We love settling back into the city vibe when October rolls around. There is always something new and interesting to discover. We knew we had uncovered a treasure when we chanced upon the recently opened Hugo Bar and Kitchen. A perfect spot to meet up with friends for an after work drink, with mouthwatering nibbles and attentive service.
Type of Cuisine & Signatures Dishes
Hugo offers international cuisine, with a focus on appetizers and sharing plates.
Signature dishes include the Salmon Crostini, House-smoked Herring, Ossobuco, Hugo’s Rustic Fillet, Lobster Spaghetti.
On our midweek visit we popped in for an after-work drink and bite to eat. Something simple. But with the mouthwatering appetizers and sharing platters on offer, we found ourselves indulging beyond our initial expectation. Our cocktails arrived in a flash; Maria is Lost delivered a chili punch to fire up the taste buds, and Passion Show came with whispers of passion fruit, raspberry and pineapple.
Opting to share various plates, we kicked off with Arugula Salad, fresh, green and loaded with mushroom, Parmesan cheese, walnuts, cherry tomato and sweetcorn. It was a well-balanced, healthy combination. Next came the Salmon Bites, perfectly grilled cubes of salmon with Teriyaki Sauce, Grilled Chicken Skewers with a tangy barbeque sauce, and dainty Grilled Sausages soon followed. They were all so easy to dive into, not leaving much space for the signature dish, Hugo’s Rustic Fillet.
But when it arrived, impressive in its simplicity, we couldn’t hold back. Slender slices of impossibly tender fillet of beef, cooked to a perfect point and lightly bathed in a dreamy herbed butter jus, accompanied by the best mashed potatoes we have ever tasted and finely chopped spinach, who could resist?
Which left us with the question of dessert. Should we or shouldn’t we? Time had flown, and we really should have been hitting the road. But the idea of Crème Brulée and Date Tart put aside any doubts in a moment. Both were stellar, which comes as no surprise, considering owner and manager George Bouabjian’s credentials as a Swiss-trained pastry chef.
With a return visit already on the cards, this new venue has won us over completely. Chapeau!
Other Menu Options that Appealed & Beverages Available
Ossobuco, Chicken Roulade, and who wouldn’t love the Lobster Spaghetti, made with a whole lobster for a special occasion?
There is a full bar, an intriguing range of cocktails, and juices and soft options for those who prefer.
Décor & Ambience
Cosmopolitan, contemporary and chic. Hugo Bar and Kitchen works equally well as a meet up venue for friends, for an after work unwind session, or a date night with someone special. The area is divided into a semi-enclosed terrace for dining, and the interior bar area with a choice of high, low or bar seating. Lighting is ambient, and the dark charcoal and smoky grey toned interiors offer privacy. We loved the plush use of velvet here and there, especially with the vibrant aqua green pops of color. Classy without pomp, the vibe is just right. The music compilation is at a level that allows conversation to flow easily, although it may amp up a bit as Thursday night heads into Friday.
Clientele mix: Upper 20s and over: groups of friends and couples. Based on our experience, this is a place where ladies on a night out would feel totally comfortable.
Price range: Moderate and upwards. Let it be noted, that although sharing plates are intended for two, we are sure that the generous portions could easily be shared by more.
Worth noting: Shisha is available on the terrace area. A projection screen is available to cover big matches as well.
Opening hours: 5 pm or 6 pm to 2 am.
Address: Al Guezira Plaza, Sheikh Zayed
Tel: 012 707 87850
Facebook/ Instagram: @hugobareg