The first hint you get of the delights in store at the Rickshaw Restaurant is a traditional authentic rickshaw at the entrance to the restaurant. His Lordship and I were excited by the prospect of enjoying the experience of the Far East in a classic setting within the old palace of the Corinthia Palace Hotel. The Rickshaw’s scrumptious menu features dishes from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, China and beyond.
On entry we were warmly greeted by Memely, the hostess, in traditional far eastern dress who showed us to our table that was beautifully laid out. Memely then presented us with a Dry Martini aperitif, His Lordship made short work of this punchy cocktail and then took to looking at the wine on offer. You can enjoy authentic Saki, Chinese beer, or a fine selection of Maltese or international wines so any palate can find the right drink to match with the Oriental cuisine. We were handed the food menu by Yu Kum who took us through the various food regions from which we could choose, while deciding what to order from the extensive menu we enjoyed the appetiser of prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce with spicy pickled vegetables.
Yu Kum had extensive knowledge of the wine list and told us that the team had been to various vineyards in Malta to learn about the viniculture and grapes used to produce Maltese wines. From the interesting wine list we decided on the Meridiana Isis Chardonnay DOK which is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes. The Meridiana Isis is characterised by fresh, natural, tropical fruit flavours going perfectly with the Asian cuisine. The name Isis recalls the Phoenician goddess of sailors whose vigilant eye still graces the prow of the Maltese fishing luzzu.
As a starter, we shared half a crispy aromatic duck (or Ya Zhuan in Chinese) served with rice pancakes, cucumber and spring onions and Hoisin sauce. This was delicious and was soon devoured, so succulent and well matched with the wine. For the main dish, His Lordship chose crispy beef (or Gau Yuk in Chinese); deep-fried marinated julienne crispy beef, with peppers, sweet garlic sauce and served in a delicate potato bird’s nest. I decided on the sizzling beef (or Thit Bo in Vietnamese) which was ginger infused and served sizzling at the table with fresh vegetables Chinese rice wine and Asian marinades. This was accompanied by pineapple fried rice (Nasi Goreng Nanas in Thai) wok-fried with diced pineapple, chicken, egg and Asian spices.The dishes were beautifully presented, the flavours were authentic and it was a wonderful experience to be able to order food from different regions and countries which complimented each other on the plate.
For dessert, I enjoyed the delicious flamboyant flambéed banana with orange, ginger and lime juice served with banana ice cream whereas His Lordship was more traditional with homemade lemon sorbet which he said was very refreshing and a pleasant end to a rather spiffing meal. The food at the Rickshaw is expertly cooked by chef Shi Song Gu who is more than happy to adapt the menu to your palate or requirements. All of the Rickshaw staff are dressed in traditional dress and have passion for the food, wine and serving their clients all managed by Memely, the hostess, who makes sure all diners are well looked after. Our time at the restaurant was highly enjoyable and recommendable, the flavours of the oriental food were pleasurable on the palette and took you to far off shores in a unique setting within the palace, we throughly look forward to the thrill of the Rickshaw again when visiting Malta.
Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa
De Paule Avenue