Ugo Cucina Popolare
When Cannoleria moved out of That’s Amore Cheese’s Thomastown headquarters into its own independent factory in July 2020, co-owner Dario Di Clerico saw an opportunity to open a takeaway cafe on the new premises.
The result is Ugo. A tiny, panini-focused cafe that's little more than a display cabinet and coffee machine, but if you’re keen to linger there are picnic tables outside. The menu covers breakfast and lunch, with cornetti (Italian croissants) filled with ricotta, Nutella or jam; a savoury option with ham off the bone and caciocavallo (smoky, aged mozzarella); and a breakfast sanga with frittata, bacon jam and tomato.
If Di Clerico is around when you visit, he’ll insist you try the porchetta roll. It’s made with Noisette ciabatta, salsa verde and giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables). Di Clerico grew up in Italy’s Abruzzo region, where porchetta is a common street food – generally slow-roasted with rosemary, garlic and pepper. He also cut his teeth working with the region’s porchetta king, so you can count on it being traditional.
Other paninis include the Filini with chicken schnitzel, and the Pina, a baguette with frittata, zucchini, scamorza and chives – alongside rotating weekly specials. Ugo also has a selection of seasonal salads and cakes – you might find a flourless orange cake or a gluten-free crostata (tart) with homemade jam.
Cannoli can be bought individually or in boxes. Traditional flavours include ricotta; pistachio and chocolate; lemon; and chocolate. For the more adventurous there’s peanut butter and jam; berry and white chocolate; and Bacio with hazelnut and crushed Baci chocolate.