So just when i thought all was done and dusted with Melbourne, i realised i still have some pictures that reminds me of my 3 months fling.
Hutong is like a household name for eating some xiao long bao and dumplings. The place is so famous that if you take a look at Urbanspoon, there is a ridiculously long scroll of reviews by food bloggers. If you try stepping in on a normal weekday night without a reservation, you can dream on.
The only chance of dining in is to either pop by at 5.30pm when the restaurant opens or call and make a reservation.
With that hype surrounding a place, the expectations are usually sky rocket high and as expected it fell flat even if the food was alright.
The "Wo Tip" was done nicely. You get the bottom crust that holds all the dumplings together on one plate. Juicy inside and with that crunchy bottom, this dish is worth ordering again.
The Tung Po Yuk however was a massive let down. The meat was tender soft from braising but there was absolutely no flavour. It was as if it had been boiling away in coloured water.
Having eaten so many xiao long baos, including the famous Ding Tai Fung in Taipei, although i can't say of the ones in Shanghai; i cannot fathom what is a mind blowing xiao long bao because it is so subjective. As long as the skin is relatively thin enough (which in most cases, i find people always taking the usual route of complaining that the skin is too thick but do they really know how thick the skin must be for it to work?) and theres soup and a good tasting inside, you have a well made xiao long bao and this was a good example.
The meal was filled with ups and downs and the fish head soup was a bit of a let down. I had this version before which is supposedly Hong Kong influenced, this is a milky broth minus the acidity and sourness you get from the Malaysia fish head noodles. Bordering on bland again, skip this if i were you.
The drunken chicken was obviously not drunk enough especially since Australians are known to hold their alcohol really well. Again, i had better made drunken chicken else where.
Overall, this restaurant seems to be living on hype and if it continues to be packed day and night, i wouldn't see any reason for things to improve really. So my advice is don't hope for much if you do dine here and choose wisely, the xiao long bao and the wo tip is worth ordering.
Address and contact details:
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. A case of hype more than a case of good food or either it was a case of ordering all the wrong items. Thankfully the dumplings were good as this is after all a dumpling bar.