Get over the name and into a soup dumpling

Hu Tong has long been our favourite house of hangover-quashing soup dumplings and gelatinous pork belly, and now there’s Man Tong, the restaurant's hilariously-named 200 seat sibling in the west end of Crown Casino.

‘Be mindful when dipping in soy and vinegar, as it will clash with your wine,’ reads a note on the mammoth menu. Good tip, and one of the reminders (along with the drink-by-numbers colour-coded wine list, abundance of dudes-in-chinos and fancy fit out complete with private dining room hung with glass orbs) that you’re not Chinatown anymore.

It’s a magnificent room – a red and gold temple-to-soup-dumplings fortified by marble pillars, and festooned with giant wooden lanterns and empty birdcages. But this is a fancier affair in looks only - it's still all about taking a big group and going hard on the classics that made Hu Tong the legend it is.

The xiao long bao, filled with lava-hot pork broth and soft pork mince razzed up with coriander root, are particularly big here. They slouch over the edge of the spoon like baggy pantaloons. Or there's fat, bouncy prawn and pork wanton balls glistening with a ginger glaze. Watch them being made in the enormous front window – a double spectacle thanks to the crew’s strange sneeze masks that look like Lisa Simpson's head gear.

Skip the forgettable shallot pancake and intensely sticky-sweet pork spare ribs and cover yourself in the flaky dust of sesame-crusted pastries filled with al dente strings of turnip and ginger. And don't miss the Peking duck. A half is enough for four and it's the prettiest fan of crisp-skinned meat with cucumber sticks and green onion threads that have been cut with military precision. We reckon the meat could do with a little more salt, but a soft pancake slicked with dark, sticky and sweet hoisin sauce forgives all.

There are a few mix-ups with the orders – service is polite but a little absent-minded – and you'll have to brave the casino to get there, but if you’re after those soup dumplings with a side of hot towels, this is your Man (Tong).

Who won the Melbourne food awards?

First published on . Updated on .

By Gemima Cody   |  

Man Tong Kitchen details

Address
Crown Entertainment Complex, West End, Lvl 1
Cnr Clarendon St & Crown Riverwalk, Southbank 3006

Telephone 03 9686 9888

Open Mon-Sun 11.30am-3pm; Thu-Sat 6pm-late; Sun-Wed 6-11pm

Man Tong Kitchen website

Man Tong Kitchen map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Kitchen Workshop

253m - Enjoy a wide variety of cuisine at this interactive buffet at the...

Gochi

253m - Gochi is an Izakaya-style Japanese restaurant and the latest...

The Merrywell

265m - There’s a time and a place for everything. And when it’s 9pm and the...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Polly Woodside

68m - After a four-year redevelopment, Melbourne's tall ship experience has...

Crown Spa

110m - The refurbished day spa at Crown Towers is a sight to behold. From the...

More venues nearby

You might also like

Perfect day

Perfect day

Follow our itinerary towards what we reckon is a pretty perfect day

Pub Guide

Pub Guide

Discover Melbourne's best 50 pubs right here, right now

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus