I had been to Ta' Soldi a number of times, and though the food was never great, it was always passable and I always had a good time, despite the incredible noise and the factory canteen ambience.
For Sunday 12 May I booked a table for five for lunch. The tables at the front were taken, so we settled for a table in the large area below street level. Since I had been there before, I knew what to expect, and with my nerves suitably steeled, turned up at 1.00 pm, the time of the booking.
We had to wait some 10-15 minutes for a table (no problem) and a little more until our order was taken. But the food did not start to arrive until 3.15 pm, even though for some reason only a very limited menu was being offered that day.
The food was truly awful. The octopus in garlic was a mass of cotton wool floating in oil, whilst the fried rabbit in garlic consisted of a heap of bones (leftovers from some stag party?) without a single hind or front leg. The stuffed pork was left practically untouched. The grouper turned out to be the best thing on our table, even though fish is not usually Ta' Soldi's forte. Had it not been for the good servings of chips with all mains, we would have left hungry. The walnut and chocolate gateau was also good, though the cassata ice cream had lumps of ice in it as well as being sickly sweet and laden with an entire periodic table of chemicals.
The place is not cheap - it is actually very bad value. The following day we went to the restaurant of 5-star hotel in Pembroke/St George's Bay and had a wonderful culinary experience and magnificent service for the same total cost - 40c less, to be precise.
Ta' Soldi is great for a field trip on the Maltese working class, but otherwise, keep well clear.
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