Kings cross in Sydney has a chequered past. It’s a densely populated area of multicultural colour, restaurants, fast food outlets, bars, pubs and ehem….sex clubs. Over the years the area has had it’s ups and downs but for now it’s in a hefty down. New drinking laws and bad press have scared off lots of people except the locals and the hardcore diners, and revellers. There are still some great restaurants trying to survive.
I was invited to Hugo’s Bar Pizza, Kings Cross on Bayswater Road and asked to give it a shout out and let people know it is still there and still good. So with that in mind I visited during Sydney’s Vivid festival of lights I stopping by Hugo’s for a drink and something to eat. A girl does not want to see the lights alone so I asked a volunteer to come with me.
It’s easy to get to The Cross by train and we were right at the door of Hugo’s in 5 minutes from the station.
The restaurant is dimly lit, a lighting situation I find beneficial at my age, however it’s quite difficult to take photos. The bar is a Hollywood glam affair, with an attention seeking marble style backlit counter and mirrored heavily lit shelving. It just made me ache for a glass of Prosecco. Bubbles just seemed appropriate, and we ordered the Ca’ Vescovo Prosecco, Veneto $10 a glass and we were both very happy, but at the same time blind. (old) Once our eyes started to work and become accustomed to the dim room we notice it’s pretty cosy, in a dark masculine kind of way. Dark leather lounges hug the walls and in a sunken section perfect for groups, there’s a gaggle of girls sipping on cocktails. Another group is seated at a long table with drinks, Hugo’s famous pizzas and share plates. There is quite a cross section of diners eating outside on the verandah under the heaters, including two elderly women enjoying steaks with a glass of wine.
We are planning to wander around the light festival and perhaps (definitely) gorge ourselves on gelato by the harbour, so we decide to eat light. The Tasting Plate $38.00 sounds perfect and just to be sure we don’t starve while walking we order a side of truffle polenta chips just to balance it out. The share plate arrives and it is a spectacular surprise. The plate itself is a large tray in 4 sections.
Sydney Rock Oysters fill one compartment and they are served with a shallot vinegar, a combination of red wine vinegar and a drop of mirin. The meat balls are soft and yielding, with a fresh tomato sauce and shaved parmesan. Fried calamari arrives all crispy with hints of chilli and a lemon aioli. The last compartment holds a prosciutto and fig salad with buffalo mozzarella and apple balsamic dressing with a lovely hint of dijon. We couldn’t be happier until the polenta chips arrive and then happiness complete. All that’s needed is a couple more of glasses of wine, just to keep us warm on our forthcoming journey. We order Waihopai Pinot Grigio. $44 a bottle.
Staff are very friendly and there are a lot of them. If anything they kept whipping things off our table before we were ready to part with them. Can I have my polenta chip back? Apart from this Hugo’s is still a nice place to visit, still fun and still has Pizza and the club upstairs is still the place to be seen. We headed back to the station to catch the train into the city, 10 minutes away, to look at those lights.
Verdit: Great Cocktails and wine by the glass, Broodingly dark ( suits my complexion), Go for Pizzas and share plates or spend a few hours over dinner.
MKS dined as a guest of Hugo’s Bar Pizza