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“Fabulous” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Malia Mediterranean Bistro

Malia Mediterranean Bistro
34 West Michigan Avenue, Battle Creek, MI 49017
269.441.2900
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Ranked #1 of 138 Restaurants in Battle Creek
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Battle Creek, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I have dined here on several occasions, and have yet to be even slightly disappointed! I highly recommend this resaurant to all my friends, aquaintances and readers of this review.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    60
    18
    4
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Harbor Springs, Michigan
Top Contributor
206 reviews 206 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
“Well desired high ranking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

With Malia Mediterranean Bistro being rated as the top restaurant in Battle Creek by other TripAdvisor reviewers, I elected to try this downtown restaurant during my 5 week stay in Battle Creek. I was not disappointed. The food was delicious, including my entree of chicken marsala in a unique creamy sauce, and the insalate malia, with an olive oil and herbs dressing. My waiter, David, was both professional and attentive. The hostess, Molly, made me feel special, and spontaneously offered me a sample of the house dressing, blue cheese vinaigrette. I understand that the restaurant is only two years old and has become so popular that reservations on the weekends are almost mandatory.

Visited December 2012
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Michigan
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Good food & good service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

We were in battle Creek for the state volleyball playoffs and had time to eat before the game. Malia was highly rated so we gave it a try. The service was excellent and the food was very good. I had the scallops / shrimp / mussels dish and enjoyed every bite. My wife had a chicken dish but wished she had ordered the same as me. If you are in Battle Creek, definately give Malia a try.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Malia vs. Rustica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I chose to compare Malia to my other favorite restaurant in the area, Rustica in Kalamazoo, since they both offer a similar experience, and both are unique in the area. Malia lives up to the "bistro" in its name, being relatively small and cozy, with an open kitchen adjacent to the dining area. The decor is fresh and updated, and despite being small there is ample room between tables, whereas the tables are a bit more crowded in at Rustica, and Rustica's decor is perhaps a bit more well worn. Both restaurants have a comfortable feel, with Rustica being the less formal. I like both equally.

I have come to expect excellent service at Rustica, and Malia's service did not suffer a bit in comparison. Our waiter knew his stuff and was attentive without being overbearing. At one point I almost unconsciously caught the eye of another member of the waitstaff while I was finishing my glass of wine, and within moments our waiter appeared, asking if we needed anything. Very nice.

Malia has a solid menu and well-prepared food, although not quite as creative or daring as Rustica. We split an appetizer called the trio, bread and crackers served with an olive tapenade, roasted garlic compote, and goat cheese and pear. Very tasty without being too much. Sharon had the chicken marsala and I had the pan seared duck breast. Both were delicious, although I felt the sauces and sides a bit conservative for my palate. But this last comment is in comparison to Rustica, where the sauces and sides are as big a part of the dish as the meat. I can see where some might prefer Malia's approach.

The wine list had what we wanted and it was reasonably priced.

Sharon had the cheesecake for dessert, and we both had coffee. The cheesecake was what you want when you order cheesecake, though if I had been in a dessert mood I would have gone for something more unique.

In summary, Malia is a great restaurant, and I can't imagine anyone not enjoying a meal there. It is pricey for the area, but the atmosphere, food, and service make it a solid alternative for a nice evening out. I won't by any means be abandoning Rustica, but I am really pleased that I now have a choice.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“My FAVORITE place to eat!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Whether it's lunch with a girlfriend, dinner with friends, or a special evening with your hubby, Malia is the BEST place to connect. The atmosphere is warm & friendly, with the open kitchen making it delightful to interact with the chefs. The staff is simply amazing! They know the menu and are able to give a great recommendation for the perfect wine to pair with your meal. But the biggest story here is the food. Almost every time I go, my first bite is so good that I could go home satisfied right then! Owner and chef Jeff Samson has orchestrated a simply brilliant culinary experience that you generally only find in a much bigger city. My husband and I love this place! I am happy to give Malia my highest praise!

Visited October 2012
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