Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Brunch at an Insitution

Staying at the Hyatt TST gave us the perfect reason to eat at their fine-dining restaurant Hugo’s, a place that I have never been, whether that be at their original location at the old Hyatt on Nathan Road or the one at its current location. 

Eating at this former dining institution on the other side of the harbor may have been an elaborate affair once upon a time, a place reserved for formal meals or special occasions, but that has given way to the more casual style, evident in most customers dressed in t-shirt and jeans and brunch served in semi-buffet style. But there’s still the hint of its classic charm, with the retro castle décor including the metal armor statue at the entrance, old-school upholstery and the curved booth tables like a good old steakhouse. 

Apparently their weekend brunch is among the most popular, which I realized after finding myself in the waitlist despite calling them to book weeks in advance, but at the end they did manage to squeeze us a table after we checked in to the hotel and settled in our room. The semi-buffet menu means appetizers and desserts were served at the counter set up near to the entrance of the restaurant, plus the soup and choice of main course prepared a la minute and served at the table. 

Seafood was the main theme of the appetizers with good variety of chilled items beautifully arranged in large silver-plated bowls. The house-cured gravlax, 36-month-old-aged jamon and beef tartare were the other highlights, and so was the pumpkin cream soup served with a dollop of crème fraiche on top plus croutons.

The restaurant was best known for its fancy tableside service, and we did get a little taste of it from our main course of roast beef presented and served from the walnut wagon with a silver plated dome wheeled in front of us as the meat was carved. The staff was so nice to split the beef course and served it in individual portions for the two of us (including the Yorkshire pudding evenly cut into halves), so we could also share a second main course of “Egg Cardinale”, which was essentially the lobster Eggs Benedict, with picked lobster meat served on top of poached eggs, English muffin and a generous spoonful of Hollandaise sauce. Other than the slightly curdled sauce – they wouldn’t risk serving undercooked egg yolk I guess – the dish was delicious, and I especially like the potato rosti served on the side with the slightly crispy crust. 

A bit disappointed that their signature crème suzette was not part of the dessert offering at the brunch service, but their spectacular croquembouche made up for it with the crunchy caramel drizzled on top of the tree of cream puff. The souffle was decent though I wish there’s a stronger hazelnut flavor inside, but then I also had the Paris Brest which was perfectly done with plenty of hazelnut and the smoothest pastry cream in the middle. Took up the offer of free-flow wines as add-on to our menu – nothing too fancy, but served the purpose as accompaniment with the dishes. A 2-hour well spent at this legendary venue and us well fed. 

When? September 26 2020
Where? Hugo's at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, 18 Hanoi Road, TST, Kowloon
Menu Highlights? Roast US Prime Rub of Beef

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