A freelance writer currently residing in Melbourne, with a penchant for sugar, spice, and everything nice.
Published October 3rd 2012
More than just dumplings
My family and I visited HuTong on a wet and rainy Saturday morning, hoping to satisfy our cravings for 'xiao long bao's (shanghai soup dumplings). We decided to drive to the branch located on Commercial Rd in Prahran, although there is also one right in the heart of Chinatown in the CBD. After circumnavigating the crazy traffic on Commercial Rd, we found ourselves drying off in the restaurant, as a waiter promptly seated us at a table by the window, just overlooking the Prahran Market.
Growing up in an Asian family, I have developed a keen sense of taste (and preference) for traditional, Chinese cuisine, so I was definitely looking forward to the meal ahead. I liked the interior of the restaurant, with splashes of classic Asian colors like red and gold, the place exuded a warm yet sophisticated vibe. It triggered some sense of nostalgia in me too, as though tapping into my inner Asian alter ego.
The area is quite spacious, though you wouldn't really want to be moving about because waiters are constantly pushing trays of food to tables, quintessential 'dim sum' style.
The best part about this style of eating is that you rarely have to wait long for your food. However, there are other Chinese home-style dishes you can order too, such as spring rolls, claypot dishes, honey chicken etc. We opted for dim sum, and got to indulge in some pretty nice dishes. From classics like prawn dumplings to more adventurous ones like chicken feet (cue cringe, but my mum enjoyed it), the variety and display of food here is unlikely to disappoint.
A couple of mouthful of these later and I was floating in dumpling heaven; this totally made up for the erratic Melbourne weather that day. On a side note, a perk with visiting HuTong here is that the restaurant is connected to the Cullen Hotel next door, so the restrooms located in the hotel are nice and clean.
Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience at HuTong; it's definitely a place I'd revisit with family and friends to indulge in some well-cooked Chinese food and of course, the delicious dumplings.