Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hu Tong Dumpling Bar, Melbourne CBD by Snooze

Indian is more in my line when I'm planning to dine out, so when the Hu Tong Dumpling Bar was suggested I thought I'd go along to try it more than anything else ... but I didn't really expect too much. That was a mistake.

My visit to Hu Tong wasn't the first for most of lunch companions ... and they raved about the xiao long bao. If you haven't tried these before they're a speciality of the house. The dumpling skin (which is soft and delicate) is filled a beautiful pork mixture, and gelatin. Steaming the dumpling melts the gelatin and creates a soup inside the skin.

Xiao long bao 

There's quite an art to eating these. The skin is nibbled so that the soup can be extracted. Once that's sucked dry, the dumpling is dunked in black vinegar and the whole thing popped in your mouth. Small slivers of ginger are provided to cleanse the palate and help cut through the richness.

I didn't actually master the action ... my slurping left a lot to be desired and I see a return trip in my future.

My favourite of the day was the chilli won tons. These were the first dumplings delivered and they absolutely hit the spot for me ... the filling was sweet, the dumpling skin light and delicate and the right amount of chilli to balance the sweetness. Did I mention already these were my favourites?

The boiled pork dumplings were tasty but I don't know whether the bland colour influenced me but I couldn't get as excited as some of the other dumplings.

I also enjoyed the pan fried pork dumplings served stuck in a flour and water concoction like a sticky, crunchy crepe. One of us said these were the same dumpling as the boiled pork dumplings, just cooked differently ... if this was the case it really did enhance the taste.

And these were the last treasure I tried. By this time in the meal I was well and truly enjoying myself and spending far more time eating than taking photos so this was the only one left ... I love seafood and the prawn was plump and juicy.

The food was great and the service was good (although I've heard that's not always the case) ... but make sure you book before you go to avoid disappointment.

Food - 7
Service - 6
Ambience - 8
Price - 9

14-16 Market Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9650 8128

1 comment:

Dimple said...

These sound good, but I doubt I will be visiting this restaurant any time soon!
Thanks for coming by! I've never tried rhubarb with custard, I'll have to look for a recipe.

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