Thursday, 15 March 2012

Restaurant Review: HuTong Dumpling Bar

Location: 14-16 Market Ln, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9650 8128
Cuisine: Chinese
Overall Impression: 8/10

Eating Xiao Long Bao at Hu Tong takes me back to the time I spent working in Shanghai. I will never forget all the invaluable life lessons I learned and the good friends I made. There is a tight knit ex-pat community and for some reason everyone foreign seems to know everyone else. And it was within that tight knit group that I felt completely welcomed and was introduced to various Shanghainese delicacies.
Dumplings are the heart of Shanghainese cuisine. In my opinion, the humble Xiao Long Bao is the most delicious and delicate of dumplings. I still remember the first time I had these in Shanghai.
Hu Tong’s Xiao Long Bao is amazing. It is by far the best that Melbourne has to offer.
A good Xiao Long Bao is characterised by a delicious filling and broth, and very importantly, a delicate casing. Ideally, you should be able to hold the Xiao Long Bao towards the light and be able to see through the skin into the filling inside.
Hu Tong's Xiao Long Bao (pictured above) - with its beautiful, fragrant broth and luscious filling, enveloped by a dainty dough, was such a pleasure to indulge in.

The same, however, cannot be said about their other offerings. All the other food was pleasant but ordinary. It was clear that the Xiao Long Bao was the stand-out dish.
In terms of value for money, Hu Tong is excellent. They have BYO without any corkage and a very affordable menu with a nice ambience in terms of décor (especially level 3 of the restaurant). However, it does get extremely noisy.
All in all, it is great for a casual get together. Remember to book well in advance because it is very difficult to get a table (even for two) without a booking.
HuTong Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

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