The ION Harbour: Maltese Cuisine Wins Michelin Prestige

History is made in the Mediterranean archipelago by Malta’s first two-Michelin-starred restaurant, The ION Harbour.

The ION Harbour, a Maltese restaurant in Valletta, Malta, helmed by Chef Patron Simon Rogan at the beautiful Iniala Harbour House Hotel, serves extraordinary dishes and scenic views from its rooftop terrace vantage point. In the fall of 2023, I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Malta and experience everything the beautiful island archipelago has to offers. During my travels, the culinary gods graced me with available time for dinner reservations.

From the moment I was escorted to my table to my last bite, the ION Harbour was truly one of the most cherished experiences of my life, and it came as no surprise when it was honoured with not one, but two Michelin Stars by The MICHELIN Guide Malta 2024, a first for the Mediterrane anarchipelago.

But Chef Rogan is undoubtedly a catalyst for this level of prestige since another of his restaurants has previously garnered a Michelin star of its own. Recognized as one of the pioneers of the farm-to-table movement, he’s been building a celebrated international reputation.

Today, Chef Rogan maintains a sustainably operated farm, called Our Farm, and an unwavering focus on hyperlocal and seasonal ingredients as the chef patron of nine award-winning restaurants across London, Britain’s Lake District, Malta and Hong Kong.

His efforts toward sustainability were awarded with the Michelin Green Star for two of his restaurants. So it was a match made in heaven when Chef Rogan took the reins of ION Harbour in October 2022, since Malta’s commitment to gastronomy and agricultural practices harmonized so well with his.

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From the symphony of flavours to the exceptional service, you will be left in delighted amazement by the ION Harbour. The staff functions as a synchronized unit, highly sensitive to a guest’s every need, trained not just to serve but to care – to the point that if the evening breeze becomes a bit chilly a server will swiftly appear with blankets to keep guests warm before they even think to ask. That, in a nutshell, is the Maltese way – not doing things out of obligation but out of consideration.

Maltese cuisine reflects the island’s unique past, and has been influenced by several countries, and restaurants across Malta each bring their unique spin to dishes. What remains unchanged is the high standard.

The MICHELIN Guide Malta’s 2024 selection consists of 40 restaurants:

  • One 2 Michelin Star restaurant (new)
  • Six 1 Michelin Star restaurants (one new)
  • Five Bib Gourmand restaurants (one new)
  • 28 recommended restaurants (five new)

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Marc Castaldo

Marc Castaldo