Sugo is a Malvern classic and a place I used to visit regularly with friends. Whenever I eat here, I usually enjoy sharing their trio of pastas with a friend – traditionally I would order the four cheese, pesto and Bolognese combination. My dining companion was devastated when I opted for the solo spaghetti Bolognese on this occasion.
The original owner sold Sugo many years ago and after selling ventured into Rococo in St Kilda, which I reviewed late last year. It fared very well. The Sugo menu hasn’t changed much since it was taken over by its new owners (if the formula works, don’t change it?) and I was looking forward to comparing Sugo’s bolognese to Rococo’s.
This version looked presentable – the earthy terracotta bowl added a rustic-ness to the dish. Sugo’s Bolognese was flavoursome – the sauce met the fine balance of meat and tomato. There was a good amount of sweet with acidity to boot. I liked tasting the fresh herbs throughout the sauce. The sauce had a good shine to it, which suggests a generous amount of oil was used though there was no oily film in my mouth, which is a good thing.
No complaints on the pasta – it was cooked just right. The downfall was definitely the texture. The Bolognese was too fine – the clumps were too small which made the sauce resemble a paste-like texture. When it comes to meat clump size, my preference is medium though I don’t mind small but they must be distinguishable in the sauce. This one wasn’t.
All in all, this spaghetti Bolognese was fantastic – just how I remembered it. But, there were some faults on the texture side of things. Ultimately I feel Rococo do a better job.
Price: entrée $15.90, main $19.90
Note: dishes which score 16+ are contenders for the title of Melbourne’s best Spaghetti Bolognese. All scores above 16/20 will be disclosed at the end of the year long taste testing.