Family Schiavone

Tartarun offers quality cuisine in a casual atmosphere. The family run establishment offers a menu that uses fresh ingredients to create delicious local dishes with an international twist. The main focus is local fresh fish which is sourced daily.

The name of the restaurant, ‘Tartarun’, has been borrowed from a special Maltese fishing net.

(photo by Marco Paone)

Location

Marsaxlokk is a traditional fishing village located in the south-eastern part of Malta, with a population of over 3,205 people. The village’s name comes from marsa, which means “port” and xlokk, which is the local name for south east. The word is related to the name for the dry sirocco wind that blows from the Sahara, comparable to the equivalent Catalan word, “xaloc”.

History

It was in the “bay of the sirocco” (Xlokk) that the first Phoenicians landed and set up trading posts on Malta, during the ninth century BC. During the Great Siege, Marsaxlokk harbor was also used as an anchorage by the Turkish fleet.
Overlooking the northern arm of Marsaxlokk Bay is the hill of Tas-Silġ which contains remains of megalithic temples of the Tarxien phase, with later alterations resembling the Ħaġar Qim model. Bronze Age material has also been found scattered around the area.From the end of the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD, the hill was used as a religious site, this time as a temple dedicated to Astarte/Hera. A number of dedications to both goddesses, or to the one goddess, under both the Phoenician and Greek names, have been found. The Tas-Silġ site was used again for religious purposes sometime in the 4th century AD, when it was adapted to a new religion, Christianity, and possibly used as a monastery.

Importance of fishing

Most of Malta’s fish supplies are caught by fishermen coming from this port. Swordfish, tuna, and the popular ‘lampuki’ are caught in abundance between spring and late autumn. On weekdays, the catch is taken to the fish-market in Valletta, but on Sundays fish is retailed by fishermen in the open on the quay. In the past, a great percentage of the population worked as full-time fishermen. The number of working fishermen has decreased, in part because people from other localities have moved to the village.

Fish restaurants have opened to meet the ever-increasing demand. The tourist influx to Marsaxlokk has also attracted many hawkers and souvenir vendors.