When the old Hyatt Regency Hotel - on the site now occupied by iSquare - closed at the end of 2005, Hong Kong lost one of its classic Western restaurants, Hugo's.
Only for a short time, however. A decision was made to recreate in the new Hanoi Road property an ambience as close as possible to that of the old restaurant, and now Hugo's is back with a lot of the old furnishings, most of the old specialities, and even a few of the old staff - including manager Paul Lau, a Hugo's veteran of 20 years.
The new room is brighter and more spacious, but for old regulars it has a comforting familiarity. The main restaurant seats a lucky number of 88 people, and a private room can take a further 12.
Mobile focal points are the two gleamingly refurbished 1960s vintage service trolleys on which Hugo's classics, such as the Caesar salad, lobster bisque, steak tartare, cherries jubilee and cafe diablo, are prepared. The bonbons - ice-cream-filled chocolate spheres which arrive in a cloud of dry ice - are another nostalgic touch.
The wine list offers a broader international range than in the old days, and a new chef, Richard Sawyer, who has worked at highly rated London restaurants, The Wolseley and Mon Plaisir, will be introducing his own ideas, upholding the strong Hugo's traditions.
Hugo's is open for lunch and dinner, and offers an excellent value set lunch from Monday to Friday for HK$275. Dinner for two costs about HK$1,200 without wine.