A novel series of modular amino acid thioamide ligands functionalized with carbohydrates were introduced and employed in the rhodium-catalyzed asymmetric transfer hydrogenation (ATH) of aryl alkyl ketones, including the less-studied heteroaromatic ketones. The ligands are based on amino acid hydroxyamides (pseudodipeptides), which are the most successful ligands previously used in asymmetric hydrogen transfer reactions. High enantioselectivities [up to 99 % enantiomeric excess (ee)] were achieved in the ATH of a wide range of aryl alkyl ketones by using catalysts generated in situ from [RhCl2Cp*]2 (Cp*=C5Me5) and thioamide ligands comprising a 3-benzyl glucofuranoside backbone and a bulky isopropyl group in the α-amino acid moiety. Interestingly, both enantiomers of the alcohol products can readily be obtained with high enantioselectivity by simply changing the absolute configuration of the α-amino acid. The good performance can be extended to a very challenging class of industrially interesting heteroaromatic ketones (up to 99 % ee).