The Olympic is a Maltese institution. If you want to savour home cooking 1970s style, this is the place for you. It’s cheap, it’s brash, it has TV screens, loud people, plastic chairs, fat men lounging by the bar. But there is a wonderful honesty about the food. In the morning, the Olympic specialises in ftiras. You either go in with a fixed idea of what your door-stopper has to be, or else you leave it up to the guy in t-shirt to do his own thing. There’s a great onomatopeic Maltese word – ‘thawwara’ – roughly translated as ‘mix it up.’ On several occasions I have watched in a mix of awe and horror as Mr Olympic first used his brush to paste both sides of the bread with tomato paste, and then swiftly assembled a mountain of mortadella, cheddar, ham, pickle, gbejna, giardiniera, olives and an extra squirt of tomato paste for good measure.
By mid-morning, the hungry guys are already in. The pork chops are succulent, the cannelloni folded neatly under the bechamel sauce: french fries still reign. It can get a bit crowded for lunch but a table always materialises after a short wait.
Wash it down with some Kinnie, Dr Pepper or a beer. Then ask for an Espresso.
Go out into the sunlight. Look at the Mosta dome.
Life is good at the Olympic.
Google Map – for how to find Olympic.
47, Triq il-Konstituzzjoni, Mosta