Food ‘common folk’ ate: new Birgu eatery Taverna Sugu

25-seater tavern celebrates Malta’s culinary tradition, with menu set to reflect the ‘way Maltese common folk ate in the past.’

Sugu, a Vittoriosa tavern serving traditional Maltese fare, opened its doors to the public last Saturday. To celebrate the opening of the new establishment, Sugu’s management is offering a 50% reduction on food until 7 October.

During an inauguration ceremony held under the patronage of Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism Mario de Marco last Friday, Sugu chef-owner David Darmanin explained that the concept of the 25-seater tavern celebrates Malta’s culinary tradition, where the menu is set to reflect the way Maltese common folk ate in the past.

“Combining our team’s enthusiasm to create the right atmosphere for a good time and our respect for traditional Maltese food – we came up with the idea to set up a cosy tavern with a sophisticated feel and set it in a historical location,” Darmanin said. “Birgu was the obvious choice: not only because the area promises to flourish as an important restaurant destination, but also because of the magical setting this old city offers in its architecture and its general feel.”

The menu at Sugu offers a variety of rustic and inner-harbour dishes – including pulpetti tal-bakkaljaw, snails, widow’s soup, kawlata, aljotta, spaghetti with rabbit sauce, ravioli, bakes, rabbit, suckling pig, lamb, veal olives and stuffed calamari.

Darmanin said that he rejects modern kitchen shortcuts and false practicalities.

“We reserve our only two freezer shelves exclusively for ice cream and ice cubes, and canned food is strictly prohibited entry to the pantry,” he said. “We shop for ingredients on a daily basis, and most of our suppliers are artisans, farmers and fishermen.”

On his part, Parliamentary Secretary de Marco said: “I admire people like David who take brave steps in venturing into businesses that are set to improve our tourism product,” while emphasising the importance for more restaurateurs to promote local tradition.

“It is this innovation and genuine approach that is needed to offer a product that is in demand and yet not commonly found in mainstream restaurants,” he added.

Bicanter Wines Managing Director John Farrugia, who was entrusted with the creation of the wine list at Sugu, said: “we have teamed up with local producers and other wine importers to ensure that every single bottle in a selection of 65 wines complements the quality of the food offered here at Sugu.

“One of the wines offered for instance: Annu Nero d’Avola/San Giovese, comes from a boutique winery in Gozo using organic grapes and is the first of its kind produced locally,” he said.

Sugu opens Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and Sunday for lunch. To reserve a table at Sugu, call +356 27 88 11 22 or +356 77 88 11 22 or send an email to [email protected]

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