Review excerpt: There’s a curious ritual that just about everyone follows before settling into dinner at Hugo Desnoyer. Once you’ve been shown to your seat upstairs and ordered drinks, you are encouraged to meet your main course.
Half of the counter in front of the open kitchen is covered with Desnoyer’s signature steaks. Gorgeous dark-red slabs of French Limousin beef are arrayed next to paler cuts of premium pork and delicately marbled mounds of Japanese wagyu. It is a carnivore’s dream come true.
Then, having picked out whichever glistening portion catches your eye and matches your budget — each piece has a tag identifying the cut, weight and breed of animal it came from — you are urged to pose for a photo with your trophy.
Sure, it’s a great PR ploy, getting customers to spread the word on their social media accounts about what is currently Tokyo’s buzziest restaurant. But it also reflects the refreshingly informal ambience: You may be about to tuck into some of the best meat in the world — as supplied to some of the fanciest restaurants in France — but you also have a green light to take selfies.