Friday, 11 May 2012

Hutong Dumpling Bar

I've been wanting to go to Hutong Dumpling Bar for a while! Finally after seeing Steven K Amos (very funny man!) who was here as part of the Melb comedy festival, my hubby and I decided to wander down Market Lane, and try our luck at getting a table.

It was about 8.30 by the time we got there. We were greeted by the front desk hostess who told us we'd have to wait 30 mins for a table. We weren't starving so waited around on the couple of chairs they have by the front door. Although we were hungry the time flew by, as we watched through the glassed in dumpling kitchen, watching the chefs preparing the different yummy looking dumplings. My mouth was watering!

We were having an alcohol free night...and instead of our usual beer & cocktail, we opted for a sprite & diet coke. 

With such a large menu, and so many delicious sounding dumplings it was hard for us to decide what to order! But there is one dumpling on the menu I know draws crowds of serious dumpling fans to Hutong. So we decided to start with the.....

Xiao Long Bao Dumplings

Filled with a minced prawn and pork filling, as well as a jelly like broth, these funny wobbly looking dumplings are what people say are a must have at Hutong. There is definitely no easy way to eat them! After you take your first bite, the broth squirts out of the dumpling and runs down your chin! Its quite funny! It had us both in fits of laughter trying to master the best way to eat them! Def don't order these if your on a first date! he he. They were tasty, however I'm not sure they lived up to what I expected. Probably because I had high expectations with all the raving reviews. The mince filling was really delicious, but I felt the broth was a little oily and rich. Sadly I'm not sure I'd order them again.

Prawn Dumplings

Next we tried the prawn dumplings! They were quite simple but really yummy. The filling was a full prawn, that had a great juicy texture, and was cooked to perfection. These were my hubby's favourite.

Duck Dumplings

These were my favourite. I could have had 4 more! The filling was delicious! I loved the combination of the minced duck, with the finely grated carrot and ginger. 

Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup

And to finish off we went for the trusty chicken and sweet corn soup. Ever since I was a little girl, I can't go out for chinese and not have it! The soup was nice and thick, with just the right amount of chicken broth. And the peas were nice and soft, but still popped in my mouth! I'd say its the best I've had in a long time. I cook my own version at home. But its never as good as the chinese make it! If anyone has a great authentic recipe, I'd love for you to share!

So would I go back to Hutong? Not sure. It was good. But not amazing. And with so many great places in Melbourne that specialise in dumplings, I think I'd prefer to to give somewhere else a go next instead. If anyone knows of a must visit dumpling place, please post a comment and let me know about it!

Hutong Dumpling Bar Address
14 - 16 Market Lane

Out Of Pocket
Xiao Long Bao Dumplings: $11.80
Prawn Dumplings: $8.80
Duck Dumplings: $8.80
Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup: $7.00

HuTong Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

Make sure you look out for my next post on Perth! Had a fun little trip there. Visited some great wineries, a chocolate factory (yum yum) and so many great restaurants. Can't wait to tell you all about it!

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