Had an intense cravings for dumplings!
Address: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne, Vic 3000
Lunch Monday - Sunday: 11.30am - 3.00pm
Dinner Sunday - Thursday: 5.30pm - 10.30pm
Dinner Friday - Saturday: 5.30pm - 11.00pm
When it comes to dumplings, HuTong Dumpling Bar is a place that comes with countless recommendations. JT and I had attempted to visit earlier in the year, but we were turned away since the place was booked full. It took another six months before JT and I decided to spontaneously attempt a revisit. This time we were in luck.
There was already a small crowd waiting for HuTong to open for lunch. Once HuTong opened it’s doors, the crowd was efficiently sorted. We were we were quickly seated upstairs.
I really love wooden interiors, and the wooden interior at HuTong was no exception. The brick walls and warehouse-like ceiling provided a more modern feeling to the wooden Chinese decor. The room dividers were detailed and the lanterns hanging from the ceilings provided the perfect amount of lighting.
The dumplings at HuTong lived up to the hype! I was really craving and looking forward to the xiao long bao at HuTong. The xiao long bao were made to perfection; the dumpling skin was quite durable, and the filling was delicious and there was plenty of tasty soup in each and every dumpling.
To my surprise, the pan-fried dumplings were quite similar to the xiao long bao - every bite was still very delicious! They were slightly crispy on the bottom, and had the same juicy soup in the middle. This is something I really enjoyed especially since it didn’t seem overly oily.
The spring onion pancake was quite different from the usual spring onion pancake I’m used to. Usually the batter is a bit lighter, whereas the texture of this pancake was more similar to a donut. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and super tasty.
The service was not outstanding. Our floor was quite empty, so I felt there was little excuse for the level of attention that we received. For instance, our table was quite cluttered, but our empty dishes were only cleared once we asked for the bill (which wasn’t easy either). However, I was most disappointed that no one topped up our tea. Tea-topping is a service that most Chinese restaurants deliver in Melbourne. Does it seem unreasonable to expect the same level of service from HuTong? We just didn’t feel looked after.
That said, there are some places I visit for the service, and other places I visit for the food. HuTong is definitely a place to visit for the food. Don’t let my experience deter you because otherwise you’d be missing out on some of the best dumplings in Melbourne.