The Grassy Hopper in Ta’Xbiex isn’t a restaurant. It’s a mobile vegetarian kiosk (they have an outlet in Valletta as well, but I went to the original place). It opened in October 2013 with the idea that the better the food we eat, the better our lives will be.
As they advert their food to be 100% vegetarian and mostly vegan, made from local and seasonal ingredients – even often organic and pesticide free – I was unbelievably curious to check this place out.
The kiosk is a trailer, coloured dark brown and green (for the grass). Although the trailer is not huge, you won’t miss it. The well-designed logo “The Grassy Hopper” is printed on it in big letters and it’s just an extraordinary appearance within the otherwise usual surroundings.
When me and my friend arrived about noon, there were some people, which is a good sign. Still, we were served quite fast. I ordered grilled vegetable skewers made with mushrooms, pumpkin, marrows, onions and tomatoes. Actually they were served on a bed of wholegrain couscous with turmeric and parsley, but I asked for a gluten-free alternative. So they added a chickpea salad with cucumber, watercress and marinated parsnip instead. My friend just took “La Belle Verte”, a healthy drink consisting of apple, lemon, ginger, spinach, parsley and celery.
The drink was prepared in a mixer in front of our eyes, which was an interesting alternative to normal restaurants – so you could really see which fresh ingredients make their way into your drink.
For my dish, I could also see what was going on. After I received it, I could decide to use some sauces or salt and pepper. The prices are moderate, since you can take it home or eat at the place. But there was only a 2 person table, which didn’t seem too inviting. So we took our meals home and enjoyed them there.
My dish was really tasty, the ingredients well chosen. But because I asked for a gluten free dish, I had the only combination available on the menu and it was probably not enough to fill one – I added some tofu I still had. So perhaps refining the menu to cater better prepared for common dietary wishes. But never mind, next time as they also offer vegan sweets I can try some of those!
For this place, it’s not about the interior or the view, because you mostly take-away. It’s more about the ingredients, the freshness and that you know that the cooks appreciate local and pesticide-free products. When you go you know you’ll have a nice range of vegetarian (or vegan) meals to choose from.
What I also like is that the menu changes every day, so you’ll have some surprises and something new and are more willing to come back.
I would recommend this place for someone who wants a fast and healthy dish or a great smoothie or drink and doesn’t have the time (and sometimes money) to go to a restaurant.