To complete the Melbourne experience, of course we had to eat some dumplings in China Town. I was sad that we couldn’t get in to HuTong Dumpling Bar on Saturday night because they were fully booked out but that didn’t stop me from trying again for the Sunday.
It was a little hard to find the restaurant between all the different little laneways between Bourke and little Bourke street, but when we got there we headed straight up to the third level. Despite having the bigger tables it was away from all the hustle and bustle of the other floors and dimly lit which was great for ambience, but not so great for food photos.
Fresh homemade dim sum~
Clockwise… Shao-long bao (8 pieces - East China $11.80) *signature dish* It wasn’t as good as Din Tai Fung but nonetheless better than anything that we have in Canberra. Served hot with the delicious soup enclosed in each dumpling, try not to burn your tongue or loose the soup while picking one up. Be sure to try it with the Chinese vinegar and a few strands of freshly sliced ginger.
Spring onion pancake (2 pieces $6.50) *signature dish* I might have eaten one or two (or 50) shallot cakes in my time and when I saw this on the menu as their ‘signature dish’, I had high expectations. When I had half, I thought it was too oily and not salty enough.
Boiled dumplings stuffed with spinach (12 pieces - North China ($13.20). This seemed to be everyone’s favourite but I prefer my spinach dumplings with a bit more garlic or a bit of prawn.
Pan-fried dumplings (8 pieces - Shanghai $13.20) *signature dish* Crunchy, delicious and with a little bit of soup. The perfect dumpling.
Mains~ apologies for the pictures
Clockwise… Stir fried string beans with minced pork in chilli sauce ($15.80 - Szechuan) *signature dish*. We all don’t eat that much chilli but we couldn’t come here and not eat a ‘signature dish’ as a main. This was not hot at all as long as you stayed away from the dried chilli, the beans were plump and juicy. I really enjoyed this dish.
Honey chicken ($20.80). Don’t judge me, this was ordered at other people’s request. I did like the fact that it was more chicken than fried batter unlike most places.
Crispy fragrant duck ($25.80 - Shanghai). The skin was lovely and crispy, there wasn’t that much special for the actual duck meat. Duck is a very boney animal, just a heads up for people who haven’t ordered a whole duck before.
Sautéed snow pea shoot in garlic ($16.80). A very Asian dish and not for those who are going on a make out spree later. I really enjoyed it, it had a good dose of garlic and a delicious way to get my greens uptake.
Sautéed beef fillet in a black pepper sauce ($32.80). This had a soft tender beef but the sauce was loaded with black pepper. I order this dish a lot and this is the most peppery version I’ve eaten and I also thought the price was a little steep even for beef fillet.
We were too full to eat dessert but we were all thoroughly satisfied with the food and the portions. The service was somewhat attentive and even though we were supposed to be out before 8, we weren’t rushed out the door.
I didn’t realise that there was a minimum charge of $25.00 per person for bookings of 6+ people, luckily that wasn’t a problem for us with the amount of food we ordered.
Venue: HuTong Dumpling Bar
Address: CBD, 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne, VIC« be sure to book the right one as there are two locations!
Phone: (03) 9650 8128