On the 28th of February, The Phoenicia Malta and Charles Grech & Co. Ltd. graciously joined forces to create a unique event for food-lovers: an unforgettable evening featuring five celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants united to raise funds for charity! This one-time experience treated guests to incredible culinary creations - courtesy of some of Malta's most talented chefs - all while making a difference in their community.
Dine with the Stars invited 80 guests to experience culinary excellence from five exceptional restaurants; Noni, Ion Harbour, Under Grain, Bahia and de Mondion Restaurant. With ingredients sourced locally, each luscious course was paired with fine wine courtesy of Charles Grech and attended by H.E Professor Frank Bezzina - a distinguished evening for food connoisseur alike!
Guests were welcomed to the breathtaking Phoenix Restaurant with a smooth flute of Barons de Rothschild Blanc de Blancs NV Champagne, as exquisite canapés carefully crafted by Phoenicia Malta's kitchen team provided an ideal start for the night. The majestic art deco doors marked guests' entrance into this unforgettable evening.
As guests were ushered to their seats, an experienced service team offered a delectable welcome: baskets of freshly-baked bread that enveloped the room with its inviting aroma. To begin this multi-sensory experience, Noni's Jonathan Brincat presented his signature amuse bouche; inventive aesthetics complemented indulgent flavours for a truly beguiling start! For further flavourful immersion, diners could enjoy an elegant white wine from Tuscany as they savoured each course.
As captivating conversations rose and fell, Eoin Smith of Ion Harbour quietly worked on his masterpiece - a tantalising plate featuring decadent King Crab married with exquisite Tzarsky Caviar. With each carefully-presented course served in elegant unison, guests were encouraged to scoop down through the many layers so as to fully experience their delightful flavour combination. Enhancing this sensory journey was Chianti Classico's full-bodied red hue which effortlessly enveloped every taste bud in a blissfully structured finale.
Under Grain's dazzling dish was a sight to behold.Tender monkfish, encircled by cauliflower foam and an alluring curry caper sauce had tongues wagging in the restaurant that night. The paired Sangiovese wine - Artisti per Frescobaldi Montesodi-revealed fragrant aromas with bold tannins on the palate fora complex yet satisfying finish.
Bahia's main course presented a bold culinary statement in the form of slow-cooked pork belly, 'puffed skin' and pak choy ‘kimchi’. Chef Tyrone Mizzi had considered every detail - even providing some crunchy texture to contrast with juicy meat. The divine dish was paired with an impressive 15-year old Brunello di Montalcino for its full mouthfeel and velvety texture that elevates it beyond fine dining standards.
Dessert followed from Chef Clint Grech of de Mondion Restaurant -an exquisite sweet made up of cherries, chocolate & bitter almond enlivened further by Pomino Vinsanto; this wine bringing refreshing sweetness alongside complex aromas for ultimate satisfaction on the palate!
The night was pure bliss, and it seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye. We were able to indulge on a feast fit for royalty before being delighted with a gracious appearance from the esteemed chefs. When all had been said and done, we reluctantly brought this joyous experience to its eventual close - yet not without memories that will linger long after!