Hutong - The Heart of Deliciousness
Indochinese street food is amazing. The fast fresh flavours found on the bustling thoroughfares of Southeast Asia, in my opinion, knock mashed spuds into a cocked hat. But I would say that: I’m Irish, and pretty sick of potatoes. Dumplings, meat skewers ... I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Must… eat… Ah, that’s better *stifles ladylike burp* I’m pleased to report, after extensive menu research, that Hutong on George Street is just like eating your way around an Asian night market − the smells alone are mouth-watering − except for some very important absences: no jostling crowds, no mosquitos, and it’s not hot and sweaty. It’s Dunedin, people. The Scotland of the Pacific. We don’t do unpleasantly humid. We do sunny and serenely beautiful.
Meaning ladies’ faces aren’t dribbling makeup, gentlemen’s shirts do not sport unsightly underarm patches; making Hutong, just down from the Robbie Burns and across the road from the Bog (an excellent kilt-cheongsam juxtaposition by way of Guinness), the perfect date restaurant. The lighting is romantic and uber-flattering, the colour scheme of jungle greens and sky blues the perfect backdrop for compliments. Whether Tinder or totally married, you and your Snugglebumpkins can canoodle over noodles and raise a lychee cocktail toast to not having the kids (babysitter, you haven’t sold them).
Because, quite frankly, if all you really want is a steamed bun, 16 hours on a plane with a flatulent man or a seat-kicking child seems too much to ask. Which is why I say save the airfare and sail up river to the northern end of George, where what you hanker for is waiting for you: Singapore slings without the Raffles price tag, a teak bar, coloured lanterns. Push open the door to be greeted by the click of chopsticks against bowls, the girlish laughter that accompanies wives telling husbands “Of course this dress isn’t new Darling, I’ve had it for ages” and murmured ‘yum’ noises. West, meet East: I think you’re going to really like each other.
Post submitted by Lisa Scott
Photography by Sharron Bennett