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Tappintomalta dines at The Jazz Cave Restaurant

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Kim and I have been curious about The Jazz Cave Restaurant for a while, but before we could write about the place, we knew we had to experience what it has to offer ourselves. Right after we decided this, Daniel, the manager at The Jazz Cave Restaurant – who I suspect can read minds – phoned to invite us over.

Right across Spinola bay, there is a door, next to the entrance of Hotel Juliani, that leads down to a magical place. It takes a step back into the past and recreates the vibrant elegance and stylishness of the 60s and 70s. Intricately designed tablecloths and beautiful glassware are carefully placed on tables garnished for a relaxed, sophisticated dining experience; warm tones and dim lighting enrich the ambiance with an atmosphere of romantic classicism; vibrant illustrations of jazz artists dot the space with character; and the décor blends seamlessly to rekindle the fire of the vintage decades. But, The Jazz Cave Restaurant also keeps its feet firmly in the present. Each patron has a tablet, and anyone can order their courses electronically or, if they wish to stick to the traditional, look through the menu.

The Setting

Kim: As we were ushered to our table by our waitress, the adjacent chairs, positioned to have diners face the stage, were one of the first things I noticed. Though we were lucky enough to be given a table right in front of the live music act, almost all the tables benefited from an easy view of the stage. The music, soothing, gentle, but tasteful is woven into the experience of every customer and guarantees a lovely dinner and intimate conversation. In my case, my tête-à-tête with Lee started off with deliberating on work matters, but gradually moved, as if swayed by Marianne’s voice (the singer), to discussing a vacation in New Orleans.

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Lee: I have already weaved purple prose about the setting in the introduction, so I only have one thing to add: After each performance, everyone applauded and, after a while, a couple made their way to the middle of the restaurant and danced along to the music. At that moment, Kim and I couldn’t help but smile. It was definitely a highlight.

The Food

Kim: From the welcome glass of champagne, to the decadent desserts, the food at The Jazz Cave Restaurant felt like the manifestation of indulgence. Being a vegetarian, I was happy to see that the menu offered options that were both appropriate to my diet, and as thoughtfully created as the other dishes. The combination of ingredients left me wanting more out of sheer desire to taste the food again, despite the portion being enough to satisfy my hunger. In fact, I left the restaurant feeling quite happy to have had a meal that was as satisfying as it was filled with flavour.

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Lee: I had beef carpaccio as a starter and corn-fed baby chicken with Cajun sauce and roast vegetables as the main course. The most singular aspect that distinguishes a fine dining restaurant from anyone else is the ingredients. Fresh, and of the highest quality found, the texture of the chicken was simply faultless, the portion filling, and the presentation pleasing without being over the top.

The Service

Kim: When it came to ordering, I was happy not to feel rushed – as is sometimes the case with overzealous staff. Our waitress, Silvia, gave us ample time to make up our minds over the menu, and talked us through the options when we were at odds about what to order. When undecided about the dessert, she confessed to finding the Chocolate pâté quite sweet, but only because she doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. She couldn’t help but gush about the Moroccan almond pudding. We tried all three desserts.

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Lee: …And Kim ate the Chocolate pâté alone. We were supposed to share, but I suppose I should be happy she let me have the last piece. Like Silvia, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but clearly this is good news for anyone who is a fan of chocolate. Fact is, any review worth its salt doesn’t just involve an account of the writer’s experience. So we had our eyes on the other patrons. We were a bit early, so we had the staff’s full attention for a while, but I was pleased to see that they give the same level of attention to every customer.

Final thoughts..

If you just want to go somewhere to eat quickly before heading off to somewhere else, don’t come to this place. If you want an experience – whether that is a tasteful evening with friends or family, a romantic date, or to celebrate a special occasion, this is the place for you. The Jazz Cave Restaurant is not a stop along the way, it is a destination.


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