one80 was founded thanks to a mutual love of food!
For Rouvin Zammit Apap and Jesmond Vella food and service has been a constant source of passion and imagination. In fact, the duo – who met through their careers in five-star hotels – had always wanted a restaurant of their own, and one80 is the result.
Originally the idea was to develop a concept in Valletta but, upon discovering this fantastic location overlooking the Mellieha countryside, both entrepreneurs jumped at the opportunity to create a restaurant and lounge here.
Locals and past visitors may remember it as the Half Way Inn – a landmark on the pretty hill up to Mellieha centre. Today, Rouvin and Jesmond have crafted it into a completely new destination, famed for its welcoming atmosphere, fabulous indoor and outdoor dining options, extensive menus with dishes to suit vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements, an unmatched international wine list, and dedicated service.
Open since May 2016, one80 has developed into a popular and reliable dining option with a dedicated following and a constantly-growing number of patrons. And that is no accident but, instead, is testament to Rouvin and Jesmond’s steadfast commitment to quality and the resulting upmarket-yet-casual culinary experience they have created.
This is just the start of the one80 journey. Watch this space for news of further planned ventures by the team, and exciting developments within the current concept.
With long careers in the hospitality industry already behind them, Rouvin Zammit Apap and Jesmond Vella set out to create their own culinary concept in Malta – one that lived up to their high standards, creative foodie imaginations, and enthusiasm for quality. one80 Mellieha is their first venture together, with a number of others already in the pipeline.
Rouvin Zammit Apap
Rouvin always had a passion for hospitality and service, in particular for the food and drink industry which saw him follow in his father’s footsteps when, at 14, he was already actively involved in the management of a family-run bar in Bugibba. Rouvin enrolled at ITS, reading for a fulltime Higher Diploma in Hospitality Management that included an instrumental one-year internship at Gleneagles, a five-star luxury hotel in Scotland. He returned to Malta and started working with Island Hotels Group while furthering his studies at the University of Malta, completing a BA in Tourism. He started off as a bartender and, over a period of 15 years, climbed the ranks, reaching a career high as Food & Beverage Manager at the Radisson Blu in St Julian’s, a position that was seminal in his career and an ideal precursor for the subsequent development of one80. Rouvin’s other notable milestone after the Radisson was occupying the position of Operations Manager for a renowned local five-star hotels brand.
Rouvin treasures quality time with his wife Graziella and their little daughter Ella and baby Kai. He loves dining out with friends, exploring new wines, travelling, and fashion. When it comes to the latest trends, be it in music, or the food and drink industry, he is right there, following with a watchful eye and brainstorming about how any of it can be applied to the one80 brand. When not at the restaurant, Rouvin also loves listening to music. His only me-time is when he’s in the car, so the second he gets in he hooks on to Spotify, and goes through his Top 50 playlist!
Jesmond’s career started back to 1990, when he enrolled at ITS for a two-year course focusing on service. He split his time between Malta and a work placement at the upscale five-star London Hilton on Park Lane, which really cemented his passion for the industry. After three years at the Hilton in Malta, he decided to scratch the ever-growing itch and go back to London, working at the Langham Hilton, a place he equates with the start of his relationship with wine. After a while, he heard that the Radisson SAS was opening in Malta and he flew in for an interview. Working as Bistrot Manager, he was part of the very first team when the Radisson SAS St Julian’s opened its doors on the island. In 2000 he went to Orlando and Dallas for training on a brand that was due to open an outlet in Malta. After four years working on that, he reached a career high as Food & Beverage Manager at the Radisson Blu in St Julian’s, cementing his standing in the industry, and more particularly in the local five-star hotel scene.
When not at the restaurant, Jesmond loves spending quality time with his family, travelling and reading – mostly about wines. He is also a passionate Liverpool FC supporter.
Chef Marvin Ebejer
Chef Marvin Ebejer has been in the game for the past 15 years. His track record in major local 5-star hotels consists of several roles including senior ranks in top A La Carte restaurants. In December 2018, Chef Marvin joined the team as Head Chef, taking over all kitchen management and operations at one80 Kitchen & Lounge, Mellieha.
“A Head Chef position is an inspiring position I consider a learning experience where I encounter day- to-day challenges. Nothing beats the upbeat rush of the one80 kitchen, the highlight of a service when my chefs are focused on their respective sections working as a team towards one aim, executing high quality food for our guests.
When preparing menus, I do focus on keeping ingredients simple, interesting and most importantly in season, to ensure the freshest produce. I ensure that every menu we launch offers a wide variety of great dishes appealing to our patrons’ tastes and expectations. If I had to highlight my all-time favourites, it would be the pork cheek croquette, Gnocchetti sardi with a rich meaty ragu and a slow cooked item such as lamb leg or cheeks.”
Marvin off duty – a very humble person with an easy character. He’s continuously on the lookout for new food techniques to improve his skills and knowledge. In fact he looks forward to travel as frequently as possible to explore different cuisines and techniques.
Our ingredients form the very core of our concept here at one80, and they take pride of place in everything that we do.
With that in mind, we are honoured to work with some of Malta’s best producers – from fishermen and farmers, to bakers and wine merchants – to guarantee we serve the very best, all year round.
We aim to provide customers with
supreme taste, impressive quality service
and pleasant dining experiences.