Address: Lobby Level, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
It was my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary this week and so naturally my sister and I decided to tag along in the hopes of indulging in fine dining. Luckily, we weren’t disappointed! Hugo’s is a fine dining restaurant which specialises in European cuisine, and its interior design, with its wooden beams, chandeliers, displays of swords & shields and dimmed, candlelit lighting certainly gave off a distinctly European vibe. I felt like I was in the dining room of a German castle!
One thing to note is that there is an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare the dishes. Certain dishes are even prepared in front of your very eyes via a portable cooking station! Upon arrival at the restaurant, we were presented with a delicious basket of breads- crispy garlic bread, a cheesy, chewy twist bread, and walnut and raisin buns. Served with salted butter, they were the perfect start to the meal.
I would just like to mention how good the service was- polite, attentive, plus they refilled the bread basket 🙂
I chose the 6-course Classic Set Menu for my dinner. First up were the Oysters Natural. To be completely honest, I’m not exactly a huge fan of oysters, especially raw ones, but these ones tasted fresh and sweet, with a firm texture. They were accompanied with lemon wedges and a garlic vinaigrette, and served atop ice shavings.
Next up was the pan fried foie gras served with fig chutney, mesclun salad and sourdough toast. Many restaurants that offer foie gras often serve up a tiny sliver of liver (sorry, rhyme not intended) and charge ridiculous amounts of money for it. By comparison this slice of foie gras was quite substantial, with a crispy exterior and soft interior. The natural butteriness of the foie gras, served with the sweet, aromatic jam, bitter salad and chewy yet crunchy toast provided a whole range of interesting textures and flavours which blended exceptionally well together.
Following on from the foie gras was the lobster bisque, consisting of cream and brandy scented soup with chunks of lobster meat. This dish was prepared on a portable stove in front of the dinner table, and this little cooking show definitely made the night a lot more fun- its just really nice to be able to see how the food that ends up in your stomach is prepared, don’t you think? Served piping hot, the soup was exceptionally tasty- fragrant and creamy, but not too cloyingly filling, with a strong lobster flavour and a powerful, yet not overpowering infusion of brandy. However I do wish that there were a few more chunks of lobster in the soup, rather than just two tiny pieces. I thoroughly enjoyed dipping garlic bread into the soup- bread and soup just goes so well together!
Next up was a pan-fried scallop served with black truffle and creamed leeks. The dish was served on top of a bed of salt- I’m not sure if it was specifically for aesthetic purposes or if it was used in some way to prepare the dish, but the creamed leeks certainly had a mildly salty flavour to them. The scallop was pan-fried to perfection with a soft, flavourful texture, and its natural sweetness faired well with the leeks. On the other hand, I could not really taste any truffle at all but I don’t feel that the dish was compensated because of it.
The last savoury dish of the night was Steak au Poivre, served with sautéed new potatoes and Vichy carrots. Steak au Poivre is a French dish meaning “pepper steak”, traditionally a filet mignon, which is cooked with cracked peppercorns. The peppercorns created a crusty exterior around the tender, juicy meat and it was interesting to first bite into a crunchy, peppery layer which then led into a more subtle, natural meatiness of steak. Served with a rich red wine sauce and paired with buttery potatoes and pillow-soft carrots, this dish was certainly one of the highlights of the meal.
For dessert, I had the pleasure of trying the Bombe Alaska, which consists of vanilla, chocolate and raspberry ice cream served in a meringue coating, which is then splashed with dark rum and flambéed. Watching the blue flames leaping all over the dessert was like a show in itself. Served with strawberries and blueberries, this dessert was deliciously sweet and fared well with the fragrant bitterness of the rum. I also really enjoy the sensation of hot and cold foods being combined together so this dessert was, to me, very nice indeed.
Finally, all diners at the restaurant were served with Chocolate Bon Bons, one of Hugo’s specialities. These are essentially cake-pop sized bites of vanilla ice cream dipped in hardened chocolate and served in a bowl containing dry ice- truly special and delectable.
All in all, I had an extremely enjoyable meal at Hugo’s. Of course, such food comes at a price, but considering the lovely surroundings, impeccable service and live music (we were serenaded by guitar) and culinary performances, I feel that you definitely got what you paid for.