This restaurant is now closed.
A sleek new restaurant and bar has opened its doors at King Street Wharf and it goes by the name of The Hudson, serving up Modern European cuisine with a hint of molecular gastronomy. It’s clear that the decor is inspired by Manhattan, with the plush dark leather seats and eye-catching lights hanging vertically from the ceiling exuding an aura of luxury. The lights were dimmed when we arrived on a Friday night, adding to the glamorous ambience and accentuating the stunning view of Darling Harbour through its windows.
We were seated at an outside table, allowing us to take in the gorgeous sights of Vivid Sydney across the water. Even though there was a slight breeze that night, it was still pleasant enough and there were also outdoor heaters to keep us toasty. We started with some cocktails DK opted for the safe option of a fruity Hampton Breeze (rum-based with passionfruit, fresh lime and pineapple juice) which was sweet and refreshing. I however decided to be a bit more adventurous and tried the Breakfast Martini which had an intriguing description of “Jack Daniels infused with fried bacon rashers, shaken with egg white and sugar syrup”. It was too strong for me though and I was disappointed that I couldn’t taste any hint of fried bacon either despite the description.
Left: Breakfast Martini, $21 and Right: Hampton Breeze, $18
We kicked off the food for the night with a complimentary amuse bouche from the chef, which gave us a sneak preview of the experimental elements of the dishes to follow. The bite sized amuse bouche consisted of two slivers of delicate fresh tuna sashimi paired with a lightly spicy harissa mayonnaise and sprinkles of orange dust which had a citrus zing to it, reminiscent of sherbet.
For our starters, we had chosen the freshly shucked South Australian Oysters, which came out with steam rising from the plate, thanks to the liquid nitrogen underneath it. The juicy, silky oysters were lovely with the tinto de verano ice which tasted like a fruity wine similar to sangria, although the 24 ct gold leaf which was meant to accompany the dish according to the menu was hard to spot in the dim light.
Oysters, $4.50 each
Our other starter was the lightly crumbed croquetas filled with a creamy manchego cheese custard and complemented by a smoked tomato mayonnaise. The sauce was tasty and definitely had a smokey flavour to it, but it tasted a lot more cheese based than tomato.
Starters and entrees are actually different categories on the menu at The Hudson, so we also ordered an entree to share. My tastebuds were already tantalised by the interesting flavours from the starters, but they were in for a treat with our fresh Scampi entree. This dish showcased the molecular gastronomy of The Hudson as the supersoft pieces of scampi came with delicate droplets of sangria gel which captured the essence of the quintessential Spanish drink, a savoury jamon crumble, compressed apple (puree and a thin sliver of the fruit), and their orange sherbet again to give it that extra tangy buzz.
Next we had the artistically presented mains, which both looked quite autumnal on the plate with their earthy brown and green based colour schemes. I tried the Pork Jowl first, which was fairly soft but not the most tender rendition of this meat that I’ve had (that honour goes to Per Se in NYC). I enjoyed the rest of the elements of the dish though, especially the al dente poached pear which had an interesting texture after being cooked, as well as the beautiful winter mushrooms which had soaked up all the flavours in the dish. There were also airy crackling bits of oat crumble on the dish which added a nice textural crunch.
Pork jowl, pear and oat crumble, celeriac puree, winter mushrooms, $36
I was a bigger fan of the Kelp Fed Beef Fillet and Pedro Ximenez Braised Beef Short Rib main which featured some incredibly tender meat that almost melted in my mouth, paired with a moreish sauce that tasted like onions. For those who love strong cheeses, there’s also little morsels of the intensely flavoured valdeon cheese hiding under the slices of pickled turnips on the side.
Kelp fed beef fillet and Pedro Ximenez braised beef short rib, valdeon, shallot, pickled turnips, acid walnuts, $38
To make sure we kept up with our greens for the night, we also ordered 2 side salads and were pleasantly surprised to find that the experimental cuisine techniques had been extended to the side dishes too. We had Steamed Broccolini and Asparagus with a drizzle of lemon gel which tasted like a sticky candied lemon sauce and added a nice zest to the vegies. I was quite impressed by the amount of flavour in the Heirloom Tomato and Eschallot Salad with a Pedro Ximenez vinegar; it was fresh and moreish due to the amount of tasty eschallot in there and I couldn’t stop nibbling on the salad well after I had finished with the mains.
Steamed greens with lemon gel, $12
Heirloom tomato and eschallot salad, $10
We finished off the night on a sweet note, with the highlight of the night being the Honey Pumpkin Crumble dessert which was a textural heaven and completely amazed DK. There were paper thin slivers of pumpkin, jagged sheets of glassy hardened sugar contrasting with the the slightly sour goats cheese mousse and the tasty olive oil ice cream which had a frozen yoghurt like consistency. To top it all off, crunchy biscuit bits were thrown in with meringue pieces also scattered throughout the dish for added crunch. There is a lot going on in this dessert, but it was amazing enough that we both agreed that we would return for this dessert alone.
Honey pumpkin crumble, olive oil ice cream, goat cheese mousse, pumpkin ash, $17
At the moment, The Hudson is offering a discount on their mains at a price of $20 for all mains, on any day of the week and a 25% discount for corporate bookings until the end of June (either corporate functions or even corporate lunches) so it’s a great time to head in and try their trendy experimental dishes at a decent price. We loved the decadent, luxurious vibe of The Hudson which makes the most of its harbourfront location. Although some dishes fell slightly short of their ambitious descriptions on the menu, some were a hit and The Hudson more than makes up for it with the interesting Spanish influenced flavours that shine through their dishes.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of The Hudson and The PR Partnership.
49 Lime Street, King Street Wharf
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9279 3379