I’ve written a couple of reviews about some excellent Italian restaurants that are in Worcester where I live, and I thought nothing could match the sublime lasagna in Galleria Italiana, or the gorgeous pizzas in Benedictos. However, I tried a new Italian restaurant recently which has opened in Worcester called SUGO, and I was pleasantly surprised.
According to their Facebook page, SUGO is a traditional, independent Italian restaurant with food served on our first-floor hideaway above the Lamb & Flag pub in The Tything, Worcester. Their menu boasts more than just pasta, it apparently offers the best of grilled meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, all using the best quality ingredients.
I arranged to go and check it out with my friend Sarah on Maundy Thursday evening, and I had heard that it gets very, very busy so I offered to call them and book a table. I did this with no problems a week before we went, but the day before I received voicemail from a lady called Ruth who called me to confirm my booking with them. This shows that customer service is something they take very seriously.
Before I left my house to go to SUGO Worcester I had a look online to see if it had any onsite parking and was disappointed to see that they didn’t, although I know that The Tything isn’t the best road for parking. I didn’t fancy parking on the roads near the restaurant, so I decided to get a lift there and back.
Upon arrival I was a bit perturbed to have to walk through the Lamb and Flag’s main bar area which was noisy and rowdy. I am not a pub person, so this was something I didn’t like at all. I was directed to a staircase which was very steep and narrow, and anyone who is less abled or disabled would never make it up this staircase to the restaurant. I made the mistake of wearing a long maxi skirt and I almost tripped over it several times while using the staircase, so I had to bunch my skirt up in my hands and hold it while I made the ascent.
Once I made it up the precarious staircase, I was greeted by a waiter and shown to my table. I was half an hour early because I had to fit in with my lift, but I’d taken my small laptop with me, so I was able to get online and catch up on a few emails while I waited for my friend. When she arrived, we ordered drinks and I was amazed to receive a diet coke in a large and very pretty wine glass! I don’t think I’ve ever had a drink of diet coke in a wine glass before!
We pondered over the menu and I couldn’t decide whether to order the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola or the Lasagne Alla Norcina. After deliberating between the two I decided to order the Lasagne Alla Norcina along with an Insalata Mista to go with it on the basis that I thought the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola would be a bit too cheesy for me, as it said on the menu that it comes in a crispy parmesan cheese bowl. I thought if I go back to SUGO Worcester I could try it then instead. My friend Sarah ordered a Lasagne Bolognese.
We had a slight wait from when we ordered to when our food arrived, but everything is made fresh to order so I didn’t mind about that at all, plus it gave us a chance to have a much-needed natter and catch up! When our food arrived, I was bowled over at the presentation and how delicious it looked, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into eating it.
I wasn’t at all disappointed, the Lasagne Alla Norcina was divine. Truffle overtones gave way to a delicious meaty mix and sheets of egg pasta that was cooked to perfection in béchamel sauce. The portion size was just right and very filling, and the salad was also delicious with rocket (which I love) and parmesan cheese shavings.
Our waiter was attentive and talkative, and even though the restaurant was getting very busy he still took the time to check on us and ask if we were happy with our food. I found out his name is Reno and he is a huge asset to SUGO Worcester, and I suspect he is a great part of its success.
Reno offered us dessert menus and while Sarah and I did indeed have a look at them, we were just too full from eating our delicious lasagnes to partake. The traditionally made tiramisu caught my eye, as did the Panna Cotta, but if I had ordered one of those my eyes would have been bigger than my belly!
This hidden gem on the outskirts of Worcester City Centre is a restaurant where I hope to return to soon, I can’t fault it or praise the staff enough for the lovely meal I had there. I would advise booking well in advance, as it isn’t a very big restaurant (although there are plans to expand with an outdoor terrace area all being well) and it got very busy and full very quickly when I was there, so I was glad I had booked a table rather than just turn up. I hope to return to this small but perfectly formed Italian restaurant very soon, despite the staircase and location. It is well worth ignoring these two things just for their delicious food!
Location: 8 (this is only because of the staircase and lack of onsite parking, but others may not mind this)
Value for money: 9
For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/sugoitalianworcester/ or call 01905 729415.