There was a phase not too long ago when this text message was received clockwork at around 7 pm on a Sunday night. The troops would be gathered, we'd put on our Sunday best and indulge in Hugo's $5 pizza's and cocktails on their balcony at Kings Cross. My lovely friends (affectionately nicknamed the Mediterranean Gossip Girl - we are far less glamourous and all we like to do is eat) would dance the night away and dread monday mornings all together.
Barbera d'Asti $50.00
One particular Sunday, we decided to get together for dinner at Hugo's Bar and Lounge, a place we have often ignored as we'd walk up the stairs to the club..or stumble back to our cars.
Although they have a mean cocktail list, we did the adult thing and ordered two bottles of Barbera d'Asti. The vino went perfectly with our Italian meal - it was not overpowering or bitter, and very easy to drink with dinner. We took our places by the window sill in the beautiful dining room and looked upon the groups lining up to get to the club, dressed to impress.
Pumpkin & Sage Tortellini $28.00The first dish we tried was the Tortellini filled with pumpkin and mascarpone in a burnt butter and crispy sage sauce. This was an impressive and hearty pasta dish, the burnt butter sauce was not too overpowering or oily and each tortellini was generously filled with hot pockets of pumpkin and creamy mascarpone.
Polenta Chips $10.00The polenta chips arrived as a side and they smelt divine. They were thick portions and had that delicious crunch - so fresh that when you split them, a burst of steam comes popping out. The polenta chips came with tomato chutney which was nice and tangy and also a plain whole egg mayo dip. We would have all love the added naughtiness of a gorgonzola sauce to slather these bad boys with.
Sicillian arancini filled with pork ragu, mozarella $18.00 Salad of figs with prosciutto di San Danielle, buffallo mozzarela & apple balsamic dressing $24.00
More delicious entree's arrived to share. The arancini's were of perfect rice and filling proportion and glued to a bed of sauce that is packed with the tanginess of tomato. Now for the prosciutto salad - could there be any better pair than this wonderful meat and fresh figs? Our group had to make sure our proscuitto slices were shared evenly as we all could not get enough. The apple balsamic added a punch to the greenery and before you know it our plate was empty.
Fig Pizza $26.00
I think there was a phase where my friends needed to book me into therapy because I was heavily addicted to Hugo's pizza's. There is nothing like them - thin (tick) crispy (thick) super tasty (double tick). For Christmas, I even asked Santa for the Pete Evans pizza oven.When I saw the fig pizza on the menu - I knew it would be impossible for me to say no. Fresh figs paired with pancetta; gorgonzola, tomato and basil, it was just sensational. After having the fig and proscuitto salad we thought the flavours could be repetitive but this was not the case. The toppings were bang on with the pancetta and figs, plus the gorgonzola satisfied our naughty desires craved for earlier when chowing down on the polenta chips.
Italian Pizza $26.00
The other pizza on offer was the Italian pizza - pork & veal meatballs topped with parmesan cheese, tomato & oregano. Meatballs on a pizza, is there anyway to better combine two of my favourite foods? I think not. The meatballs were so tasty; very light & springy to the bite and well seasoned. Coming up with ways to stop the meatballs rolling off while eating the pizza is part of the fun. Doing such things as wrapping the crispy thin pizza around the meatballs and trying to make a pseudo burrito being one such way.
For some strange reason there was a side of broccolini ordered ($10.00). Yes even the broccolini needs a mention because it was part of this great meal we were all having. It's hard to really elaborate on the broccolini but to sum it up they were bright green and had that nice snap when bitten. In hindsight the table space would have better been used for another pizza.
Pumpkin Pizza $24.00
So speaking of which there was another pizza - pumpkin. Roasted pumpkin cubes, zucchini, sweet & sour onions, gorgonzola & pine nuts. The pumpkin cubes are sweet and melt in your mouth. The combination of the sweet and sour onions combined with the gorgonzola sauce really complements the pumpkin on the pizza as well.
Demos says Hi.
Margherita Pizza $20.00Now onto the one pizza that has been synonymous with our Hugo's escapades - the margherita. The simplest of all pizzas but one of the tastiest. Sliced roma tomatoes, parmesan cheese, basil and dollops of buffalo milk mozzarella. Yum. The thin pizza and simple topping certainly hits the spot any time those pizza cravings come by. One of our favourite pizzas that used to be the regular choice for Sunday sessions at Hugo's - and on a Sunday, you can go upstairs and get 3 of the same pizza's and a cocktail for $20.
After enjoying a delicious meal, there is nothing better to do than go for a digestive stroll. Luckily just up the road on Victoria street is Gelato Messina, giving somewhat of a greater purpose than a "digestive stroll". Without doubt Messina has on of the best and most creative gelato selection in Sydney, using nothing but real ingredients to achieve great flavoured and textured ice cream. With an assortment of many many flavours you could spend hours on end coming up with different combinations that would float your boat.On this visit in our little group we had a pick of the Fat Clemenza, Pavlova and the crowd favorite, Pisctachio. The Fat Clemenza - a ricotta canolli flavoured gelato sensation was the favorite by yours truly. Come on, you cant resist the canolli crunch and ricotta goodness. It was a sweet end to a great Italian Meal.
So if you are ever around Kings Cross and after a delicious meal that is a bit more upmarket and does not involve a seedy kebab - Hugo's is the place to wine and dine. Posh pizza, but don't forget my $5 dollar Pizza's and Cocktails Sunday tip upstairs ;) Sunday tip. Make sure you save room for dessert at Messina!
Hugo's Bar and Pizza - http://www.hugos.com.au/
Gelato Messina - http://www.gelatomessina.com.au/