Press > Hugo's Restaurant Review

Hugo's Restaurant Review

4/13/2015
Hugo’s was and remains famous for its old-school desserts, particularly the cherries jubilee, flaming bombe Alaska and chocolate bonbons with vanilla ice cream, served with a theatrical flourish on billowing dry ice.
Originally opened in 1969, this classic European restaurant earned its reputation as a favorite of Western expatriates and visiting business travelers homesick for familiar fare. Regulars flocked when it reopened in 2010, relieved not only to see the original heavy pine entrance doors but also the imported chandeliers and genuine Ming vases plus a metal suit of armor ascribed to the fictitious host Hugo Ludwig Wilhelm von Gluckenstein. Even the manager Paul Lau remains the same. Meanwhile, French chef Renaud Marin has been busy invigorating the dmenu with gourmet touches without rocking this well-loved boat. Monday through Saturday lunch attracts a loyal clientele for the well-priced three-course menu, but dinner is where the drama is at. Settle into high-back leather armchairs inside the high-ceilinged dining room with an open kitchen. Hugo’s carefully selected wine list features around 400 labels from 50-plus wine regions, showcasing vineyards using biodynamic, sustainable practices. Rely on the sommelier for assistance with pairings. Elegant gueridon trolleys allow the dapper waitstaff to carry out tableside preparation of signature appetizers like the copious Caesar salad, Brittany oysters and lobster bisque. Mains cater to carnivores, with steak tartare, peppered steak and organic Welsh lamb loin served with sautéed potatoes and mint peas. Those who prefer surf to turf should order the flambé prawns. Even those who normally skip the cheese course should consider this selection of roughly 18-20 nightly, especially the Timanoix made by monks in Aquitaine, France, and a bright orange Mimolette, dry-aged for two years from Nord-Pas-De-Calais. Hugo’s was and remains famous for its old-school desserts, particularly the cherries jubilee, flaming bombe Alaska and chocolate bonbons with vanilla ice cream, served with a theatrical flourish on billowing dry ice.