JERSEY’S ‘FOODIEST’ FOODIES ARE NO DOUBT BUSY CARVING A PATHWAY TO THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED ‘HUGO’S’ – A UNIQUE STORE, EATERY AND RETRO BAR BANG IN THE CENTRE OF TOWN. UNLIKE ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE ISLAND, IT’S HERE YOU’LL FIND A KITSCH ESTABLISHMENT BRIMMING WITH LAUGHTER, AMBIENCE AND A MENU TO MATCH.
Hugo’s concept is one of super cool style with a quirky edge. The visual side of things is evident the moment you step through the door, where you’re met by an abundance of nicely scuffed floorboards, appealing abstract daubs on the distressed walls, mismatched chairs, retro lighting and a definite eclectic style. The tables have been attired with eccentric teapots brandishing sprigs of sweet smelling rosemary and daintily displayed salt and pepper pots, whilst the alfresco area is set upon a sea of faux green grass. With its diverse décor and cleverly thought out layout (nooks, crannies and screened off areas) Hugo’s is guaranteed to tempt even the most discerning of diners.
For starters, we opt for the mezze board – an enticing, savoury collaboration of slow braised chickpeas and onions, mixed olives with chunks of creamy feta, a juicy tangy tomato and basil salsa, rich tzatziki and a melt-in-the-mouth rouille – served alongside several slabs of chargrilled flat bread, it’s the perfect sharing dish.
Next up, the main affair. With so many desirable dishes on the menu, you’d be forgiven for wanting to try them all! When we ask our server for suggestions, we’re simply informed ‘everything is good!’ Although he does give us a heads up on the spatchcock baby chicken straight from the grill, which so we’re told, has been ordered numerous times in the past week alone, often by the same customers!
With this is mind; my partner (rightly so) opts for Hugo’s already famous dish, which arrives blitzed in lashings of fiery piri piri sauce and is accompanied by various sides peeking out of plant pot style serving pots. I myself opt for the blackened Cajun tuna – another option from the grill. Both dishes come with a choice of buttery baby potatoes, garlic-infused mash or chunky chips, along with a dressed salad or seasonal vegetables.
The chicken leaves the plate almost before it’s arrived (a definite sign of a tasty meal), whilst the tuna steak, which is cooked to perfection, melts in the mouth, the tangy, sweet flavours of the Cajun spice dancing on the tongue.
For dessert, we opt for the Chef’s recommendations – Earl Grey panna cotta with lavender shortbread and freshly made mini cinnamon doughnuts, served with a pot of deliciously rich dark chocolate sauce.
Asides from an array of enticing dinner options, Hugo’s Eatery also caters to those searching for something that little bit different for a breakfast or lunch engagement – or for that matter – anything in between. Breakfast, which is available until 12 noon, comprises various dishes encompassing everything from healthy porridge drizzled in heather honey to the full works (a full English at its best). Lunch offerings include an array of delectable small plates, freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps and pittas.
And that’s not all; Hugo’s is also home to ‘Hugo’s Bar’, the backdrop to a great range of beers, including the locally brewed Liberation Ale and Liberation Craft Ale. Patrons with less of a lager palette will welcome the varied selection of chilled wines and rich reds – which are served both by the glass and carafe.
Hugo’s Store, another addition to this establishment’s already impressive blueprint retails a fine selection of chutneys (Liberation Ale Chutney), jams (Little Miss Piggy’s Jam), appetisers (Perello Olives), oils (Nunez de Prado EV Olive Oil) and ales (Liberation Ale Gift Packs) to name just a few – all of which allow diners to take home a little of the Hugo experience.
All in all, Hugo’s combines a fine-dining accomplishment with an easy-going charm – regardless of whether you’re looking for an alfresco lunch, a scrumptious afternoon tea (available in both a ladies and gentleman’s variety – whereby the latter version switches finger sandwiches for black pudding and chorizo scotch eggs and swaps warm scones for hot Jersey buttered toast), a great sandwich or a relaxing candlelit supper for two (priced at just £17.50 per person including wine) – it’s perfect for any occasion!