After all my drunken nights stumbling through Market Lane from Ding Dong Lounge, I somehow never noticed Hu Tong Dumpling Bar. Just off Chinatown, Hu Tong modestly sits opposite the huge doors of Flower Drum. I think there is only one reason to go to Hu Tong. DUMPLINGS. They’re famous for their Xiao Long Bao and oh boy are they tasty. Little parcels of pork and soup wrapped up in white dumpling skins and twisted together at the top. You get your spoon and fill it with chilli oil, vinegar and ginger, get them suckers onto your spoon and plonk the whole thing in your mouth. If you were impatient and hadn’t waited for them to cool down then your mouth will be burning right about now. If you’ve waited for that opportune moment where the dumplings are a perfect temperature, your patience will be rewarded with a sweet little explosion of soup and flavour while chewing on the tender texture of your perfectly crafted dumpling. You can do it the boring way and nibble the dumpling until there’s a hole big enough to suck the soup out. Or you can be a noob and just take a big bite and squirt soup everywhere and apologise to everyone around you that is now wearing your dumpling juice. Either way, the next step you should take is to order a serving of the chilli wontons.
Info: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne (03) 9650 8128
How much money to bring: $20 ($30+ if you’re ordering other lame food)
OK to bring a date? Yes – but make sure you are practiced in your xiao long bao eating skills
It’s closed on: (open 7 days)
Don’t: bother ordering anything else, it’s expensive and typical at most Chinese restaurants
Do: have a beer or soft drink, something bubbly!
Sounds like: Juicy – Biggie Smalls
Rating: 5/5 (dumplings and chilli wontons only)