If you live in Melbourne, enjoy eating dumplings and have not heard of HuTong then you are in for a nice treat. HuTong is considered by many as one of the best dumpling bars of Melbourne. Located on Market Lane, opposite Flower Drum, it's a small 3 story restaurant with a strong emphasis on oriental decor and a big dumpling making area at the front of the restaurant.
I took my grandparents here on the weekend as a bit of a treat for them. To start off we got the hot and sour soup. This was quite spicy, so I would not recommend it for individuals who cannot handle their spicy dishes. It was a thick soup with lots of black fungus and mushroom bits. I would've liked another element in the soup, such as a stronger pork or duck broth base. But it's not bad, I am just being picky.
Spring onion pancake, done in the more articulate manner. Fluffy centre and generous amounts of spring onions and chives. Glad to see they don't just serve the frozen variety like a lot of other dumpling places.
Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB) is their hero dish. They have the skin in the just right thickness, it never falls apart when you pick it up. It holds the soup beautifully and the filling is just the right level of saltiness and temperature.
Pan fried dumplings also made on premises and as the visual suggest, with care and consistency. Crispy base but soft top. The filling again was done just right for my liking. Not too oily and not too salty and MSG-y (I know it's not a word, but you get what I mean).
Won ton with chilli oil is a more delicate parcel of pork, prawn and small amount of greens. The chilli oil is not as spicy as it looks. I love the hint of sweetness in it and the silky won ton skin.
String beans with mince pork is always a favourite of mine. The pork and lap cheong bits make it that much more interesting. The beans give that lightness to the meal to balance out all the meat and carbs. Beans weren't over cooked and retained the bite.
Dong Po pork is something my grandad use to get as a treat, when he was a child. To him this was a dish that bought back a lot of memories. He really enjoyed it, however I found too fatty and too heavy for my liking.
Shredded pork with bamboo shoots was very sweet. I would have prefer maybe a bean paste in this dish as well to balance that sweetness. It's not something I can eat a lot of, as I can see myself getting sick of it quickly.
Shanghai fried noodles is like you would expect in any other restaurant. Nothing exciting about taste in or ingredients. The noodle was cook to the right softness but in terms of taste it was your typical dark soy sauce combination.
Seafood claypot was a nice surprise, the sauce was just right and not too thick. The scallops and fish still have their freshness and natural flavours in tact. Didn't feel like that thick heavy sauce, but more of a perfect finishing for the claypot.
Overall 16.5/20, they excel with their XLB and pan fried dumplings in my eyes. Good thing is most of their other dish were of a decent standard as well. They are well priced too. It's good for both a family dinner, date night or catch up with friends.