Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Espresso and Matcha's Foodie Odyessy - Melbourne Day 7 Lunch : Hu Tong

After my exhausting road trip on day 6, we opted for a kind of rest day on day 7. With that in mind, we got up at around lunch time, and by recommendation of a friend, tried the infamous Hu Tong, situated at Market Lane, a turn off from Chinatown.

With the advice that bookings are recommended due to its immense popularity, we took the risk and arrived close to opening time, and managed to score a table with ease.

Whilst the kitchen was downstairs along with a couple of tables, most of the tables, along with ours was upstairs.

The decor managed to strike a balance between old fashioned with a touch of modern, we think the contrast worked quite well. 

Items on the menu consisted of dumplings, noodles, rice dishes and some sides. 

With one of their signature dishes being the Xiao Long Bao, we definitely had to try it. Unfortunately, we were quite underwhelmed by what we were presented with. The skin, whilst being able to retain soup, was definitely thicker and harder than we would have liked. As my companion lifted it with his chopsticks, you could see that rather than droop at the bottom, it retained its form. The soup, whilst being present, wasn't as much as I would have liked, and was slightly bland. The meat was also a bit harder than our usual preference.

We also had a serving of pot stickers which came soon after. Like the Xiao Long Bao, it had quite a thick skin, but in this case no juices, and surprisingly a hard but not very crispy bottom. The filling was also considerably milder than I would have preferred it.

Not wanting to give up on the dumplings at Hu Tong, we also had Wantons with Hot Chili Sauce. The wantons came in yellow wanton skin, which was thinner than the xiao long bao and the pot stickers, but still thicker than usual. The fillings had more flavour in this instance, and the chili sauce was quite complementary to the dish, without being overly spicy.

To balance this indulgence in dumplings we had Shredded Turnip Pastries. The pastry was deep fried, flaky and not too thick. The sesame seeds gave it a distinct crunchy texture as well as fragrance. The turnip filling was light and fluffy, which was well balanced as neither the pastry or the filling did not overpower each other. My companion remarked the pastry reminded him of a childhood snack - prawn toast.

Our final dish was the Shanghai Fried Noodle with Shredded Pork. When the dish arrived we were surprised at how deceptive the serving bowl was as we began digging into the plate. The serving was suprisingly generous. The noodles were quite chewy whilst the ingredients were well stirred through with soy sauce. 

Price Range: $25 - $40 pp

Taste: 6/10
Value: 4/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 8/10

HuTong Dumpling Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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