Trattoria Hugo: Bites of Italy in Hauz Khas

Trattoria Hugo at Hauz Khas is strong on ‘Comfort Italian’, which is rich in flavours and hearty dishes with fresh ingredients as the hero.
Trattoria Hugo: Bites of Italy in Hauz Khas

The story of Trattoria Hugo is a story of two cousins. On one of their trips, Prateek Gupta and Rachit Goil were walking the cobbled streets in the Italian countryside, when the same thought struck them both. Why not share the delicious memories they had made in Italy with their home city of Delhi? And that is what they did.

Trattoria Hugo opened its doors in Hauz Khas this month in a comfortable space with an artsy look with paintings, good music for the soul, and a range of food from Italy, which they pitched as “Comfort Italian”.

Known for its rich flavours, fresh ingredients, and hearty dishes, Italian food has something to offer to everyone. Hugo plates traditional favourites—from bruschettas to Pasta Carbonara and Margherita Pizza—and every single dish here is delicious. The secret of the taste lies in sourcing and head chef Hritek Ahluwalia says as much. “Sourcing is about balance, as chefs we need to ensure that we maintain the balance of environment and the world we live in to source the best produce locally while at the same time also import rich meats that depict the Italian culture to impart knowledge to the people we serve as well as satisfy their appetite with the rich heritage of Italy,” he adds.

Great ambience

Hugo offers a casual but luxe vintage vibe. Coca-Cola in glass bottles, Victorian-era paintings, sunflowers on display, old classic video games, a Neapolitan wood fire oven and a vintage piano to tinned tomatoes stacked up—you are in for a fancy experience from the moment you walk in. A chef with his headphones on, grooving to the music while cooking, makes you know that they enjoy doing what they do.

Ambience plays a major role in making guests feel welcome. “Hugo Trattoria invites one and all to feel welcome, and the warmth of its interiors with a rustic chipped wall and the food that it has to offer. But with warmth, we offer grandeur, a feeling of luxury that comes in eating out at a place that has a beautiful piano and Victorian paintings. Our plates are artistic as well,” says the chef.

Tortellini Alla Panna
Tortellini Alla Panna

Trattoria food

Since Hugo sees itself as a classic trattoria, even basics like pasta are elevated interpretations, not just in terms of flavour, but in the way they are plated as well. Some popular pasta dishes at Hugo are the Spaghetti Carbonara, Fettuccine Alfredo, Fried Chicken Homer Roll, Nonna’s Style Meatballs, and Penne Alla Vodka.

The Ferro Salad, a mix of mezuna, arugula, and baby spinach salad dressed in basil oil with a chevre chau (brulee goat cheese) in the centre with fresh mulberries and California grapes marinated with mint and lemon, is a sweet and tangy dish. The famous Fried Chicken Homer Roll is made with the super-soft milk brioche bread that is baked in-house. It is nicely toasted on each side and filled with Togarashi Fried Chicken, fresh pickles, and Togarashi mayo.

Talking about the traditional way to make a classic Italian Tiramisu, the chef says that they use “the best kind of Marsala or Amaretto and soak the Italian ladyfinger biscuits in the liqueur with good coffee, the richness of the egg, the sweetness of sugar and good quality mascarpone cheese.”

Nonna’s Style Meatballs is another classic. This is authentic Italian grandma –style cooking. The meatballs sit on homemade spaghetti tossed in fresh marinara sauce.

Do finish the day’s meal with Tres Strati, a must-try for those with a sweet tooth. It comes with three layers with the topmost layer being a bitter coffee mousse, followed by a creamy and nutty peanut butter layer and sweet and decadent chocolate fudge served cold with a rich hot chocolate sauce.

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