HuTong Dumpling Bar (Prahran)
161 Commercial Rd
The Cullen Hotel
The fully glass frontage putting much of the interior on display showcases the confidence the owner has in nearly always functioning at capacity. This is equally paralleled by a transparent working kitchen within.
Xiao long bao’s (steamed pork dumplings – 小笼包) – stood tall in the centre and drooped around the sides, highly suggestive of a generous serving of internal soup (meat juices) that lay within. Although the juice was a little thicker & oilier than other places, the overall blend of flavours makes it a stand out.
Chilli wontons – were tasty and slippery morsels of meat, but not overly spectacular – a little too oily for me.
Fried pork dumplings – again a well prepared dumpling, juicy & well seasoned. The skin however is under-browned, thus lacking that extra crunch in bite. A thinly pan-fried crepe-like base beneath the dumplings gives the dish a little visual kick.
Scallop & eggplant in claypot in Szechuan chilli sauce – Plump scallops and juicy eggplant, but sauce base left a lot of oil around the lips…
Claypot fish-head soup – a simple & refreshing ‘bone’ white broth (a phenomenon that’s present only when fish is cooked rapidly on high fire) oozes with homely warmth. The highlight dish of the night – highly recommended. P.S. be prepared to gnaw away at the fish head (especially those super tender cheeks) to get the full depth of experience & taste of this soup.
口水鸡 (can’t remember the english translation – something fried chicken in chilli sauce?) – is a cold dish. The chicken meat was tender, but was extremely oily and hardly spicy at all. It’s a pity that many places tone down spice & flavour for the sake of local taste – I suppose business is business. This does loses it some points in traditional flavour of Sichuan. However, for the most part the food is of high quality.
food = Yummy +1. Pretty decent value for the location & overall quality of food
Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat; Average: palatable but many shortcomings; Yummy: a pleasant experience; Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain; Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes; Divine: sheer culinary perfection!
Photos courtesy of Ms JH (some =P).