Review: Splurge at Hugo Social Club with its scenic ocean vistas

Fast Facts

Restaurant name: Hugo Social Club

Address: 9th Floor, Latitude Aparthotel, 2 Kings Road, Sea Point

Phone number: 021 286 9332

Opening times: Daily 7.30am to 10pm (check kitchen opening times)

Average price of a main course: R230

Corkage fee: R250, max two bottles per table of 10, one bottle for fewer guests

Parking situation: Free undercover and street

Food type: Contemporary


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The menu is relatively small with the number of starters outnumbering the main courses (not counting the salads) and more vegetarian items. The choices are tempting, from Honey Dukkah Halloumi with candied lemon; popcorn chicken; and the high-end-of-the-scale Hugo Prawn Roll – lightly toasted brioche with butter-poached prawn meat with lemon black pepper mayo, spring onions and chives. It costs more than the Clifton chicken burger (see below).

All the salads can be ordered for one person or the table and options include Caesar, grilled chicken, tuna Niçoise and Queen’s Beach – butter lettuce, red onion, avocado, cucumber, feta, seed and nut sprinkle, and sweet vinaigrette.

Main courses cover most appetites, from the steak frites, lamb cutlets and beef short rib ragu for the carnivores, to line fish, prawn linguine and chargrilled chicken with avo salsa, marinated feta, broccolini, toasted sesame, and lemon pesto dressing. There are two burgers: one with a 200g wagyu patty, American cheese, dill pickle, shaved onion, and ‘mkm sauce’; the other, marinated grilled chicken, avocado, shredded lettuce, pickled red onions, and house dill mayo. You can choose a side of salad or chips. While a salad will make you feel all healthy and smug, you’d be missing out on truly fabulous chips. Neither fat nor thin, they are wide but relatively flat (if that makes sense), golden and crispy on the outside, soft inside.

Likewise, there are two desserts, if you can stomach paying R128 for a modest slice of vanilla cheesecake drizzled with salted caramel, a pretzel crumb and some bits of fruit. It’s a good cheesecake but still… the alternative is chocolate mousse with Belgian chocolates, pastry, and fresh summer berries.

Early risers (walk-in only, until 11am) can breakfast on creative Hugo house specialities like a Farmer’s Breakfast Bowl: roast mushrooms, avocado, honey dukkah, halloumi, herbed quinoa, roast butternut, poached eggs; Streaky Bacon & Egg Butty: Swiss cheese, spicy bbq sauce, fresh rocket, fried egg; or a Breakfast Stack: östi, streaky bacon, mushroom ragout, poached eggs, chimichurri. The R125 French brioche toast comes with Belgian chocolate, fresh strawberries, and a choc chip cookie.

Bottom line: acceptably good food but you’re going to pay for that view one way or another.


A smallish wine list, and plenty of cocktails, which the setting demands. A glass of bubbles will do just as well to toast the vista, and feature in Instagram posts. When the winter menu is introduced, the wine list will change too.


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Booking is via an online platform and requires a R200 deposit per diner. Take the lift up to the ninth floor where you’ll be warmly greeted and seated. Service is efficient and pleasant; the wait staff have clearly been given a script from which to work when welcoming you, so don’t interrupt.


It’s all about the location. A wraparound balcony offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, spectacular sunsets, and Lion’s Head. This is premium seating and cannot be booked – first come, first served. However, tables in the smallish interior can be reserved where you can watch the kitchen action. The ocean outlook is less astounding but not entirely absent. What’s more, there is a pool (outside). There is a definite vibe here – raucous tables of younger groups enjoying sundowners, funky music with enticing beats even on a Monday evening. On Sundays, a DJ makes a party of it. The small interior and L-shaped balcony are supplemented by a separate, private lounge which can be hired for private events and parties.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here

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