Friday, November 8, 2013

The Hungry Hound Restaurant @ the Fort

The Hungry Hound Pub + Kitchen

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Despite being an ace at commerce, rock ‘n’ roll, and maintaining a functional monarchy, the British have historically lagged behind their neighbors when it came to good eats. God saved British cuisine with the gastropub concept and we’re thankful it’s landed on our shores!

The Hungry Hound
 
The Hungry Hound is located in the ground floor of the swanky Globe Towers in the Fort. The place has a cool, stripped-down look that manages to be upscale and yet casual at the same time. It’s a place where spiffily dressed young execs can mingle with bearded hipsters and other interesting folk. Thanks to the great lighting and warm wood interiors, customers are assured that they will look good drinking and lounging on the paisley sofas or digging into their dinner on the cafeteria-style tables. Craft cocktail bar Niner Ichi Nana can be found next door, and the two establishments share menus, which is great if you find yourself craving for a cocktail to go with your Duck Fat Fries (P288).


Duck Fat Fries
Speaking of fries, since the Hound’s opening in mid-2013, the sinful pub bite has been making the rounds on social media, gracing someone’s Instagram at least once a night. Thankfully, the reality lives up to the hype. Contrary to its name, the fries don’t taste like duck, but tastes like how good ol’ French fries are supposed to—crunchy, tender, and salty. The cheese and herbs sprinkled on top add to that umami flavor that keeps you reaching back for more, to the detriment of your waistline.
Under the helm of noted Chef Rob Pengson, the Hungry Hound takes Brit pub favorites and gives them a unique twist. Take for example the classic Bangers & Mash (P490), two pork sausages served atop horseradish mashed potatoes, crunchy coleslaw, and drizzled with apple jus. The flavors veer off tradition, but they satisfy taste buds just as well, if not better. Another popular choice is the savory, homey Steak & Mushroom Pie (P336), served with a side of fries and peas. We may not all have grown up in merrie olde England, but the flaky crust, creamy filling, and earthy flavors of the steak and mushrooms are universally comforting.
Bangers & Mash
 

 
Steak & Mushroom Pie
 
The Hungry Hound doesn’t limit itself to pub food, but also includes pasta, deli sandwiches, French, and even Filipino dishes. Toss in a few Asian ingredients and modern cooking techniques, and you’ve got a cuisine that is familiar and yet oddly and satisfyingly different. And they all remarkably go well with alcohol, whether it’s wine, beer, or your favorite cocktail. One example is the New York deli staple Reuben sandwich. Here, it’s given a K-Town touch, resulting in the Kimchi Reuben (P490), where sourdough slices are stuffed with homemade corned beef, kimchi kraut, Swiss cheese with a side of (regular) frites and a light slaw. Other unique dishes include the Oyster Sliders, Salpicao Silog, Sriracha Buffalo Wings, et cetera... You get the idea!
Kimchi Reuben
 
Obviously, the Hungry Hound is not the place to have a naked salad and sparkling water. While they do serve them, they are robust and full of flavor such as the Asian Fish Salad (P295) and the Apple, Blue & Bacon Salad (P350). Their dessert is just as unfussy. You won’t find delicate macarons or light sorbets. Instead, you have cheesecakes, ice cream, and the Brioche Bread Pudding (P325). The buttery brioche adds decadence to the traditional bread pudding, and taken a step further with the bacon jam, maple syrup, and chocolate ice cream toppings. It’s a sugary overload, but how else can one end a meal in a gastropub?
Brioche Bread Pudding
 
Despite its upscale location and cool interiors, the cuisine and ambiance are relaxed and even homey at times. It’s definitely the place to let your hair down and have a jolly good time licking your plate clean!

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