Hudson Kitchen

Posted on October 25, 2013


Update: Hudson Kitchen has closed :(


I have known Chef Robbie Hojilla for a while now. I have followed his food around now for a few years and what striked me most was his attention to detail and how he talked about his food. Articulate in his descriptions, I always enjoyed devouring the food after I hear his inspiration and his vision. Recently, he finally found his own footing and opened Hudson Kitchen. It was a given that I go there and enjoy his food once again.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With me was my favorite dining companion, Diona a.k.a. TitaFlips. We didn’t really have a reservation, so we opted to come early. Walking in at exactly 6pm, we had the choice of a table by the window. Initially we thought that the restaurant was small. I was surprised that the back-end was of the same size as the front and with a completely different feel. While the front was fresh, airy and with a feature wall adorned with antique frames, the back-end was sleek, cozy and intimate. Even if there was contrast between the two rooms, I saw it blend with each other. In no time, the restaurant was bustling with people arriving for dinner. It was a good turn-out for a Tuesday night.

Again as we have no reservation, Chef Robbie did not have a clue when we came. I did intend to visit him at his kitchen at the end of the meal but he saw me even before we started. That was because he accompanied his dish to the table next to us. That personal touch was an added bonus. Soon as he saw us, he immediately approached our table. After all the updates, he then told us he would give us a treat together with what we have ordered. Just the thought made me so hungry.

Diona and I agreed that we were going to try the House-made Bread with Charred Eggplant and Schmaltz to start, Chicken Adobo, Eggplant, Garlic, Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa and Seared Pork loin, Onions, Parsnip, Kale, Cider Glazed Pork Belly as our mains that we intended to share. I appreciated that our server that we were going to share our mains and gave us smaller plates to make it easier.

As we waited, we were given the night’s amuse bouche, potato crisps with ranch sauce sandwiched between. I might have to steal that idea and make it at home. LOL. While I was contemplating that, our house-made bread arrived and it was a mix of brioche and flat bread. Of the two accompaniments, I liked the Schmaltz better and Diona opted more for the charred eggplant. No quarreling accured. LOL.

As we were finishing the bread, Chef Robbie came back with his promised treats. It was a plate of potato gnocchi with autumn flavours of spaghetti squash and crusty pumpkin bread and another plate of Seared Pork Testina, Celery, Lettuce, Egg Yolk, Calamansi Vinaigrette. He explained that the second dish was his homage for a the Filipino dish called Sisig. When I finally made that bite, I did recognize all the taste and experience of that humble dish that was refined by Chef Robbie. The citrus of the calamansi gave it that extra perk to tie it all together. It was the prettiest sisig I have ever tasted. The potato gnocchi was very notable too. Fresh, filling and satisfying, I would be raving about it if it didn’t go side by side with the Seared Pork Testina. What was memorable was how much I loved the sensation of the creaminess of the potato gnocchi contrasted with the crisp texture of the pumpkin bread. I am not sure about what Diona loved more, but my vote was with the Seared Pork Testina.

Our mains arrived and of the two ones we ordered, I enjoyed the layering of different textures of Chicken Adobo, Eggplant, Garlic, Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa. It had the profile of my comfort food but was translated to an elevated version. Diona was quite happy with the dish and was scrutinizing the eggplant so closely as it was succulent and just like a sponge, absorbed so much flavour. In my opinion, the best part was the crispy chicken skin. I must confess my love for any cracklings. As for the pork dish, the cider glazed pork belly reminded me so much of my grandfather’s hamonado. Paying attention to the pork loin, I made the perfect bite of the meat, caramelized onion and a whip of the parsnip purée. Such a good bite.

To finish, I could not resist to wrap it with one of Hudson Kitchen’s desserts. We were unanimous in selecting a plate of poached pears, gingerbread, ice cream and meringue. Such a sweet note to end a good meal. I felt so full. So much good food.

Thank you Chef Robbie and congratulations on the opening of your new restaurant. Diona and I are definitely fans :)

Hudson Kitchen on Urbanspoon