(Melbourne) Hutong Dumpling Bar

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A clean and famous Chinese restaurant located in Melbourne’s CBD and close to China Town, Hutong Dumpling Bar is one of the few Chinese restaurants my friend and I have visited, since we usually have some reserves about going to a Chinese restaurant in areas that aren’t very, well, Chinese. Even though we prefer flavors that are more authentic (and we feel that Hutong Dumpling Bar offers dishes that have adapted slightly to suit local tastes), it’s one of the more renowned Chinese restaurant in town, so we decided to give it a try anyway. Although I’m certain there is better and cheaper Chinese food out there, I was pleased by the level of cleanliness, the quiet and comfortable atmosphere of the restaurant, as well as the friendly staff we met.


 – General Review –

  •  Service: 8.8/10

Service was fast, efficient and friendly. Dishes were also served quickly, and most of the portion sizes were perfect for two.

  • Servicescape: 8.5/10

Clean, bright, and decorated in a traditional Chinese fashion, Hutong Dumpling Bar provided ample space and comfortable atmosphere for families and various sizes of groups of friends alike to chat while eating. The restaurant also had a second floor to accommodate for tables, although I’ve been there twice for lunch and on both occasions the place wasn’t crowded and didn’t even start filling up until around 1 or 2pm.

  • Non-smoking area: Seats are indoors and smoke-free.
  • Vegetarian dishes: Yes, several vegetarian dishes available.
  • Price range: $$ (AU$13 – $17 for most main dishes.)

Overall Rating: 8.2/10


 – Food Experience –

1) Fresh Beancurd w/ Preserved Egg:

A cold dish to whet your appetite, the beancurd was fresh and unbelievably silky and smooth. The minced preserved egg wasn’t overwhelming, and along with the sauce, added flavor to compensate for the otherwise bland dish. Perfect portion size for sharing.

Fresh Beancurd w/ Preserved Egg - 皮蛋豆腐 ($8.80)

Fresh Beancurd w/ Preserved Egg – 皮蛋豆腐 ($8.80)

2) Spring Onion Pancake:

Utterly disappointed with the dish, the Spring Onion Pancake was too fried and oily, lacked flavor, and completely missed our expectations. The shape’s different from the usual round ones we’re used to, although it was more crispy on the outside.

Spring Onion Pancake - 葱油饼 ($7.50)

Spring Onion Pancake – 葱油饼 ($7.50)

3) Xiao Long Bao:

The Xiao Long Bao, albeit not the best I’ve had, was better than average. The skin didn’t tear easily and was a bit chewy, and the size of the dumplings were perfect. However, taste was a bit lacking and the soup can do with more flavor.

Xiao Long Bao (8pcs) - 小笼汤包 ($10.80)

Xiao Long Bao (8pcs) – 小笼汤包 ($10.80)

4) Wanton w/ Hot Chili Sauce:

One of my favorites here, the spicy wantons came in eight sour and spicy pieces. The skin didn’t taste floury and the filling was fresh and delicious. For those who like spice, try this! For those who don’t like spice, give it a try too!

Wanton w/ Hot Chili Sauce (8cs) - 红油抄手 ($9)

Wanton w/ Hot Chili Sauce (8cs) – 红油抄手 ($9)

5) Fish Fillet in Hot Chili Oil:

It honestly looked like an enormous, intimidating pot filled with a mixture of hell everything spicy, hot and… red. I thought we definitely wouldn’t be able to finish it between two people and I freaked out a bit when I saw the size of the dish – it literally took up three good quarters of the whole table. And let’s not forget that amount of oil. Though the dish may look gigantic, we actually finished it despite the stares we received from other customers, because the portion wasn’t as large as it looked. The filleted basa were extremely tender, and the dish wasn’t very spicy unless you bite into one of those numbing-ly spicy peppercorns.

Fish Fillet in Hot Chili Oil - 沸腾水煮鱼 ($28.80)

Fish Fillet in Hot Chili Oil – 沸腾水煮鱼 ($28.80)

6) Stir Fried String Beans w/ Minced Pork in Chili Sauce:

Another one of my favorite dishes from Hutong Dumpling Bar, the stir-fried string beans were crisp and fresh, and the minced pork was extremely delicious without being too salty. The portion was perfect as well. Definitely recommended.

Stir Fried String Beans w/ Minced Pork in Chili Sauce - 干煸四季豆 ($15.80)

Stir Fried String Beans w/ Minced Pork in Chili Sauce – 干煸四季豆 ($15.80)

 

Location: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne – VIC, Australia (3000)

Contact number: +61 3 9650 8128

Website: Hutong Dumpling Bar

Operating hours: Sun – Thurs: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm

Fri – Sat: 8.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 11pm

Posted by: V

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