Tag Archives: dining in malta

Malta Events – Chinese New Year 2014

Grand Hotel Excelsior to welcome the Year of the Horse!

chinese ny 2014

On the occasion of the Chinese New Year the Grand Hotel Excelsior is organising a special Dinner on Thursday 30th January 2014.

The Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year, is the most important celebration of the year in China where Chinese people and their families gather and wish their family members and friends health and luck during the New Year.

This year marks the year of the Horse. According to the Chinese calendar, when it comes to fortune, 2014 would be a better year for those people who were born under The Year of the Horse.

Members of the public are welcome to join in the celebratory dinner priced at 35 Euro for adults. Children aged between six and 11 pay half the price and children under 6 years dine for free.

Contact the Food and Beverage Team at the Excelsior Hotel Malta on 21250520 or on food.beverage@excelsior.com.mt for more information and to secure your table for this special event.

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Does your country have any traditional dishes? Wondering what Slovakian Goulash is?

When coming across people from different countries, a common question that one asks is ‘what’s a typical dish from your country’?


Every country has its traditional food which it is renowned for. For instance in Malta one finds Stuffat tal-Fenek (rabbit stew), Braġioli (beef olives) and Lampuki Pie (fish pie). Other local snacks include hobz biz-zejt (round of bread dipped in olive oil, rubbed with ripe tomatoes and filled with a mix of tuna, onion, garlic, tomatoes and capers) and pastizzi (flaky pastry parcel filled with ricotta or mushy peas).

We’ve asked our Sales & Marketing Trainee, Zuzana Sammut Jurcik, to share with us a typical dish found in her homeland. She mentions Goulash and explains that although Goulash is primarily a traditional Hungarian dish it has also become a popular dish amongst Slovakian people.

Goulash is a popular dish in Slovak homes and restaurants. However you will rarely find a dish that tastes exactly like the other. This varies not only by region but also from one family to another.

We asked Zuzana for some secrets of what makes a Goulash meal so appetising.

Kotlíkový Guláš - outdoor dining

Although there are many different ways to make Gulas, her favourite way is to prepare it outdoors. She tells us that back home (in Slovakia) they call it Kotlíkový Guláš, which is popular at Slovak picnics as it’s cooked on an open fire. However she personally doesn’t think that cooking outdoors is a must. She encourages you to try cooking it in your own kitchen. Why not! And name it ‘Kotlikovy gulas cooked on the stove’! :)

It is simple to cook, delicious and requires minimum preparation time. However, for all the flavours and tastes to come out, one should ensure that it is cooked very slowly for at least a good two hours. The basic version consists of onions, potatoes, water, herbs and spices, and meat – pork, beef, or venison.

So let’s start with the preparations for a delicious Goulash meal!


Kotlíkový Guláš
Serves 7,
20mins preparation time,
2hrs cooking time

Cooking Goulash


  • 0.5kg of beef (front boneless or neck)
  • 0.75kg pork (preferably pork shoulder)
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • 2 onions
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves
  • 0.75kg of potatoes
  • 370ml chopped peppers (different colours) and tomatoes.
    (Normally Slovakians use precooked and conserved tomatoes and peppers called ‘Leco’ but it can also be replaced with the fresh peppers and tinned/ fresh sliced tomatoes as these will be cooked during the process)
  • Salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin, marjoram and venison spices – amount varies according to taste preferences
  • 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of cooking oil for the marinade
  • Beer – for the taste and tenderness of meat

For the marinade:

  • 1 mashed clove of garlic, oil, cumin and black pepper mixed together (no salt)

Step 1:
Marinade the meats by cutting the meat into cubes a day before, marinate and let it rest in the fridge till next day.

Step 2:
Put the lard in the pot and add chopped onions. Braise slowly!
After onions turn glossy (Make sure it doesn’t turn brown) add beef, fry for a while whilst adding Cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, salt, venison spices and beer

Braise the meat slowly and keep adding some water.
Whilst the meat is braising cut a peeled potato into small cubes and add to the cooking meat

Step 4:
After approximately 1 hour add the pork and continue braising. 
Once the pork gets tender add the rest of the potatoes.

Step 5:
Cook until the potatoes become soft and then add the Leco or chopped tomatoes and peppers

Step 6:
Finally add some finely chopped garlic and marjoram. Once all the ingredients are added turn off the stove and let it rest.  You can also add some chilli and spices according to ones’ preference.

Buon appetito! :)

Did you enjoy our Goulash recipe? We’ve now challenged Our Kitchen Team to come up with a typical Maltese dish similar to Goulash. So check back soon for more updates!!

And if you would like to try delicious and mouth-watering dishes book a table at one of the top Malta Restaurants at the Grand Hotel Excelsior and you will surely enjoy a 5 star dining experience.

For more information about Kotlíkový Guláš kindly visit:

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Dining in Malta: ‘He Excels’

excelsior malta dining

VALLETTA, MALTA, May 2013: It is always a joy to see a young man or woman occupy a post which requires considerable skill, experience and pure talent. It is not only a sign that many of our youngsters are doing well for themselves but also shows that there are entities that are more than willing to entrust young people with top jobs. One such person is Head Chef Roderick Vella, and one such entity is the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta.

Roderick graduated from ITS and had early experiences with top catering establishments in Malta such as Westin Dragonara where he joined as apprentice and left as chef de partie, the Danish Village, the Fortina and eventually moved to Corinthia Tripoli. All these opportunities enriched Chef Vella’s bag of tricks especially when he needed to adapt to the stringent quality levels in his latter time in Tripoli. Being woken up in the middle of the night to prepare food for the late Colonel Gaddafi who would be about to travel definitely put his skills to the test. Roderick attributes his main influence in his culinary profession to his dear mother with whom he has cooked innumerable dishes for family and friends. His style, also thus influenced, leans more towards the classical approach. In his very words, “people, especially we maltese, love to eat, and I love to feed them”. He appreciates that certain modern styles are more about ‘designing’ the dish with skimpy bits of food and of course, he will accommodate any such requirement, yet he also knows that portions and approach need to offer wholesome plates which burst with flavour and texture.

excelsior foodA short stint in his own restaurant Le Luci in Marsascala gave Chef Vella a good commercial experience in the catering world and leaving him in a much better position to take the challenge of heading a brigade of some 35 chefs and another 30 stewards to run all the hotel’s outlets namely The Admiral main a` la carte restaurant, Spice Island which hosts most of the grand buffets, the recently-launched Lobby’s menu found at the Harbour View and the magical Tiki at the water’s edge which will soon be offering a full a` la carte service.

Add to this the incredible amount of Malta weddings hosted by the Excelsior Hotel, which at peaks can comfortably deal with 60 receptions in three months, and maybe one can appreciate the hotel’s insight to employ a young, talented and energetic young man who can handle all that’s placed on his plate. In fact, Head Chef Roderick Vella himself acknowledges that the secret is that of working in a tightly-knit team which includes Pastry Chef David Pulis and Sous Chefs Adrian Buttigieg, Melvin Sammut and Mark Azzopardi.

Well done to this young chef, and to this superior Malta Hotel that has entrusted him with such a prestigious role.

Should you wish to experience our renowned Sunday buffet Lunch or a special meal at one of our Malta Restaurants kindly contact Our Food & Beverage Team on food.beverage@excelsior.com.mt or on +356 21250520.

Article by Josef’ Bonello in Cibus Magazine & Photos by Matthew Debono.


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