Degustation menu launched at Taverna Sugu

A new degustation menu has been launched at Taverna Sugu last Friday. The Vittoriosa based tavern offers a variety of quality Maltese dishes inspired by grandma’s cooking. 

Inspired by French kitchens of the 20th century, degustation implies the sampling of several of the chef’s signature dishes all in one sitting. The menu at Sugu includes 16 traditionally Maltese dishes along with some of Marsovin’s best local vintages, some exclusively available at this restaurant.

The meal laid out by chef-owner David Darmanin, begins with some traditional nibbles, aptly named Epitajzers, including bigilla, fresh Gozitan gbejna, stewed snails and rabbit liver pate in cognac.

A miziet tal-bahar follows, including prawn stuffed calamari and pulpetti tal-bakkaljaw (salt-cod fritters). Appitezers are served with Marsovin’s Cassar de Malte, sparkling wine made in the traditional champanois method that allows fermentation in the bottle.

Starters include froga tat-tarja (vermicelli omelette) and artisan ricotta ravioli served with an oak-aged Antonin Blanc.

The main course consists of traditional fried rabbit, cooked as it was in bygone eras, in white wine, rather than the more frequently used red wine, bragoli of veal and traditional lamb served with chick-peas.

The main course is served with the 2000 vintage of Antonin Noir, exclusively available at Taverna Sugu.

A tris of desserts is then served, including traditional imqaret (date parcels), a dark chocolate and almond tart along with traditional wedding icecream served with cognac.

The fabulous meal is concluded with the traditional clove flavoured coffee and sugar almonds.

The new menu is unlike anything you are likely to eat at home, as though you may cook up a traditional meal you are not likely to cook 16 dishes, and though you may open a good bottle of wine with your meal, you are just as unlikely to open four bottles.

Taverna Sugu’s owner-chef David Darmanin says the idea of the degustation menu involves patrons enjoying a taste of all the dishes at a reasonable price without going overboard and over-eating.

“We want to feed our guests well, but we don’t want them to walk out of the tavern dead-drunk or on a stretcher due to over-eating.

“Degustation sounds like a fancy idea, but we don’t like overcharging on ideas just because they’re fancy. Being a frequent restaurant goer, I am aware of the importance patrons give to uniqueness, genuine food and good value. I am confident that the new degustation menu at Sugu ticks all of these boxes.”

Marsovin’s director Jeremy Cassar says that Marsovin’s wines were a natural extension of Sugu’s new degustation menu.

“We have ensured that the range of wines included express as much Maltese character as the food served here.”

The 2000 vintage of Antonin Noir is an exceptional year for this wine and is only available at Sugu. Cassar says: “The 2000 vintage was characterised by a cold, wet winter and hot summer with temperatures peaking at 42°C rendering excellent grape maturity. It was indeed an exceptional year.”

Sugu is located at 5, Triq Papa Alessandru VII, Vittoriosa. For reservations or more information kindly contact David Darmanin on 77 88 11 22 or visit www.sugu.com.mt

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This is a copy of a restaurant in Paceville which I often visit.
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Correction to "froga tat-tajra". "It is froga tat-tarja".