There is something unmistakably special about The Relais & Chateau Xara Palace. I’ve been in love with this place ever since I can remember, the location – Mdina, my favourite place in Malta alongside Valletta, adds to its charm. However, the hotel itself, the beauty and grandeur (grandeur not because of size) but mainly in its supreme quality. The establishment remains quite unique to the island and I always feel like a princess when I go there.
I’ve written about this hotel before on this blog, I was lucky enough to have been taken there by the hubby for one weekend (I think I need to throw in a hint for another one of these treats ) and then invited again to the hotel on another occasion. Recently, I was invited to their restaurant de Mondion for a press dinner. Over the early summer months, they had Japanese Chef Kazunori Otowa over and they held two themed events, one of them being this press dinner.
The events were gastronomic collaborations between resident de Mondion Chef Kevin Bonello and Chef Kazunori Otowa and they embarked on an Orient adventure together. I was invited to the second event in August but sadly indeed I was in Stockholm.
However, since I really wished to cover this story, I decided to send someone in my place and I sent the hubby who actually obliged me by taking a very rare selfie.
The event was held on the beautiful de Mondion terrace with that amazing view. Kurt describes the ambiance on this terrace is wonderful especially at night, a place you can sit and sip wine for hours and feel as though you’re on top of the world
Ingredients were brought over from Japan for this specialty cuisine. The idea was to use both local and Japanese ingredients but using French cuisine techniques.
As a starter, rabbit was presented but cooked very differently from what we would expect. Generally, rabbit served locally is married with quite strong flavours such as stewed in red wine or fried with garlic. On this occasion, it was served filleted and it was very tender and delicate and without the usual ‘gamey’ taste that rabbit can sometimes have.
The main course was poached sea bass and lobster, the dish was served with a bit of consomme (soup) which again is quite different to how we usually serve fish here in Malta (with sauce or olive oil).
Ice-cream was served then with an actual gold leaf on the top which apparently pleased Kurt no end and then he and everyone else apparently went absolutely nuts over the petit fours served after the meal. The white chocolate ones particularly appealed to him.
He also described the service is impeccable and of course since he basically used my invitation to enjoy this awesome evening, he’s now currently making a dinner reservation to take me himself..right Kurt ?