Some fine dining in the heart of Downtown Duncan. Yup, I did just use “fine dining” and “Duncan” in the same sentence. My apologies to anyone I have just offended, but I was just as surprised as anyone to find such a budding food scene in the Duncan/Cowichan area. So, Duncan, my apologies.I first came across the chef, Dan Hudson, and his delicious gourmet creations at a Island Chef’s Collaborative dinner in September. He prepared the second course of that dinner, a corn and lobster mushroom soup, which blew me away. The memory of that meal lingered on so I decided to check out the restaurant for myself on a little road trip up island.
Hudson’s on first is a charming house converted into a restaurant. The décor is elegant yet comfortable. We made a reservation for Brunch on a Saturday afternoon. The restaurant was quite full so if you’re travelling up from Victoria I would highly recommend making a reser to avoid disappointment. My friend and I ordered two dishes, both to share. We started with the duck poutine with a fried egg added. Oh my goodness! How can I put this into words? Hands down the best poutine I have ever had. Just a tad on the salty side, otherwise sheer perfection. The flavour was phenomenal but I think what really stood out to me was the texture of the fries, they weren’t soggy and just firm enough to hold up to the gravy and cheese curds. Next we order the brioche French toast. Also a great dish, I can’t fault it, I’m just more a fan of savory breakfast dishes so I’m a little biased towards the poutine.
Our server was very attentive and gave us some great vineyard recommendations. My only complaint would be that we waited a long time for our food to come out (25-30mins for our first dish). Hudson’s menu truly reflects west coast cuisine by showcasing some of the ingredients farmed in our local area such as seafood items, locally raised chicken, and BC duck for example. The food is ‘high end’ without straying far from comfort.
I’m already making plans to visit Hudson’s On first again. Such a great find!
Note: To anyone not from the island Duncan is about a 45-50 minute drive from Victoria.