Gozo, Malta’s second island, might not be everyone’s idea of a food destination. It keeps its secrets. But there’s great cooking here if you know where to look.
Start at Fliegu where owner Tony Grech is one of the best cooks on the island. His knowledge and passion for local food is inspiring and his signature rabbit dish – very local, very popular – is outstanding, moist, rich and packed with bay. Or go off-menu and ask him to make you kofta, a spiced goats’ cheese dish of extraordinary subtlety and depth.
The Gleneagles bar, on the harbour in Mgarr, has been here since the 18th century (10 Triq Il-Vittorja; 00 356 21 55 6543). Run now by brothers Tony and Sammy, it’s a proper fishermen’s dive that’s as honest and salty as you’d hope, and Tony makes a fine Negroni. Sit on the balcony, drink, and dream of ships gone by.
Mekren Bakery in the village of Nadur reveals something of the heart of Gozo food (Triq Tal Hanaq; 00 356 21 55 2342). Its bread oven is a working antique, a relic of the 19th century that turns out excellent wood-fired pizza, local savory cheesecake and great bread. This is old-school cooking that survives purely because of its quality. Order in advance as it sells out quickly.
Words: Kay Plunkett-Hogge, August 2015. photographs: alamy, getty
How to do it: Double rooms at 37 Gozo cost from €140, b&b (thirtysevengozo.com). Return flights from Gatwick to Malta cost from £70 (easyJet.com), return ferries from Malta to Gozo €30. More info: visitgozo.com
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