The Cullen Hotel – home to HuTong Dumpling Bar
Biting into a Shao-Long-Bao has never been so satisfying. Despite being a regular dumpling eater I’ve never quite figured out how the soup filled dumplings are best eaten without spurting hot soup everywhere. Luckily for me, and well overdue, HuTong Dumpling House and Peking Duck Restaurant in Prahran has finally let me in on the trick – bite off the top of the tear drop, sip out a bit of soup, pour in the desired amount of soy, ginger and chilli and off you go.
HuTong in Prahran is right under The Cullen and sister restaurant to HuTong Dumpling Bar City (Market Lane, Melbourne CBD). The staff are next level hospitable, patiently explaining the entire menu, highlighting the most popular dishes and sharing tips of how best to enjoy. Their knowledge of wine is impressive with a comprehensive list of local and imported wines selected to match the food. After opting for red, our waiter suggested a light pinot noir from Yering Station, which perfectly accompanied all the added chilli to our dishes.
The Shao-Long-Bao ($13.90, 8 pieces), and ($13.90, 8 pieces) are equally placed as restaurant favourites and both live up to expectations. The Peking duck pancake ($36.90, half a duck and 8 pieces of pancake) is a star attraction and rightly so – the ducks are prepared traditionally, ‘aerated’ to ensure special crispy skin and finished off nicely in the specialty duck oven. The meat is sliced when ordered, and presented with fine, transparent pancakes and home made duck sauce.
We chose Stir Fried String Beans with Minced Pork in Chilli Sauce ($22.90) and Eggplant cooked with Black Pepper sauce served in Claypot ($19.90) to finish. Despite our total addiction to the eggplant, which hit the spot over and over, as per usual our eyes were bigger than our stomach and when we couldn’t fit anything else in the staff kindly packaged it up for leftover lunch.
From our table (and as soon as you enter the restaurant) you can see the dumpling chefs preparing fresh meals through a transparent glass window that separates the kitchen and dining space, adding to the authentic and home-made experience. With Cantonese, Shanghainese and Szechuan cuisine styles under one roof, HuTong ticks all the boxes for a delicious night out.
The restaurant is part of the HuTong Group umbrella and is a sister venue to another seven restaurants around Melbourne: HuTong Dumpling Bar (CBD) EAST, China Red, ManTong Kitchen, Spicy Fish, Da Hu Peking Duck Restaurant, and Ten Miles, which all pride themselves on giving a premium dining experience.
HuTong Dumpling Bar
Shop 1, 162 Commercial Road, Prahran 3181 (in the Cullen Hotel)
03 9098 1188
Open 7 days Lunch 11:30am – 3pm Dinner Sun – Thurs 5:30pm – 10:30pm Dinner Fri – Sat 5:30pm – 11pm