Food & drink
A feast for the eyes and belly: Step into Rabat’s rich history when dining at Il-Bitha
‘Il-Bitha’ prides itself in serving customers nothing but the freshest and best ingredients.

Benjamin Abela

Eating out at a restaurant isn’t just about the food.

A top-notch eatery treats guests to an all-round experience, tantalising way more than just their taste buds – and the beloved Rabat restaurant Il-Bitha is a testament to that.

Situated on the famed St Paul’s Street, Il-Bitha finds itself in the core of one of the most historically dense areas around Malta. Not only is it a stone’s throw away from the old capital of Mdina, but it’s also seamlessly integrated into Rabat’s traditionally iconic architecture.

In short, getting to Il-Bitha is a treat in itself.

Travel back in time as you walk through Rabat’s narrow roads and feast your eyes on the traditional Maltese balconies hanging off of many of St Paul’s Street’s houses. Il-Bitha also happens to be a couple of steps away from some of Rabat’s most visited sites – think the Domus Romana and Howard Gardens – making it the ideal place for a spot of lunch (or dinner) after a day of sightseeing.

With all this being said, the true essence of Il-Bitha lies within its four walls.

This restaurant is housed inside the courtyard of the highly underrated Ta’ Duna Chapel – a 16th century place of worship with a story as rich as its awe-inspiring interior.

The chapel is dedicated to Holy Mary and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the latter of which lent it its name (you’ll soon see how). Ta’ Duna is a dialectical play on the words Ta’ Doni, meaning ‘The Gifts’. It seems like over the years, the former version of the name stuck better, so much so that it ended up becoming the chapel’s official name.

A quick look into Ta’ Duna Chapel is enough to convince you of its unmatched beauty. Its walls are covered in gorgeous, colourful frescoes. At its centre, it holds an immaculate altarpiece depicting Holy Mary, which is in turn surrounded by intricately decorated walls.

Now, onto the restaurant!

Ta’ Duna Chapel’s courtyard was expertly reconverted to house Il-Bitha – all whilst retaining its original charm and distinctive features. The spot’s honey-coloured stone walls look over diners as they take in this breath-taking blend between architectural history and culinary excellence.

Speaking of culinary excellence, Il-Bitha prides itself in serving customers nothing but the freshest and best ingredients. The restaurant’s chefs even go a step further to prepare a variety of items, say ravioli and pork sausage, completely from scratch.

Il-Bitha’s menu offers diners a concise yet varied selection of dishes that is sure to satisfy a myriad of tastes.

Start your meal off with the Chef’s local variations – offering anything from pork belly and a fried local cheeselet to stuffed rabbit and fig chutney. Should you feel like something on the lighter side, make sure to sample the 48-hours slow-rise focaccia or the European Cheese Board.

Il-Bitha’s varied list of main dishes offers the perfect balance between local delicacies, such as the Traditional Fried Rabbit; crowd favourites, like the decadently juicy Chef’s Burger; and delicately cooked fish – think pan-seared grey meagre and salmon.

Apart from that, Il-Bitha is also home to a range of pastas and risottos that shine a spotlight on an array of fine ingredients, like the Linguine Lobster with soft herbs or the In-House Pulled Beef Mezzi Raviolini.

Thinking of paying this spot a visit?

Il-Bitha is open all week long, serving customers from 6pm to 10:30pm on Monday and Tuesdays, from 11:30am to 10:30pm between Wednesdays and Fridays, from 11:30am to 11pm on Saturdays, and from 11:30am to 10pm on Sundays.

To learn more about ‘Il-Bitha’ or to place a booking, call on +356 2765 5100 or send an email to [email protected].

Happy dining!

Il-Bitha / Facebook

27th December 2022

Benjamin  Abela
Written by
Benjamin Abela
Benjamin is a Writer at Content House Group. With his background in journalism, marketing, and the arts, Benjamin enjoys finding the human aspect to any story he gets a hold of. When he's not too busy writing his next article, you could probably find him playing with his cats or performing on a stage.

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