When we went to Baguio in 2011 I wanted to eat at Hill Station and would point it out to our driver Joel each and every time we passed by it. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. This time as soon as we arrived in Baguio we went to Hill Station for lunch.
Hill Station is a restaurant inside Casa Vallejo, Baguio’s oldest hotel which was established in 1909. According to their website the hotel is one of the American structures in the city.
The restaurant had quite a variety of goodies for sale.
These two basically entertained themselves while we waited for our food to arrive.
I was surprised to see dukkah, a mixture of nuts & spices, was served with the bread and olive oil. Other than in Australia I’ve never seen dukkah served in a restaurant. You get a piece of bread then dip it in oil then in dukkah for flavor and crunch.
The cheesy spinach and artichoke dip was quite good.
The shrimp was overcooked and bland.
I was really hungry that’s why I ordered the Tex Mex fries and I didn’t regret it one bit.
Elisa said the onion soup was just ok.
My friend Deb decided she was going to diet (why in Baguio?!?) so she ordered a salad. We were all shocked when a large plate filled with maybe half a head of Romaine lettuce arrived. Only in Baguio can you get a salad this big and for only P240. The salad had a mixture of greens, tomatoes, berries, white cheese, caramelized walnuts and sesame mirin dressing.
Needless to say she loved it.
Hill Station’s menu is a mix of international cuisine. Some of my friends ordered the Moroccan spiced baby back ribs served with moros y christianos which was Cuban rice and beans. You’ve got food from two different continents on one plate. While I liked the ribs I didn’t like the rice and beans at all. I don’t think it was a good match for the ribs.
In my opinion I had the best dish – a mound of Baguio’s red mountain rice layered with delicious coconut milk infused laing (taro leaves) and slow cooked full flavored duck meat flaked and fried to a crisp. The combination of flavors and textures was just amazing!! I definitely recommend this dish.
Janet was also quite happy with her fried pork belly with a side of laing. You could say our dishes were similar save for the meat and presentation.
I was actually deciding between the duck flakes and the shepherd’s pie made with lamb and beef with mushroom and gravy and topped with mashed potato and cheese. It was a good thing Jenny ordered it so I could try it too. The gravy was not thick enough and was quite watery. Jenny said it was just satisfactory. Boy was I glad I chose the duck flakes.
If you’re into beef then the slow roasted U.S. beef is a good option.
All three desserts were pretty decent but nothing great. Of the three the cheesecake was the one I liked best.
The waiter said the Death by Chocolate was their bestseller. It was supposed to have a soft and gooey center but it was served overcooked and quite solid. It was just like an ordinary brownie topped with ice cream.
The cordillera heirloom coffee was strong but it didn’t have much aroma. At least it wasn’t too acidic nor did it have a burnt taste and for that I was thankful.
I never knew my friend May had a tummy lined with lead since she drank a double espresso black. She had the same thing every morning too. I bow to her.
After lunch we checked out North Haven Spa in the basement of the hotel. We inquired if they can fit in all 10 of us for massage and to my surprise they accommodated us.
It was a good thing we were all full and no one was tempted to try any of the ‘dips’ which turned out to be oils and mixtures used for the spa treatments.
Half of us occupied this room which provided a bit of privacy. We all had a hot stone massage for 1 hour and 45 minutes and only cost P695. The stones they used where synthetic and heated in an electric warmer. The heat of the stones didn’t last as long as natural basalt stones. Overall the long massage wasn’t bad at all. It definitely relaxed our muscles which were a bit sore from the 5 hour road trip from Manila.
Good food and a relaxing massage was the perfect start to our Baguio vacation.
Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Philippines 2600
North Haven Spa