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“Food - not bad. Service - horrendous!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Tarragon

Tarragon
Church Street, St. Paul's Bay, Island of Malta SPB0001, Malta
21 573 759
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Price range: $0 - $131
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Description: www.tarragonmalta.com
San Gwann, Malta
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Food - not bad. Service - horrendous!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

After reading so many good reviews about Tarragon, we decided to finally give it a go. And how I wish that we read the not-so-good ones before too, because we would not have bothered. It all started the second we walked in. We were greeting by the host who was rudely interrupted by the head chef (and owner) who could not find a particular wine that he was looking for. To make up for this rude interruption, the head chef attempted to make a “joke”, which was more of a snide remark about one of my boyfriend's tattoos. I must also mention that we did book a table but were told we have to wait as it was quite busy. Having no room to wait, we stood between the stairs and door watching one of the waiters try to fish out a lobster from the tank, making a mess and breaking his net in the meantime. I even had to look away at one point while he continuously smashed the lobster with his net in an attempt to get it in. Not very appetizing.

Eventually we were sat upstairs on an unset table, which the staff then set with cutlery and glasses while we sat there. Next came the menus which are on pieces of wood and are so faded that you can barely read them. What was worse, the wine list is so enormous, literally, it is the size of a tombstone! There was no room for it on the table, let alone room to open it! I had to set it between my lap and the table while I looked at the food menu.

Next comes the worst service that we have ever experienced. The waiter looked visibly stressed and busy, he looked everywhere but at us while taking our order, he even stopped to say something to another waiter whilst in the middle of taking our order. At one point he even had to remove his fancy ear piece just so he could actually listen to us. Which brings me to another point – waiters wearing ear pieces? I can understand that the restaurant has two floors, but come on, they looked more like bouncers than waiters in a high end restaurant. Not to mention they don't really seem to actually be using them to communicate either because they were non-stop shouting things to each other across the floor anyway. When the waiter came back to pour our wine, he was so busy talking to other staff that he dripped wine all across our table as he poured it into our glasses!

We had at least 6 different waiters/other staff come to our table to take our order, clear plates, bring new ones, etc etc, but not once did someone come and ask us how our meal was, pour our wine or check if we needed anything else.

One last point I must mention, we could not understand what the point is of having chefs constantly going in and out of the kitchen (one in particular had a filthy uniform) to serve dishes, and the head chef/owner spends the whole night waltzing around tables opening bottles of wine and trying to be funny, when his place should be in the kitchen! On our way out, he was sitting outside with a couple and didn't even acknowledge us or say thank you, nothing.

All that being said, our starters were very good (soup and ravioli), main courses were nothing special (chicken), and while my dessert was ok (crème brulee), my boyfriend thought that his was just horrible (summer pudding) and in fact he left most of it on his plate. And the bread was so dry, it was as if it was sliced 12 hours earlier and left out.

We left Tarragon feeling so cheated and our only comment was “what a waste of money”. Call it a bad day, call it what you like, but we will definitely not be returning.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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465 reviews from our community

88% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Marsa Scala, null, Malta
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“wonderful birthday dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013 via mobile

this is the 2nd time i visit this restaurant and again it was a wonderful experience from a to z. last time i had pasta and seafood and this time i had meat. everything was cooked to perfection and the service
very attentive definetely a place i would recommend to anyone

  • Visited July 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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Valletta, Malta
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“This is REALLY and TRULY It !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

Quite simply put - This is the best restaurant on the Island. I have often dined at restaurants both locally and abroad whereby reviews and past experiences fail to live up to expectations. Whereby menus flatter to deceive and are over complicated.

Tarragon cannot be further from the contrary. I must have dined here on at least 10 different occasions. Birthday's , formal occasions , informal , and large table gatherings and on each time I have been delightfully impressed by the brilliant consistency of the food and the service. The selection of superb starters on the menu always leaves me puzzled on what to get . I leave this to Marvin or one of the Staff to come up with a selection of different entre's. The champagne prawn tempura are light and delicious , and the Linguine rizzi al cartoccio ( when in season ) is the perfect light summer pasta. If eating lunch I tend to go for the beef which is a prime USDA AAA black angus fillet cooked Medium Rare. I like my meat plain and seasoned lightly. There is an option of having a delicious sauces on the side, I normally opt for the chateu briand sauce that I enjoy dunking the crispy potatoes in. For dinner I often go for the sea bass covered and baked in rock salt. The result, a perfect milky white fish that is cleaned and served at the table. A must for fish lovers. The wine menu is vast but not overwhelming and well priced. If space for desert , I again leave this in the restaurants hands as you cannot go wrong with their selection of home made delights

A must for foodies !!!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Wakefield, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“MMMMMMMM”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

This was our second visit to the Tarragon, we were taken there last year as a guest and it was great then. This year we took ourselves we had a great table with views if the bay. We had three courses and cant pick a favourite we didn't want to follow each course in case it disappointed but it didn't , I had the salt baked fish served at the table it was delicious. My husband had veal. The sweet was a white chocolate tart, so good I asked for the recipe !! The local wine was amazing . Overall mm still tasting it , cant wait to go back. Should add we booked on line before we went out there , easy.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Island of Malta, Malta
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Good atmosphere and excellent food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I went to celebrate our anniversary, we were looking for something special and we found it at the Tarragon. The food is excellent and the presentation impressive. We had an olive sphere for amuse bouche I had never had anyone serving molecular in Malta before so it already made my evening. We had smoked salmon for starter and it was smoked right at the table. We then had lobster. Fresh from the aquarium and perfectly cooked by chef Marvin. The service staff were friendly and attentive and very efficient. Yes it was a bit pricey but worth every penny.

Visited April 2013
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