A friend from work had been wanting to try HuTong Dumpling Bar since last year! Unfortunately, we had been postponing our visit but we had finally tried it on a Thursday night.
Despite the popularity of the restaurant, we thought we could get away without reserving a table for two on a Thursday night. Turns out we were wrong! We arrived on a cold night in Winter, 5.30pm at Market Lane, and was told a table is available but we need to finish dining by 6.30pm! How popular can this restaurant be?
Opened in late 2008, HuTong was awarded International Famous Restaurant for Chinese Cuisine by World Association of Chinese Cuisine in 2009.
The exciting journey leading to the exploration of Beijing and Shanghai HuTong culture began with walking upstairs sighing brown wooden furniture across the dining table. Lantern shaped lights lit up the atmosphere of warmth. To me, I personally, don’t think it is a typical ‘bar’ rather a restaurant… So to taste the HuTong experience we ordered the below:
Shao-long Bao (8 pieces) – $11.80
Eastern China taste, which reminded me of my Shanghai experience. They gave us some shredded ginger which is meant to go with the vinegar. Dipping each Shao-long Bao with vinegar when it’s hot, brings in the combination of the sweet pork juice and sourness of the vinegar.
Wanton with Hot Chilli Sauce on the side (8 Pieces) – $9.80
Allegedly Szechuan flavour, which I would believe it’s the Chilli Sauce that enhanced the flavour of the culture. We ordered the Wanton’s in separation with the Hot Chilli Sauce because I can’t take chilli! Sucks to be me… but my friend told me they were great! Without the chilli sauce, I found it dry and cold for some reason… It could potentially be that the hotness from Shao-long Bao overridden the Wantons. I wouldn’t recommend the Wantons if you can’t have the chilli sauces like myself!
Deep fried Soft Shell Prawn with Chilli – $26.80
This dish is delicious! Although I can’t take chilli, I found this one deli! Sauce was beautifully flavoured – mild to hot chilli sauce. The only criticism on this dish is that the prawn shells are not soft at all. I’ve tasted soft-shell crabs where you could just swallow the shells because it’s soft to the point that it doesn’t cut my throat and can be lightly digested. This ‘soft-shell prawn’ was hard… so in the end I pretty much removed the shells and ate the meat – trust me, it was tough work!
Stir-fried String Beans with Minced Pork in Chilli Sauce – $15.80
Was wonderful, although beans were slightly old, but I guess it’s OK if it’s fried. The beans were crunchy inside with flavoured minced pork with chilli sauce that is mild only!
I would recommend a venture to HuTong, I would definitely recommend the Shao-Long Bao and the Stir-fried String Beans with Minced Pork dish.My favourite dish would be the Shao-long Bao – juicy, dipped with ginger and vinegar.
Cuisine: Northern Chinese
Lunch: Mon-Sun 11.30am-3.00pm
Dinner: Sun-Thurs 5.30pm-10.pm Fri-Sat 5.30pm-11pm
Location: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000