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FoodBlog Review: Stanjata, Malta. An easy home run. 🏅

FoodBlog Review: Stanjata, Malta. An easy home run. 🏅

You know that feeling, when a bunch of people rave about a restaurant, comment on how great the food is, and they just go on and on about how much they enjoyed it. The moment that happens with a restaurant, I know I have to visit and ‘judge’ for myself. Well, the comments I heard about Stanjata were directly from FoodBlog’s own; Andrew and Justin - so I had high hopes to start with. ⭐

Stanjata Cafe in Valley Road, Birkirkara, Malta

The doors to good food heaven... go on step inside.

I’ll ruin this review right here and now; I’ve recommended so many people to try out Stanjata since I last visited for this review. There were certain elements of know-how and execution that you just can’t falter. In fact, it’s quite hard to find areas for improvement at Stanjata. Read on to get my take on the 5 dishes that we dove straight into and lapped up with minimum effort. 💯

So what’s the crack - where is Stanjata and how can you get there?

As you drive through Valley Road, past the elegant, towering trees - Birkirkara direction, you’ll spot a cutesy stationary bike, hanging out by the side of the road, its backdrop, the welcoming doors of Stanjata Cafe. A super-cool type font gracing the open doors and a friendly face to take you to your table. 😊

First impressions are charming, and the guanciale display at the counter enticing. When you get a glimpse of hunky pork cheeks, chillin’ out in the cooling display, y’all know these guys mean business. My stomach rumbled, a smile grew on our faces. 🥓

A FoodBlog jefe does what needs to be done for the sake of its audience, and if that means getting up early to beat the crowds, we’ll do it! Our 09:00 meal did not consist of poached eggs or any other breakfast item, that’s way too normal for us. We hit it out the park, and broadened our waistline, with 5 godly menu dishes, and truth be told we could have worked up an appetite for another 3 or 4 - everything was that good. 👍

So what did we eat, you say? Here’s a look at the Stanjata menu

The menu at Stanjata was genuinely crafted with love and passion for the industry. There’s no doubt there. With classic classics and twists on classics, there’s something for everyone, adventurous palette or not. 🎉

Choosing what to eat and share between 3 foodies could be quite the challenge, so we took Adrian’s advice on this one, and let him guide our journey. Chef Adrian is the Owner at Stanjata and oversees every detail of his kitchen. His culinary style, from what I could see, relates mostly to robust, rich flavours, executed with a professional technique and attention to detail. And that’s never a bad thing. 👨‍🍳

Starters of Bruschetta and Pulled Beef Croquettes at Stanjata Cafe, Birkirkara, Malta.

A sneak peak... the start of or meal looked something like this... 🤤

Our 5-dish review kicked off with 2 items off the Starters section; a Homemade Pulled Beef Croquette and the house Bruschetta. We then moved on to Pasta, with a Pasta al Pomodoro and Tagliatelle Carbonara. We couldn’t miss out on the Mains now could we, so the Stanjata Burger called our name and we, very eagerly, obliged. Not too shabby for a 09:00 breakie huh? 🤣

Let’s take a closer look at the starters we smashed at Stanjata

Orders in, and boom, 5 minutes later… 2 golden crunchy croquettes were presented with a bed of rocket, a creamy, lemon and chilli mayo and a wedge of lemon. At first glance, these bad boys look like any regular croquette, you know the drill, crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside, la di da. Well, what more do you actually want, need or expect from a croquette? 🥔 + 🐄 = 😋

Homemade Pulled Beef Croquettes from Stanjata Cafe.

The gloriously golden and stupendously smooth Pulled Beef Croquettes.

The magic of a croquette is the creamy, smooth interior meshing together with the chompy crunch on the outside… but wait, ohhh, wait. These are Homemade Pulled Beef Croquettes, so the magic is amplified with the flavour-packed strands of beef that run through the tatoes inside. 💪

The Pulled Beef Croquette cross section, Stanjata Cafe, Birkirkara, Valley Road.

Crack that golden shell to find pure foodie bliss.

With a 1:3 ratio, beef to potato, the perfect balance is easily achieved, pop one of these golden morsels into your gob and by golly, you’ll be a happy camper. Don’t ignore that lemon either, a little squeeze gives the exterior its zing and cuts the fattiness for a more vibrant mouthfeel. 🤤

2 croquettes, and €5.90 later came the Bruschetta. The thinly sliced loaf was crunchy and held up pretty nicely with the tomato and bufola sitting atop, simply waiting to be devoured. Light and pleasant, a bruschetta is always a great buffer for the table and helps get your stomach ready for the main event - this rendition could easily feature during your next visit. 🥖

4 pieces of bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and bufola mozzarella from Stanjata Cafe.

The Stanjata Bruschetta, ain't she pretty.

The only downside to this bruschetta were the tomatoes themselves. They were fresh and presented to a T, but a little sprinkle of salt would have helped bring out all the natural flavours that little bit more. Chef’s classy touch of basil gave the starter dish an overall balance in texture: the crunchy bread base, the smooth mozzarella and the classic fresh tomato and basil combo. 🍅

This dish serves 4 for a teeny nibble or 2 if you’ve come prepared with your fat-pants, and at €6.50 - it’s well worth the order. 👏

Life without pasta would be so boring, so we ordered 2 Stanjata masterpieces

If you’ve been following our series of reviews, you’ll notice that pasta pretty much features in every critique - mainly because local restaurants cannot avoid it - everyone wants pasta, everyone orders pasta, and dare I say, everyone loves a good plate of pasta! Those who deny it should pay Stanjata a visit. 🤩

We started off with the Pasta al Pomodoro, a classic sauce that when done right, will spark every single tastebud in your existence. Served on al dente spaghetti, Stanjata’s red sauce was sweet, so definitely homemade with oodles of love and the perfect consistency to wrap itself around every bit of pasta on the plate. 🍝

Spaghetti with a red tomato sauce topped with ripped bufola mozzarella.

Red sauce that even your grannie will be proud of!

Sitting on top of this spaghetti haven were roughly ripped bits of fresh bufola cheese, giving you that hot-cold sensation with every fork full. We do recommend a generous sprinkle of the Parmeggiano Reggiano, served alongside this dish - simply to balance out the sweetness with that touch of umami. 🧀

I see this dish as a mid-week lunch that will even make your nanna say, “mmm, kemm hu tajjeb” - and we all know how hard they are to please. Swirl your fork in this simple, comforting and nanna-esque classic pasta dish, with added bufola-yum for a decent, although slightly steep, €10.50. 👵

Tagliatelle Carbonara served at Stanjata Cafe, Birkirkara, Malta.

The godliest of gods in Carbonara paradise.

Pecorino, egg yolk, guanciale, pepper, pasta. Basta. You guessed it, C.A.R.B.O.N.A.R.A. 👌

Let’s break this down for you. 👇

The C stands for creamy, ‘cause this beast couldn’t get creamier.

The A for al dente, ‘cause soggy pasta should live in the bin.

The R for repeat order, ‘cause one plate will never be enough.

The B for bacon sucks, ‘cause this was made with only the finest guanciale. 

The O for oh my gawd, ‘cause that’s what you’ll say for the next 10 minutes.

The N for now… now… now…, ‘cause that’s when you’ll reorder, again and again.

The A for addiction, ‘cause you’ll need rehab after this.

The R for really, this is one of the best carbos I’ve had, ‘cause facts are facts. 

The A should be a P, ‘cause this dish was PERFECT. 10/10. No flaw. No fail. Give me more. 🤯

I think that’s enough about the Tagliatelle Carbonara. If this didn’t sell it, maybe the €10 price tag will. 😉

Can you believe we managed another dish? The Stanjata Burger graced our table

I’m no pro-burger buff, but I know what I like and don’t like in a burger. This one makes it into my top 10 - mostly because of the construction of the burger and the way it just held together. ✅

Stacked with bacon, cheese, gherkins, mushrooms, rocket and burger sauce, this 100% beef patty was wedged between a soft bread bun. There’s a whole lot of stuff in there, and that’s not usually my jam, but this one worked. 🍄

Stanjata Burger made with 100% beef, mushrooms, bacon, cheese, gherkins, rocket and a burger sauce.

The Stanjata Burger in all its glory, mushrooms, bacon and all!

Let’s start off by saying that the balance achieved in the Stanjata Burger was good - every ingredient worked well together and they each had a little sneaky limelight moment too. My overall impression was that the burger had that super meaty flavour profile, definitely due to the cut of meat the kitchen chose to work with. Nice one. Not overly greasy, not messy at all. 🍔

The surprising gherkin boom and the rich mushroom flavour juxtaposed with the melted cheese and fresh rocket is where burger heaven can be reached. The savoury crunch gives this burger a solid 7.5/10 - and that’s damn good for a non-burger joint. This will set you €10.50, not too shabby. 😄

Stanjata Burger served at Stanjata Cafe in Valley Road, Birkirkara, Malta.

Burgers and FoodBlog go hand-in-hand, we just had to let you know what we think of this one!

Needless to say, our Stanjata experience was golden, from the crunch bomb croquettes and fresh bruschetta, to the homemade pomodoro sauce and big dog burger. You also know, very well, very clearly how we felt about the Tagliatelle Carbonara. Do yourself a favour, sit yourself down at Stanjata, order the carbo and let us know what you think, it’s a ten-minute job that will make your week. Trust and believe foodies, trust and believe. ✌️

Our next 09:00 trip to Stanjata will probably take the breakfast route where their sweet and savoury creations will bring yet another smile to our faces. Just one question though, is the Carbonara on the Breakfast menu? 👀

Have you been to Stanjata Cafe yet?

FoodBlog Mission Statement: The above opinions are based on the reviewer’s particular personal experience during the restaurant visit. FoodBlog’s primary aim is to give restaurant owners and chefs an insider-view to their clientele's experience; highlighting their strongest suits and applauding all floor and kitchen staff for a job well done while making them aware of the personal improvements we feel would elevate their restaurant. FoodBlog critiques are intended to improve the Food and Beverage experience for diners and to encourage excellence in culinary and hospitality professionals. 

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