Some of Malta’s best loved traditional dishes are taking on an entirely different form, inspiring innovative recreations at Michelin-rated restaurants across the islands. In the third part of this four-part series on recreated traditional dishes by Michelin-recognised restaurants on the island, we take a look at:

Bahia’s Bragjolu

You can find Maltese braġjoli, also known as beef olives, on the menu at several traditional restaurants around the islands, but despite the name, you may be surprised to find that there are no olives in this dish. These slowly braised, stuffed bundles of beef got their name because when stuffed – with anything from ham and eggs to a sausage stuffing – they somewhat resemble the shape of an olive.

The braġjolu on the FUTURE menu at Michelin-starred Bahia restaurant in Attard is a little different. “When we decided to propose a tasting menu that represents local cuisine and the future, we thought of revisiting a series of classic Maltese dishes, and the braġjolu was one of them,” explains Executive Chef Tyrone Mizzi. 

“We never thought about trying to recreate the traditional braġjolu. We simply wanted to remain loyal to the recognisable rolled effect and to three of the crucial ingredients of this dish, mainly beef, pork and egg. The mentality at Bahia gives us the opportunity to keep ‘playing’ with dishes to continuously improve the offering. In fact, we have updated the braġjolu three times so far, and we are working on yet another version,” he maintains.

Bahia’s braġjolu is made out of braised short ribs and a terrine of locally smoked ham hocks, confit egg yolk, smoked celeriac purée, daikon radish and a rich beef jus. “We have full respect towards the original version as it represents part of our culinary heritage, and hence our aim was never to try and improve the dish but to pay homage to it, celebrating it together with all the memories many of us have when we think about braġjoli,” Tyrone continues.

Another of the chef’s childhood favourites which also features on the menu is froġa tat-tarja (pasta omelette). “I have special memories of us eating this at home, and so besides the food itself, it is those special moments together that trigger a lot of emotion. This dish was also included in our FUTURE menu and just like the braġjolu, we are working to evolve it further,” he says.

For the first part of this series which explores Noni’s Qassata, click here

For the second part, shining a spotlight on the The Golden Fork’s Kuksu, click here

For the third part, which delves into The Fork & Cork’s Pastizz, click here

This is part of a feature that was first carried in the summer 2022 edition of Business Now magazine, the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt, produced by Content House Group

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