Radisson Blu St Julian’s have just given a facelift to its restaurant Le Bistro. And what a facelift!
Every restaurant’s heart is its kitchen, so any transplant must start from there. Le Bistro kitchen has been brought up to date, thus upgrading equipment and enhancing efficiency and energy saving in line with global standards and carbon imprint.
A key exercise in similar circumstances is a good knowledge and application of ergonomics, that is how people work in their environment, or in other words a functional design. The kitchen was reviewed with this in mind, leading the chef brigade to work more efficiently, in safer ambience and at the same time improving their contribution. Result: a better product and higher work satisfaction.
Naturally, a revision and upgrading of equipment would be incomplete without a corresponding upgrading of service, background, expertise and proficiency. So there has been an intensive staff training, involving new staff and chef.
Why was this felt necessary? Carl Galea, General Manager at Radisson Blu St Julians, was very emphatic: ‘We want to give the guests the best experience possible, so these changes had to be made, with a fresh new menu and quality service and comfort.’ And what would quality service mean in real terms? Mr Galea shared a genial smile. ‘The waitering team underwent training on standard operational procedures, emotional intelligence and hygiene. Before opening, the staff enjoyed a tasting of the menu to familiarise them firsthand with what we are offering our patrons. The two experienced supervisors in charge have worked with Le Bistro in the past and know the quality of service that this outlet has given in the past and will even enhance in the future.
‘All the work is a joint effort of many hands on deck but I cannot fail to single out Area Executive Chef Kevin Arpa and Sera Anna Dalli Food and Beverage Manager for their support, commitment and vision.‘
Next in the list of essentials is the menu. This too had a turn-around which resulted into an innovative exciting result with daily offers. Local favourites could not be left out: spaghetti octopus, classic cheeseburgers, intermingled with more adventurous dishes such as smoked duck breast with glazed cashew nuts, cherry vinaigrette, beetroot, endive or slow baked pork belly with barley, baked parsnips, apple gastrique, and beer. Wow! That is really mouth-watering. But then there are also the daily offers which would include Fava bean risotto, Chicken liver parfait, Dutch veal ribeye, Irish beef tomahawk, Grilled wild sea-bass, Vegan chocolate brownie and Rhubarb sorbet. The italians would say: l’imbarazzo della scelta! Spoiled for choice!
So would that mean that the menu is now a fixed feature? Nothing of the sort! Mr Galea handled and waved a menu to emphasise his message. ‘We will be revising the menu every quarter of the year, to have the best ingredients of the season. The menu will also change according to the season with lighter food offered in summer. Specials differ from week to week and for particular occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, we could offer Lobster ravioli with pink champagne, preserved lemon and asparagus cream.’
Then he added with a convincing tone: ‘We also have a great wine menu that complements the food.’
Some new dishes have been well received and appreciated, such as Garganelli wild boar ragout with ricotta salata, truffle oil, or our caramelised white chocolate mousse with a almond sponge, espresso gel. We decided to change topic! It was too tempting.
Le Bistro targets also families. In spring and summer one could dine outside in the terrace, enjoy a clear starry night and breathe the fresh sea breeze. And the kids? ‘We have a Kids Menu with mini burgers, fish and chips, mini pizza, macaroni cheese with ham etc… in summer this is an ideal venue as le Bistro moves outside on the terrace and the atmosphere is more relaxed and child friendly.’
Corinthia shareholders holding an IHI privilege card would enjoy a 20% discount on Food and Beverage. And parking facilities? “We offer free parking; there normally is ample space outside in the grounds or underground.’
We asked why should one really have to go to Le Bistro? Mr Carl Galea looked fixedly and intensely: ‘We offer a relaxed atmosphere, great innovative and varied food that is, tasty, tempting and tantalising, with a menu update every quarter that ensures an exciting and different choice. The physical product is warm and inviting in winter and our dedicated staff ensure your meal experience is second to none. Easy free parking helps.’
He then placed his right arm on his chest and added: ‘With hand on heart, you just cannot miss Le Bistro.’