It isn't often that a quick city lunch inspires poetry, but here goes...
After a moping morning
I crave a different dish
To dull my doldrums
And fulfill my wish
I found my saviour
And changed my mood
At Hu Tong Dumpling
Chique meets great food
My usual go-to dumpling dens are Shanghai Village and Camy Shanghai but sometimes you've gotta break the habit and try the competition.
When I arrived at 11.32 am (I told you I was craving), there were already 7 people waiting at the yet-to-be-opened door. A few minutes later the waitress let us all in and kindly gave me a table despite me being the only one without a booking.
I ordered the Vegetarian Dumplings With Spinach Flour Wrap ($5.50 for 6 pieces), the Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($4.50 for 3 pieces) and a pot of Chinese Tea ($2.50).
Are the dumplings worth the 100% price premium over their Village and Camy cousins around the corner? You betcha!
The spinach flour wrap added another very pleasing dimension to the already delicious fillings of mushroom, carrot, tofu and cabbage.
But my favourite part of the experience was the sensational chilli flakes in oil with whole corriander seeds. The chilli concotion is part of the table condiments set, along with the ginger infused vinegar. Combined with the spinach dumplings, the chilli and corriander seed surprise was a wicked delight. I normally like soy sauce, but this trumps it very nicely.
The spring rolls were tasty with a curried filling and streets ahead of other dumpling places. But you don't really go to dumpling houses to eat spring rolls!
The tea was delicious too with none of the bitterness sometimes associated with the tea elsewhere.
The other feather in Hu Tong's cap is that it is a really nice place to eat. You won't find sticky white laminex or lurid pink here. I'll still probably pop into Shanghai Village now and again for variety (or if I'm really hungry), but Hu Tong is my new favourite.
Get onto Hu Tong I say.