In the heart of Malta lies the beautiful Mdina. Once the capital of this small country, the small city charms all visitors with its maze of narrow streets and interesting architecture. On top of a hill and surrounded by walls, from Mdina you are rewarded with excellent views in every direction. There are plenty of things to do here and I would recommend spending a day just exploring and soaking it all in. If possible, try to visit in the afternoon so you can experience the sun set, and the city by night. As darkness envelopes the city, the atmosphere changes and the tourists begin to disappear. Old fashioned lanterns light up the narrow streets, and the views from the terrace become a sea of twinkling lights as you look down over Malta.
Tucked down a side street not far from the main gates, Bacchus is an excellent choice for any visitor wishing to spend an evening with delicious food and an inviting atmosphere. On first entrance you may believe the restaurant to be empty, however it will most likely be due to the many diners choosing to enjoy the stunning terrace. Take the staircase up, and you will be rewarded with a quaint and cosy rooftop. You will be forgiven for thinking this place is exclusive and high end, however we (a couple of backpackers in our finest attire!) never felt unwelcome or out of place. As soon as you open the menu you will realise the food is much more affordable than the high end atmosphere may suggest.
The menu is impressive and showcases many locally sourced ingredients. I was also happy to see several vegetarian choices available, which in Malta it is not always the case. We chose the pumpkin and gorgonzola risotto and pork tournedos, deciding against an appetiser because the deserts looked so tasty! Food was served with complimentary traditional Maltese bread and a bowl of steaming veg. The quality was that of a fine dining restaurant, whilst the price is affordable and atmosphere not at all stuffy.
Service was wonderful, with staff members being attentive yet not intrusive, which is just what you need on a romantic evening out in the “Silent City”. We were recommended a great bottle of Maltese “Melquart”, a delicious local Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which was lovely and my first taste of local wine! Desert was a sumptuous white chocolate cheese cake and a pistachio cake served with an unbelievably good chocolate ice cream, and I am very picky about Ice Cream!
We left the secret little garden of Bacchus feeling satisfied and relaxed. After dinner, the streets were quiet, and the lights dimmed. The city has a magical feel as night draws in and the flocks of tourists have all disappeared.