I have passed by Hugo's a number of times and always seem quite busy and lively so we decided to give it a go at the weekend. Our first impression at front of house were good, the hostess was very friendly and profesional. We were seated promptly in the middle of the restaurant & given the menus. Mine had both a la carte and special lunch menu; however my companion only got the a la carte menu with a blank page on the other side.
There were what one can describe as fruit flies flying around which were very annoying and off putting. We had two starters and two main coursers and none of them were even decent. I went for a poach egg salad & my companion had the pate. The salad was greasy, the poached egg hard & the flavours were not there. The pate didn't fair any better, it was served with fried bread instead of toasted which completed took over the "delicated flavours" that the pate was supposed to have, however it was bland as hell and the bread way too greasy!! It was the first time my companion could not finish his starter.
The main courses we had were shoulder of lamb and the seafood pancake, which we were told it was the owners favorite. The lamb was tasteless and no much better you would get on a Sunday carvery, my companion described as blah. My seafood pancake was truly awful, tasteless and unedible. I have never before sent a dish back to the kitchen but I was compelled to let the waiter know that I just could not eat it. She handled it incredibly well asking me what was wrong with it, offering something else from the menu and did not charge us for it which I thought it was a nice gesture. We were offered dessert but I just did not want to sample anything else from the menu. One thing to note is that the waiters kept asking us if it taste ok, that should have rang alarm bells.
The problem with the restaurant as I see it, is that they are using incredibly cheap and poor quality ingredients and it shows on the dishes....there is no way to hide. The balance of flavours are not there, someone in the kitchen is not tasting the food, but it goes back to the very bad quality of ingredients. The menu as a whole is so uninspiring comparing what you would get in other nearby restaurants such as La Maison, Green House or Peoples for not that much more money and the food is oustanding on these other places. While the staff were friendly, attentive and professional, one goes ultimately to restaurants for the food and it was so awful that unless the food is reviewed and better ingredients used as well as better cooking, it is safe to say I won't be coming back. It is a pity because it could be so good, great location, nice decor, fantastic staff.
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