Monthly Archives: October 2013

Thai delights!

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One thing I sometimes miss here in Malta is proper ethnic food. Having lived in Vienna before we moved here, we were really spoiled with choice of food from around the world. Vienna’s loveliest food market, the Naschmarkt, was 5min around the corner and you could find anything a foodie’s heart could wish for.. Lebanese, Jamaican, Creole, Indian, Turkish, Japanese of the best quality – you name it.

Malta being quite a small island in the Mediterranean (thus called “the rock”), naturally offers lots of delicious places with Mediterranean dishes but all in all less variety in food. What I miss the most here is a proper, genuine Thai restaurant (yes, Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world. Also, because of it’s kitchen which also led me to attending some courses and trying to cook Thai myself).

Anyways, the search for a cosy, casual place for genuine  Thai food is over! In the middle of Gzira, just next to the road, where you’d never expect it is a small little bar called Times Gone By (for the Maltese readers, it’s just opposite Azzopardi’s fish shop).

Surprisingly you don’t only find a huge variety of over 40 foreign beers and a super friendly host, but also some really amazing Thai food. Don’t expect a fancy, pretty restaurant, it more looks like a bar in an old antique shop, but the atmosphere is great and the owner Ferry welcomes you with a big smile and heart. But the secret lies in the kitchen. Ferry’s wife is from Thailand herself and therefore really nows what she does. Our Tom Yum and Tom Ka Gai soups were like in Thailand: fresh, spicy and super yummy. Also the mains (we had a red curry and Thai noodle salad) were just delicious. All fresh, tasty and only leaving you with the thought when you can make it again next time. The belgium beers to accompany our meal were the perfect match. Also, the prices are really good (32 eur for 4 courses and two beers).

Cut the long story short: whoever in Malta likes genuine Thai food in a relaxed environment, check out Times Gone By.
Ferry, we’ll definitely see you again soon!

Times gone by - Thai food, Gzira, Malta

ราตรีสวัสดิ์ or good night 😉

Love, Nxx

P.S. Please note that Times Gone by will soon move to a new location. So better check their Facebook Page to go to the right place whenever you wish to check it out.

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Chez Nico in Innsbruck, Austria. Pure vegetarian bliss!

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Hey everyone and first, a big SORRY for being so blog-lazy the last few weeks. As those of you who also live in the South might confirm, summer is always a bit crazy, full of visitors and travels and if you ever have some time off you rather spend it on the beach than in front of a computer. Anyways, I hope you all had a great summer, too – it’s good to be back!

Today I have to, yes I say HAVE TO on purpose, share my incredible culinary highlight of this week, if not the month with you. My work for SOS Children’s Villages sometimes brings me to my hometown Innsbruck in Austria. Every time I go, my stay is packed with work, meeting family and friends and also one regular date with my old friend A, a food lover himself. A and me have a pact. We promised each other some months ago to, first, always meet when I come to Innsbruck and, second, spoil ourselves with a gorgeous dinner in one of the best restaurants in town. Our choice for the second time in a row was Chez Nico, a restaurant which used to be French but changed it’s direction a while ago to strictly vegetarian due to the beliefs of the owner and chef, Nico himself.

What can I say?? Places like Chez Nico are the reason why I call myself a food lover. I definitely don’t mind to spend some money on food if it’s worth it. Often it’s sadly not the case… but not at Chez Nico. The food offers all which makes a foodie’s heart beat faster… it’s creative, totally unusual, sometimes crazy and is always made with ingredients coming from sustainable sources of best quality.  The different dishes have a twist, combine the normal with the abnormal and offer the wildest experiences through different textures, colors and temperatures.  The restaurant itself is small and cosy, yet cool and simple at the same time. The last key to success of winning my heart is the staff. Nico himself is not only an artist in the kitchen, he’s truly inspiring and ahead of his time (changing from a typical French restaurant to a purely vegetarian restaurant in a city like Innsbruck speaks for itself!). Often he joins you for a chat after finishing in the kitchen and you end up having the most amazing conversations with him and the super friendly main waiter Manni. Also their wines are excellent, served with a carafe of Tyrolean water, what else can you wish for?

There is always one set menu of 7 courses, all light and yummy so better don’t skip courses – it’s definitely worth the price of 60 euros. Chez Nico also offers a lunch menu with two courses at 13 ,50 eur which are a  great way to start the experience or if you work nearby (which I unfortunately don’t).

But enough talk, check out last time’s creations to get a picture yourself….

Chez Nico

Pics from left to right, top to bottom:

Japanese Aubergine with Kombu, Miso, Kuzu and Yuzu

Roasted Beetroots with blackberries, soy sauce, lavendar and horse radish

Ash & Coal with truffles, porcino mushrooms, almonds and hazelnuts

Forest refreshment espuma of Swiss pine, swiss pine & cranberry powder and cranberry granita

Plum & Cabbage with elderberries and tarragon

Tagliatelle of black salsify with lapsang souchong tea, blueberries, nettles and tasmanian pepper

Tobinambour & Honey with beer, bergamot and toffee

To the whole team of Chez Nico: keep up the great work! I hope enough food lovers will find you to show you the appreciation you deserve ❤

Love from Malta,
Nadine xx

Some lovely photos and more info on their website http://www.chez-nico.at/fotogalerie/