Gugar – a chillin’ place

Gugar is clearly a place to enjoy with your friends. Have a talk, laugh, enjoy a snack and one (or more) drinks – that’s my impression after visiting twice in the past few weeks.

It’s a vegetarian Hangout & Bar in Valletta on Republic Street. Apart from vegetarian dishes – such as wraps, a nut-burger, cakes and cake balls, bread, salads, vegetables and dips (all homemade and organic) – they offer a range of drinks, too. From self-mixed juices to beer and gin tonic, the bar lovers heart won’t be disappointed.

When I first came to this place on a Friday night, it was quite crowded. People were sitting on the outside steps, because they only provide 2 little tables and a few stools. But the young audience didn’t seem to be bothered, either way. It was a warm night and everyone was exchanging banter.

When we got in, one of the 4 tables was free. So we sat down on the cosy sofas and opened ourselves to the interior. It was decorated amazingly individual, not like I’ve seen it in any other place before. All the tables and chairs looked differently, covered with various blankets.

The walls were full of pictures, photos and posters and we made out weird and interesting stuff everywhere, e.g. an art object made out of old cassettes. For the guest’s entertainment, a variety of books of all kinds were provided to delve among them.To leaven the atmosphere, indie music was playing all the time.

We found a special menu on a board on the wall, but also checked the normal menu. For me, unfortunately there wasn’t a great choice of gluten-free dishes. I decided for a piece of pumpkin cake and one carrot and one almond and date cake ball, as I was craving for something sweet.

I chose to drink the melon ginger juice and because I was thirsty I later tried a juice which contained beetroot. I liked both of them, as I always enjoy freshly made juices, but I could taste that they were diluted/thinned down with water (my friend’s juice was as well). This disappointed me a bit, since I’m used to vitamin bombs full of taste, but the very moderate price made up for it.

On the other hand the pumpkin pie was a delight. Fresh, not too dry, not too wet. I enjoyed it to the fullest – was about to get a second piece – but then took another one when I visited again (I had to take care not to get carried away…). The cake balls were okay, but I would rather recommend the chocolate or coconut cake balls my friends and I had on our second visit.

My friend liked to take a pesto brie tomato wrap and a honey ginger juice. After her dish she took a pumpkin pie, too. The wrap’s pesto was home-made and they try to use locally-grown basil for it. As a side dish, you usually get a handful of crisps.She later told me that her dish was okay, but not that special. She missed some taste and more vegetables in the wrap. Also, to her it didn’t seem salted or peppered at all.

My other friend had the same impression when she visited with us and had a broccoli and cheese wrap: although she took the spicy alternative, she didn’t have much flavour and didn’t find the dish exciting at all. Except for the wraps, both loved the desserts and cakes, just as I did.

After our dishes we had some cider, talked to new people, delved among the books and had a really good time.

The owner’s idea is clear: ”to create a space for good living…“. Visit Gugar with good friends, have some great desserts and enjoy the drinks. A big plus for the interior and individuality, variety of audience and very moderate prices, which definitely make you want to visit this place again.

 

Monique Chambers

Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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