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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hugos Bar Pizza, Kings Cross

EDIT: Hugos Bar Pizza has closed

"Pizza?" Peter Evans asks, as he wends his way through the crowd at the launch of the Hugos Bar Pizza new private dining room.

"It's potato and lardo," he says, gesturing toward the thin crust pizza in his hand. "Basically it's potato and fat," he explains to those with blank expressions on their faces.

Potato and fat? Potato and fat? I would have called it potato and deliciousness. Potato and happiness. Potato and bliss. Luscious ribbons of pig backfat cured with rosemary and spices and heated until it melts between slivers of soft potato on a thin pizza crust.

David Evans and Peter Evans, co-owners of the Hugo Group

It's the second of three media nights at Hugos, showcasing the new private dining room behind the bar that was once a driveway. The long narrow space expands the dining room capacity from 80 to 120 seats.

Peter Evans takes the microphone first, laughing about the constant media mix-ups that confuse him with his brother David. He says that he is often asked whether he cooks in his restaurants, but admits that private functions and TV commitments prevent him from doing so. The cooking, he says, is more than adequately looked after by his Executive Chef for the Hugos Group, Massimo Mele.

Massimo Mele, Executive Chef for Hugos Group

Hugos Bar Pizza sits beneath Hugos Lounge in the suburb that never sleeps, Kings Cross. Its stylish surrounds - impressive backlit bar, low-set lounges and mood lighting - are backed up by snazzy cocktails and seriously good pizza. Hugos Bar Pizza has won the mantle of Best Pizza in Australia three times at the annual Australian Fine Food Show, and was awarded Best Pizza in the World at the New York Pizza Challenge in 2005.

Handmade grissini with cured meats

We were plied with an expansive tasting of dishes, many of which will feature on the new revised menu.

Giardiniera pickled seasoned vegetables

Cured Hiramasa kingfish with sweet and sour eggplant, pomegranate and saffron onions

The parade of antipasti seemed never ending, but my favourites were the cured Hiramasa kingfish - a mix of sweet and piquant with a slather of eggplant relish and brilliant ruby red pomegranate seeds, the hot and crisp-shelled arancini, and the tuna crostini, covered in delicate cubes of soft and yielding tuna dressed with lemon and chilli.

Arancini with pork ragu and scamorza and
fried calzone with buffalo ricotta, smoked ham and reggiano

Tuna crostini with chilli and lemon and
bruschetta with tomato and basil

Fregola with vongole

Slow roasted Rangers Valley grass fed rib eye

The huge hunk of Rangers Valley grass fed rib eye caught the attention of all diners as it was ceremoniously placed on each table.

Seared to a glorious juicy pink, Massimo explained that the steaks were cooked sous vide at 53C for three hours. The steaks were then finished in the pizza oven to create a caramelised crust. The meat was flavoursome, ribboned with fat, and melt-in-the-mouth tender.

Roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic
and mixed garden salad

Rib eye bone

But the best part of any steak is the bone. Two of us on our table nabbed the bone and set about tearing the last shred of meat from every crevice, the fat from the edges, the marrow from the bone, the bits that were burnt. We clutched the bone in our hands, elbows on the table, big grins on our faces.

Tiramisu with amaretto

Dessert is just a bonus. We tunnel our spoons down into deep narrow glasses to find a boozy tiramisu made with not savoiardi sponge fingers, but crumbled amaretto - adding a sugary crunch.

Chocolate and hazelnut pizza with gelato

And to finish, Hugos famous chocolate and hazelnut pizza. This is easily the best version of this dessert pizza I've tasted, made with real chocolate shavings, splinters of toasted hazelnuts, slices of creamy banana and chocolate hazelnut paste on a light and crispy pizza. A scoop of vanilla gelato and a generous dusting of icing sugar sets off this dessert on the chopping board. We groan with pain, and then proceed to dig in.

View Larger Map
Hugo's Bar Pizza on Urbanspoon

Hugos Bar Pizza Restaurant and Bar CLOSED
33 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross
Tel: +61 (02) 9332 1227

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday 5pm - late
Sunday 3pm - late

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7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/28/2010 02:47:00 am


  • At 12/28/2010 8:55 am, Blogger Gourmet Getaway said…

    Yum!! The rib eye looked amazing, so succulent and tasty!! I haven't had breaky yet and this images are making me so hungry!

  • At 12/28/2010 1:48 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Phwoar, just when did chefs get so darned attractive? :P I also want to steal that platter of pickles and never be seen again. Oh, delicious pickles...

  • At 12/28/2010 5:33 pm, Anonymous Mark @ Cafe Campana said…

    Really great looking food. But where is a photo of the mysterious Potato and Lardo. I want to see this mythical beast of deliciousness.

  • At 12/28/2010 11:14 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Chocolate and hazelnut pizza?!!?!?!? What a friggin' genius!

  • At 12/28/2010 11:27 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Gourmet Getaway - The rib eye was amazing. I hope it's on their new menu!

    Hi Hannah - lol. You're just lucky that Freud isn't around to analyse that statement!

    Hi Mark - Argh, sorry but the pizzas were dispensed during pre-dinner cocktails at the bar. Not surprisingly they also disappeared very quickly, too!

  • At 12/29/2010 2:11 am, Blogger lifeis2munch said…

    that tiramisu looks like the "one" for me...

  • At 12/29/2010 10:59 pm, Anonymous sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Was going to say I really desire that tuna crostini, then I kept reading. I then started to drool over the rib eye and well I want to finish off with the hazelnut pizza. I wont even start to get into the lardo...yum!


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