Where: Balluta Bay, St Julian’s
Cuisine: Mediterranean fine dining – fresh fish and seafood speciality
Price range: Starters €7-€17; Mains €16-€25
Style: Mediterranean elegance at the water’s edge
Best for: Romantic treats, celebrations with friends, ‘last night of the holiday’ luxury
A Seat with a View
First and foremost, the Barracuda restaurant is hard to beat in terms of location. Poised elitely on the edge of a rocky peninsula, Barracuda laps up uninterrupted views out to sea in one direction, the twinkling lights of St Julian’s in the other and the glistening bay of Balluta on its inland flank. The restaurant’s terrace is perched on stilts so it literally bridges the sea on two sides giving you a real sense of occasion as you take your seat beneath the stars.
Inside, the ambiance is one of elegant romance with soft yellow lighting bouncing off old stone walls, crisp white table set-ups and flickering candles. There is another sheltered terrace to the rear of the restaurant overlooking the rocky shallows where you can often see the fish swimming en mass at night. If you want a spot on the terraces it is best to book in advance however, as the restaurant gets very busy in the summer months – eating al fresco at the Barracuda definitely makes your experience that little bit more special.
Fresh fish prepared in a creative Mediterranean style by expert chefs is the specialty here. There are very good pasta, meat and vegetarian dishes too, but they excel at the former. You can expect innovative dishes such as lemon brushed octopus carpaccio, cumin crusted prawns, fresh scallops and oysters served on crushed ice, sea truffles in white wine, garlic and mint… the list goes on. Needless to say, it’s best if you like fish to appreciate this fully! You can also order whole fresh lobster and the daily catch cooked to your liking – just check the price per gram.
The dishes are all presented impeccably, the service is professional and friendly, and the wine list is well considered and extensive, complimenting the menu well. When if comes to desserts, there are plenty of mouth-watering options to choose from, including some more showy flambé action at your table if you select any of the crêpe dishes. In short, the restaurant is going for gourmet, fine dining with Mediterranean flair and it does pretty well at this.
Barracuda is based right on the mouth of Balluta Bay, about thirty metres up the promenade from the main seafront church, and about a hundred metres from Le Méridien Hotel. Balluta Bay itself is tucked into the undulating coastline between Spinola Bay of St Julian’s and the busy town of Sliema which is one stop up the coast from Valletta. A long lantern-lit promenade sweeps all the way around the sea’s edge linking these towns together and making walking from either direction pleasurable on the balmy summer nights.
Contact details for Barracuda are as follows:
Address: Barracuda Ltd, 194 Main Street, St. Julian’s SLM 05
Tel: (00 356) 21 331817