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.
Head Chef Andrea Motta
Well, yes…our Head Chef is of Italian origin, could it get any better when it comes to food!
Born in Padova and brought up in Bologna with a strong Sicilian background, Chef Andrea is an expert in all aspects of Italian cuisine. Throughout his career, he’s developed a proficiency in fresh pasta making from his Bologna routes and all things ‘fish’ from his time spent in Sicily.
His professional career journey started in Brazil with an Italian restaurant in Fortaleza with a touch of Brazilian flavours adopted from working previously at a ‘churraschiera’, also in the same Brazilian state. His next few moves were to three restaurants in Bologna, Italy, solidifying his culinary experience and skills. Andrea also trained at a 2-star Michelin rated ‘Osteria del Sole’ in Bologna. This was where he seriously developed his palate and passion for top quality produce.
Since then, Chef Andrea worked in several leading restaurants in Italy and Malta. He is an ambitious and well-seasoned Chef, able to lead from the front by setting, following and executing the highest culinary standards. Andrea today heads all kitchen operations at our Mellieha restaurant and is responsible for our great one80 concept. Genuine and simple, yet bursting with super flavours, we could go on and on about his cuisine but we’ll let you try it for yourself…
When out of the kitchen, his lifestyle is mutual to his food creations; humble and genuine. No-fuss, enjoying what life has to offer with his loved ones.
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.