Vanessa: It’s not often we venture down to the Little Bay area but the lure of a new Asian fusion restaurant saw myself, hubby (Mr M) and fellow FFSaker Bianca, visit Little Hutong for lunch last weekend.
Little Hutong opened its doors a few months ago and is already making waves in the local area due to its unique menu offering and charming owners.
“Hutong” by definition is a narrow alleyway in a traditional residential area of a Chinese city, so it is a fitting name for this small residential restaurant. Offering a mix of traditional Malaysian style dishes and those with a twist, the menu has been carefully considered to showcase Asian hawker style food.
The weekend only lunch menu is quite extensive and lucky for us there was plenty to satiate our rumbling stomachs. Whilst we waited for our order to arrive we sipped on Pu ehr black tea from China, which is one of the many imported tea blends on offer at Little Hutong.
First up we tried two serves of the roties, which is Chinese dumpling bread filled with various fillings, almost a play on the ‘bao’. The crispy pork belly was the stand-out for us as the meat was tender with a crispy rind of crackling. The accompanying hoi sin, sliced tomato and cucumber with lettuce gave it a fresh, well-balanced flavour.
The braised brisket was slightly disappointing following on from the pork as the meat itself didn’t really pack any punch and the accompanying pickled radish and lettuce didn’t offer much.
We also tried the Penang Char Kuey Teow, which was dryer than others that tend to be wet in texture. The combination of prawns, sweet Chinese sausage, egg, bean-sprouts and flat rice noodles made for a delicious dish that is great to share with others.
I just can’t go past Hainanese chicken rice when I see it on the menu so we ordered one amongst us. My dining companions expressed their lack of love for the dish but I persevered with the order. It’s quite a small serve as a sharing dish but the steamed chicken is served alongside white rice that has been boiled in a fragrant chicken stock and served with ginger, shallots and dark soy.
The next dish we tried was so beautifully presented we almost didn’t want to ruin it by eating it! The dish, known as Sakura in the air, consists of miso grilled salmon filler, unagi arancini, 63c egg with pickled daikon and Japanese mayonnaise.
The Japanese influence comes into play here with the strong miso flavor of the salmon mixed with the use of eel in the arancini. The arancini was perfectly coated in crispy panko crumbs and the taste of eel was ever so slight. The egg yolk oozed when cut, a testament to it being perfectly cooked!
A really beautiful dish both visually and gastronomically.
We were really impressed by the hospitality of the owners who are clearly passionate about their food and restaurant. If you are a local, you have to be happy that Little Hutong has arrived on your doorstep as you have easy access to a creative, delicious menu at very reasonable prices.
Photos by Bianca
*ForFoodsSake dined as guests of Little Hutong, however all opinions expressed are our own.
Oh man, the salmon dish stands out the most, for me!