Last summer, my partner and I decided to check out one of the best advertised and “said to be” fine dining restaurants in Gozo.
Ta’ Frenc restaurant is situated in a secluded area, going down the road to Marsalforn. At first glance the place proves to be more than satisfactory, with massive surroundings and plenty of parking.
When we arrived at the restaurant, the head waiter was with another couple but it did not take long until he greeted us and escort us to the lounge area. The idea of having a lounge area is imperative for a fine dining restaurant, this gives the illusion that you are not dining at a regular restaurant, where you normally just sit down at your table.
In the meantime the bar attendant invited us for a drink whilst the head waiter handed us the menus, wine list and informed us with the specialities of the day. We ordered a straight black rum and an aged malt whiskey. The shot of whiskey was served in a regular glass with five ice cubes. Supposedly aged malt whiskey is served with a minimum of one or two ice cubes or served alone or with some cold water. Probably, the bar expert was not available that day.
After some time we were attended to our table. It was a nice spot, outside in the corner of the garden. I ordered white wine: a particular grape which is imported to Malta from France (Alsace) and Africa (forgot the name). The choice of wine is quite vast and varies in quality, age and what not. The head waiter brought us the bottle of wine and as soon as he showed it to me, I noticed that it was not the one I ordered, so I politely indicated the name again. He offered me his apologies and went back in again to get the other bottle. In a few minutes he was back and yet again the bottle was not the one I had ordered. So this time I told him to bring the wine list and specifically pointed out the wine with the reference number. I felt a bit uncomfortable with the situation. I also have to point out that both wines brought to me were three or four times as much as the price of the bottle I had originally ordered.
As starters we took pasta which was mixed and cooked in front of us. It was great to see all the ingredients (already chopped up and pasta was ready as well) being cooked and served instantly. Servings were small to compliment with the style of the cuisine served here. There was ample time between the starters and the main. For mains my partner had king pawns and I took fillet of beef. Again plates were perfectly aligned and decorated just like a work of art. The prawns were to my partner’s satisfaction, but my fillet was a little bit too overcooked for a medium and the sauce was slightly too strong.
Moving on to the dessert we had dark chocolate mousse and crème brule. Interestingly enough this ‘dark’ mousse was conveniently light brown, making it nothing near dark. On the other hand the crème brule was the other way round, the surface was exceptionally dark, rather that golden burnt crisp.
The final treat was the espresso and limoncello. The latter, produced in Gozo was much enjoyed, especially by me (am very passionate for liquor). The espresso was served on its own whereas it should have been served with a small glass of water, as due to its concentration it dries the mouth.
Overall rating: the place was superb; service was not bad but could have been better; as for the food I certainly had better from other local restaurants, wine selection was appropriate although I expected more experience from the staff. Prices are quiet high. All in all I was not much impressed though I might give it another go just for completeness sake.
One final note, When I checked the website to find the telephone number to book, it still showed Father’s Day Dinner advert (in Mid September) and I checked in today again but unfortunately the site is down and is not resolving.
Tel: +356 21553888