Hutong Dumpling Bar
I’ve turned into a Dumpling
For the past couple weeks I’ve been having dumplings almost every second day (Still not sick of them). Then last week I received a text message from Kahlil saying that we should catch up. Then the next day he texted me again asking where to find frozen duck dumplings. I then texted him back and said, rather than trying out the Japanese cafe, we should do dumplings at Hutong instead. So we did.
I don’t think I need to make much of an introduction for Hutong.
With 85+ blog reviews, and ranked 4th in Melbourne’s best restaurants on Urbanspoon I’m almost sure to say that a large number of the foodie community would have visited this dumpling restaurant at some stage or another. Whilst I may not have blogged about this earlier, I have visited Hutong last year with my dear cousin and haven’t revisited until now. I remembered my first visit at Hutong wasn’t anything all too spectacular – It was ok, but not something that made me go WOW I need to go back again next week sort of thing.
So when I went to Hutong this time round, I didn’t give Hutong high expectations. But luckily it turned out quite well.
As we did not have a booking I was directed to go to the third level of restaurant and was then seated at the very back corner of the restaurant next to a couple who were sipping on their pinot noir and discussing about whether to go to St Katherine’s or Movida for dinner that night. Not long later, Kahlil arrived and we sat there waiting for a good couple of minutes before managing to get the attention of the waitress to put down our order.
Our food arrived shortly after and there was not much wait time, which was good considering Kahlil had to go back for a work meeting.
Kahlil said he wanted Calamari, and the closest thing I could find for him on the menu was the Squid in Salt and Pepper.
The squid was battered and fried until golden and crisp yet the squid still maintained it’s tenderness. Don’t be fooled with the big pieces of red chilli. It was NOT spicy at all. It tasted like capsicum! – As Kahlil and I are good with chilli we had to add additional chilli oil to ours to make it more spicy.
Overall it’s a good dish – tender, crispy and well seasoned.
Next up dumplings! woohoo! Love my dumplings.
I took a taste of the duck meat dumplings first, and I must say these dumplings were my favourite. I couldn’t really taste the duck meat much and I had almost mistaken them for the mushroom, prawn and water chestnut dumplings, as it had mushrooms and one of the ingredient in the dumpling was crunchy in texture like water chestnuts. Regardless, it was my favourite dumplings!
Next up the Mushroom, prawn and water chestnut dumplings. To me, the dumplings looked very much like har gows (Prawn dumplings) that I love; only because I could not see any mushrooms at all, and I couldn’t taste the crunchy texture of the water chestnuts. It had a lot of prawns and ginger in the dumpling though. As the dumplings tasted good I didn’t bother asking the waiter. Also it’s very difficult to get the attention of the waiters and waitresses there. I even had one waitress who almost snapped at me when I tried to get her attention to put an order.
The last dish we ordered was the Wantons with Hot Chilli Sauce. Once again to both Kahlil and I we found this dish to be mild in spiciness, but I liked it because it was served in a shallow dish, and was not completely drenched in oil. I have had a dish like this in the past where it was served in a huge bowl and covered in just oil, and lets just say I was very sick afterwards. This dish was great and we both liked it.
Now… you’re all wondering what happened to the drinks? Well firstly I didn’t bother taking photos of the tea pot and secondly, the tea was almost like drinking water as there was no taste of tea at all which is a shame. I’m suspecting that they didn’t let the tea seep long enough before serving it to us.
Overall, the food experience here at Hutong this time did not disappoint and I walked in with an open mind and no expectations. Whilst the food was good, the service there was minimal and they gave very little acknowledgement other than the moment you stepped into the restaurant and the moment you pay the bill, which was kinda expected. So if you like dumplings, you definitely need to visit Hutong :)