Friday, June 5, 2009

HuTong Dumpling Bar

Location: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne
Cuisine: Chinese, Dumplings

Having heard great reviews about this recently opened dumpling place, we decided to give it a shot to see if it lived up to its reputation for xiao long baos (see below) and test out their food in general. It's a fair way to walk up Chinatown from the general Swanston / Elizabeth Streets area, but well worth. If you want to try the full extent of the menu, show up earlier to beat the peak hour rush.

Xiao Long Bao

The true reason behind out visit to HuTong... these were AMAZING!!! And you can tell given that I only remembered to take a photo when there was one left...of the second batch!! Not only was the wrapper thin and tender, they actually had soup inside them! I've had xiao long bao before that were so dry inside they might as well have been dumplings for all I knew!! Although a bit on the pricey side (about $9 for 8), I'll definitely be back for more of these!!

Wonton soup

As simple as it may sound and look, the flavours were very nicely balanced. The wontons filled with soft juicy meat, a subtle-flavoured broth and the seaweed and spring onion garnish just perfect.

Radish pastry

A little on the disappointing side. The pastry was thick and a little too flaky, and there wasn't much of a filling. Proper radish pastry should be overflowing with radish, with a very thin crunchy outer casing. Think of it this way, would you like a sausage roll with 1cm of pastry surrounding filling that was only 1cm in diameter? I rest my case.

Steamed dumplings

Ideally, we would have ordered the fried dumplings, commonly also known as 'potstickers' (literal translation from '锅贴', but alas we arrived a little too late, right after the peak hour lunch rush, and they had 'no more' of them. Funny how all they needed to do was to fry the steamed ones though... In any case, the dumplings were quite good, plenty of meat inside and the outer wrapper wasn't too thin or tough.

Pricewise, HuTong is a little on the expensive side for these types of foods, but it is definitely worth trying it out once in a while. It's good quality dumplings, and very different to the crowded and somewhat greasy likes of Camy's (don't take this the wrong way, Camy's is still awesome as a quick and cheap dumpling feast!)

Overall Impression: 9/10
HuTong Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon


listress said...

As a true Shanghainese, I beg to differ. The XLB is disappointing. Jenny, I will have to re-review this from a different point of view :)

jenster said...

Hehe, Liz, I'm not Shanghainese so it tasted fine to me. I'd like to see your review though, because I definitely think it beats all the other ones in Melbourne at least! One day I will go to Shanghai and try the authentic ones!

jenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenn said...

Hey, after my visit to HuTong I have to agree with Liz. My experience there wasn't that great at all. In fact I would have prefered to have gone to david and camys or shanghai village which is down the street. I might re-review it too =p

jenster said...

Apparently one of those other places reuses leftover food from other people. Jie was going to find out which one it was...