A Diner Amical at OKA at the Villa in Saint Julian’s Bay


The Malta Bailliage hosted the third Diner Amical of the year at OKA at the Villa in Saint Julian’s Bay on Saturday the 29th of July  2023.


OKA at The Villa is located within the historic building of The Villa – an imposing 19th-century palazzo, what used to be the summer residence of one of Malta’s leading 20th-century industrialists and one of the oldest structures in the Balluta area.


OKA’s was inspired by the famous oak trees overlooking Balluta Bay. The venue is part of the Xara Collection and the General manager is a member of the Chaine.


The day coincided with the local feast in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and we were treated to a fireworks display over the bay later in the evening.


The pre-dinner reception was held on the terrace giving us a magnificent view of Balluta Bay, which was decorated for the local feast.


An excellent Crémant D’Alsace aperitif and choice canapes were served.


The menu was created by Executive Chef Cliff Borg.


The wines were paired as usual by our Echanson Dr Iro Cali Corleo. The suppliers for this event were Kontrada Merchants.


In his introductory Speech, Chancelier Charles Gatt mentioned that this was the first time that we were dining at OKA. In fact, all the venues this year have been new ones for our Bailliage.


Chancelier Gatt welcomed a new member H. E. Patrick Cole after which our Bailli Dr Joseph Xuereb presented Patrick with the badge of the Bailliage.


Chancelier Gatt also welcomed Mrs  Josephine Cole as the guest of H. E. Patrick Cole and John Mizzi as a guest of Commandeur Lisa Grech.


Chancelier Gatt mentioned our next event, lunch at Tmum Restaurant in Mgarr Gozo on Sunday the 24th of September.


Finally, the Chancelier reminded members and guests to toast the Chaine at the beginning of the dinner when the first wine was served by clinking their glasses with the neighbour on their left, going round the table to form a perfect chain!




Amuse bouche

Butternut royale with vegetable pickles topped with aged parmesan espuma


Local fish aljotta risotto and soft herbs topped with crispy calamari


Main course

Braised Beef cheeks with a Greek garni and mustard



Pear conde; vanilla rice pudding, poached pear and roasted walnuts

Coffee/Tea and Petits Fours

                                                                      Executive Chef: M. Cliff Borg



Our Baillie Dr Joseph Xuereb had the following comments to make about the dishes and service:


‘The amouse bouche, I thought, was a lovely melange of textures, colours and tastes and the aged Parmesan Espuma topping the vegetables was absolutely first-rate.


The fish Aliotta risotto was a very generous portion, also known as a Maltese portion! It was a marriage of two classic starters, and the crispy calamari topped it up very nicely. Divine combination.


The melt-in-your-mouth beef cheeks came accompanied with a mustard gratin that was absolutely wicked.


The ingredients of the dessert provided not only perfect complements to the Pear Conde, but also a variety of textures -from the crispiness of the roasted walnuts to the unctuousness of the vanilla rice pudding. A feather in the cap of the pastry chef.


All in all a triumph for Chef Cliff Borg and his brigade with superb service by Nicole, Vanya and the team under the supervision of Luke Cauchi’.


Below is a link to a photo gallery of the event.


Mark Bailey

Charge de Presse

Vive la Chaine!