Naan Bar also has an extensive and unique drink menu with cocktails inspired by Indian cuisine and life.
11. Nargile Lounge (Marsascala)
This Marsaskala spot has been offering patrons a perfect fusion of Arabic, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines since 2007. The restaurant’s calm and pleasant atmosphere is perfectly complemented by the widely-acclaimed serving staff – praised for their helpful and extremely friendly demeanour. So next time you’re out and about in the south, go show Nargile Lounge some love.