Have you heard of HuTong Dumpling Bar? No? Yes? I hadn’t. I knew of Movida but then that’s only the 2nd best restaurant in Victoria according to Urbanspoon. HuTong was a both a mystery and surprise to me currently holding rank on the ever popular Urbanspoon.com – right at the top.
Weeks ago, before I knew it existed, CJ recommended it for having the best dumplings and we made plans accordingly. We struggled to book a table so in my mind I built this small tiny little Asian eatery probably with melamine surfaces and white tiles. I can be very wrong sometimes. Walking in the front door- behind two guys being told no booking no table- I was mildly surprised, walking up the two giant additional levels, I was floored. This place was massive, beautifully fitted out with dark woods and heavy carved tables and packed with groups of all sizes.
We sat right at the very top on a table in the farthest corner and perused both our elegant printed menu and our A3 laminated specials. CJ took over ordering responsibilities being our HuTong expert and did a marvelous job. The house special is something called xiao long bao (soup dumplings) so a large serving was ordered. Unfortunately the key ingredient being pork ruled it out from my vegetarian requirements. However, it was fascinating to watch the eating process including placement in the spoon, biting off the top, the pouring inside of vinegar, sucking up the soup and final eating of the dumpling. It made me a little jealous. The sighs of delight made me more so. Perhaps one day there will be soupy vegetarian dumplings.
We also had vegetarian steamed buns which were soft and fluffy and scrumptious, spinach dumplings and turnip croquettes. It was all delicious and way more food than we could all eat. So we asked for take away containers so we could share the experience.
I feel glad I am now in the know and am sure to return. Even if it’s just to surprise my foodie friends who haven’t heard of it.