Try Malta's iconic rabbit dish to get an authentic taste of Maltese cuisine.
When the Maltese say they’re going for a fenkata, they mean they’re going for a rabbit meal - and for them, it’s more than just a dinner; it’s a full-on social celebration. Although not actually eaten that regularly by Maltese nowadays, there are the occasional fenkatas, whereby fenek moqli (fried rabbit with lots of garlic and seasoning) or stuffat tal-fenek (rabbit stew made with simmered rabbit in a rich wine and tomato sauce infused with bay leaves) is eaten alongside a copious amount of wine. Spagetti tal-fenek (spaghetti with rabbit sauce) is made with a rich tomato based sauce, inclusive of peas and aromatic additions, such as Balsamic vinegar and bay leaves.
When asking for a consensus of where to find the best fenkata, the most common answer was "at my house". The reason is that the traditional Maltese fried rabbit and stew aren't necessarily that difficult to make.
Having said that, if you're visiting the island, it might be a tad more convenient to visit a restaurant rather than creepily trying to befriend a local so that they cook rabbit for you!
Many restaurants offer rabbit dishes, so it's not easy to state a favourite. Having said that, one of the first responses when you mention the word fenkata is Bobbyland in the agricultural village of Dingli. One reason for this is that it's a restaurant which is dedicated to fenkata and traditional Maltese fare. Another reason is its exquisite location overlooking the stunning Dingli cliffs.
Still, if you have a situation where perhaps not everyone in the group is going to go for rabbit, you're better off opting for a restaurant which has a lot of different options. Rubino in Valletta is recommendable because they offer a killer fenek moqli, as well as a really varied menu, which is bound to work for everyone.
Still, if you're feeling adventurous and really want to feel like a local when tucking into your fenkata, make it a point to visit one of the variety of restaurants in the Mgarr area, which are known for their rabbit. These include Mgarr Farmer's Bar, Il-Barri Restaurant, Ta' l-Ingliz and Mgarr United Bar & Restaurant. Here, you'll get rabbit dishes minus the frills, in a completely communal environment. Enjoy!