A brief history of Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine is a rich tradition passed down by generations of chefs who carry forward a legacy by representing the constant evolution of the country’s living culinary history. Much of what we have come to know as traditional Indian cuisine has come together as a medley of the nation’s rich trading history and colonial past, from curries made from a base of tomatoes that originate from Portugal to red chillies from South America and Naan from Central Asia. Behind each of these non-indigenous ingredients comes a story. The ubiquitous potato alone can be traced from Kashmir to Calcutta with many a tale and claim in between. Batata is said to have been introduced by Vasco Da Gama and the Portuguese traders in the 16th century who cultivated them on the western coasts primarily to feed other Europeans, while in the East the Dutch claim to have gifted a basket of potatoes to Warren Hastings, the Governor General of India, in 1790 as a novelty gift and later in 1823 another Governor General, Lord Amherst, is said to have ordered that potatoes to be planted in the "Park of Barrackpore” which later became popular with the Bengalis as the soft starchy texture contrasted well with cumin and mustard. And thus, through many a millennia of culinary history, the now household staple Aloo Jeera finds itself on our menu at Naan Bar in Valletta!
Authentic yet innovative Indian food
Inspired by both our rich culinary past and representing what modern India stands for today, Naan Bar was created to present Indian cuisine in a fun, innovative way while staying true to traditional preparation methods and authentic tastes. We differentiate ourselves from other Indian offerings on the island of Malta by presenting Indian cuisine that is developed from well researched, traditional recipes and prepared by chefs who have been trained in best kitchens in India following traditional techniques and methods. That skill and methodology has been built upon and perfected to present a culinary journey that reflects the history and the trends in modern tastes.
Diverse Menus: Gluten free and Vegan options
The menu is inspired by the way we eat in India with a variety of appetizers inspired by traditional street-food as found in the key metros of Bombay, Delhi and Kolkata. The Tandoor selection is prepared in our in-house clay oven and offers a variety of gluten-free and vegan options that can be served as a light meal in itself or a sharing course. For those who can’t decide we even have a Tandoor platter that offers an assortment of meats and seafood and is served with a sweet and mint chutney dipping sauce. Ours mains are divided into seasonal and regional curries as well as a comfort selection showcasing specialities such as Dal Makhani, Butter Chicken and Lamb Biryani and home-style favourites such as Rajma Masala and Pindi Chola. Our desserts are inspired from the various regions in India and range from the Northern Indian winter specialities to Coastal delicacies.
Commitment to quality and traditional cooking
Our chefs have a commitment to quality and source the best natural ingredients and local produce by working with local Maltese food purveyors and farmers to keep to the high standards they have been trained in. All our meats are Halal certified and over 95% of our menu is suitable for diners who require gluten-free options. We also have an extensive selection of Vegan dishes with multiple options for each course. We also have an exotic cocktail selection which is inspired by Indian spices and seasonal ingredients.
Modern Indian cuisine in the heart of Valletta
Located on Old Bakery Street in the Britannia House, the atmosphere at Naan Bar is playful, with the use of vibrant colour and texture in the form of fabric and wooden puppets to create a circus-inspired ambience in the dining room. The murals at the bar level and private dining room were commissioned from a local Maltese artist and hand-painted on the walls. The hand-blown pendent lights combine traditional Maltese glass making tradition from Mdina with jewel toned Indian colours. Set across two levels, the restaurant and bar seat a total of 75 persons including a private dining room that can cater to an exclusive event for 30.