One day we were craving for some "xiao long bao" (shanghai soup dumplings) and have heard pretty good reviews about this place in Chinatown called Hutong Dumpling Bar. I personally love the "xiao long bao" from a restaurant called Ding Tai Fung but unfortunately they don't have an outlet in Melbourne :(
We missed the restaurant quite a few times as it was located in a small side alley. It's a pretty small restaurant with seats on 2 levels. Once you enter the restaurant, you will be able to see the chefs making the dumplings and it sure makes you hungry! Most of the items on their menu are mainly dishes to share so it will be good for big groups of people or families. As it was only the 2 of us, we decided to go for the "xiao long bao", a side dish/entree and some noodles to share.
Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Soup Dumplings)
Overall, the dumplings were quite good. I love the meat filling and the broth but I found the skin a little thick for my liking. I kind of prefer the skin texture of the ones from Ding Tai Fung. But nonetheless these dumplings did satisfy our cravings!
We couldn't think of anything for the side dish/entree so my friend chose this chilli chicken dish. I thought it would be a hot dish but it turned out to be a cold dish! But before you get turned off by the thought of cold chicken (it's not freezing cold but just a little chilled), it is served with a spicy chilli sauce that blends rather well with the chilled chicken. I did find it a little spicy but I like spicy food so it wasn't a problem at all. However, my friend couldn't take spicy food and had a really hard time eating it. He had to drink like loads of tea to calm the spiciness down. And to think that he was the one who picked the dish haha.
Shanghai Fried Noodles
Before we agreed to share, we were thinking of getting a dish each for ourselves and I initially wanted to order this dish. But I'm so glad we decided to share because the serving was really large! I wouldn't be able to finish the whole dish myself. And it was surprisingly good! I thought it would just be normal fried noodles but it was much more tastier.
Overall, the food was not bad and I would really recommend going with more people so you can try the dishes to share. They look really good! However, there was one particular manager that wasn't very friendly and it kind of affected the whole experience. But I will consider coming back if I do have cravings for xiao long bao again!