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Hutong

Ever since it opened in 2003, Hutong, which serves Northern Chinese cuisine incorporating the cooking styles of Peking, Shandong and Sichuan, has been one of the city’s hottest dining spots. We returned this time is to try out its special tasting menu – Silk Road Spices, which aims to discover ancient spices and chillies from India and Arabia dating back to ancient times and applying them to contemporary Chinese cooking. We thought sounded like a winner. 

Entering Hutong is always awe-inspiring as the largerthan-life harbour view takes one’s breath away, especially in the evenings when the glittering lights dominate the skyline. The airy restaurant is suitably dimmed at night to allow a full appreciation of the views. Still, the hutong style of the traditional Beijing courtyard family houses set against its narrow alleys stands out. Its décor recreates an antique motif aided by carved stone archways, antique wooden doors, carved wooden screens and silk curtains. It certainly helps set the mood for an enchanting dining occasion. 

The special menu Silk Road Spices ($788/person; minimum of two people), created by Head Chef Cheung Yung Keung, adroitly combines the various Chinese regional cuisines, including that from Northwest China where the original Silk Road passed through. For starters, we had Seared Hokkaido Scallop with Sesame Sauce, Osmanthus Glazed Sole Flakes with Hutong Chilli Sauce, and Seared Foie Gras & Caviar with Coddled Egg – all three items are tasty with varying subtle but distinct flavours. We should mention that Hutong makes a variety of excellent chilli sauces that are ideal as gifts for others or for yourself, and which we couldn’t get enough of. 

Several hot dishes are served; the range nicely brings out the richness and distinctiveness of the various cuisines and the spices used. Stir-fried Prawns with Bell Pepper in Xinjiang Fennel Sauce is a colourful dish that is both tasty and aromatic, and goes well with the succulent meat of the prawns. Mandarin Fish Fillet in Sichuan Ma La Broth, a Sichuanese classic, is prepared Chengdu style, offering more refined and less full-throated ma la and chilli flavours; the fish fillet remains tender regardless. 

Angus Beef Tenderloin Stir-fried with Yunnan Mushrooms is excellent – the use of spices certainly helps enhance the flavour of the tender beef. Seasonable vegetable poached in superior broth is palate cleansing, the richness of the soup enhanced by the Yunnan ham garnishing. The last of the hot dishes is Diced Chicken & Egg White Fried Rice with Black Pepper, the crisply fried rice is just enough to hit the spot. 

We should mention that for an additional $288, you can order Hutong’s signature dish – Flaming Peking Duck (half portion), a standout favourite that we highly recommend. We wrapped up the meal with three desserts: Homemade Tofu Panna Cotta, Crispy Rice Sesame Dumpling with Red Bean Paste, and Crispy Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Chocolate – all yummy treats! 

Hutong’s Silk Road Spices menu offers excellent food that fully stimulates the palate; which, with the restaurant’s stunning setting, makes for a dining occasion fit for any occasion. Do give it a try and be sure to book early

28/F, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
3428 8342

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