My friends had visited Mr Huang Jin on several occasions previously and I was immensely jealous because the food looked awesome so naturally my mood picked up a bit when we came here for dinner after a long day of lectures.
It’s situated at the base of the Rialto tower and has large glass panels which allow light to stream through the venue. Great except the day we went happened to be a 40 degrees and somehow we managed to choose a table where one person had significant glare for most of the meal. Luckily staff were more than accommodating in helping us re locate to another table.
A word of warning – for those of you looking for a regular Taiwanese joint, this isn’t the place unless you are made of money. It is pricey. But the quality of the food is consistent and actually quite reminiscent of that served in Taiwan – so fantastic for the occasional splurge.
Drinks wise we were swayed by the notion of having a cold iced smoothie but were disappointed when four bottles of fruit juice were brought out – not quite the “smoothie” we had pictured.
We shared all the following between four people and the bill ended up being about $30.
The best by far and the main reason why I would come back to Mr Huang Jin would be their signature steamed pork xiao long bao.
It is just so hard to find quality like this in Melbourne – it reminded me of xlb from Ding Tai Fung, the renowned franchise originating from Taiwan. It is said that one can judge the quality of these morsels by their durability – now of course this also depends on your chopstick prowess but essentially one should be able to pick it up without the juices breaking through the skin. It should also be served at a temperature where the dumpling can be put whole into the mouth and chewed on without worry of internal burns. (Word of caution this view is not espoused by all eateries so please please please be careful when eating to make sure the temperature is suitable to attempt this).
Their steamed pork and vegetable dumplings were equally nice and look at how neat all the pleats are – I wish I had the dedication to do that at home – I think I’ll stick with wonton wrapping.
Other entrees we had were the fried chicken (TFC!) which was amazing – crunchy, light and served with mayonnaise.
The tofu balls were also nice – crunchy exterior, soft interior.
Equally unhealthy we ordered the pork belly bun. Yes the pork belly was good. I found the bun was a bit too big for the filling and altogether it ended up being a bit dry.
The soft shell crab served on top of glutinous rice was great when mixed with the accompanying sauce. Maybe slightly on the dry side depending on the amount of sauce.
Now this dish whilst we all enjoyed, we couldn’t believe the price. When we asked the waiter we were rather incredulous when he informed us that the Emerald dumpling soup listed under the noodle section actually did not come with noodles. Kudos to staff for picking up our disbelief and offering to add noodles (for no extra charge too). If fluorescent green isn’t your cup of tea, probably best not to try these ones – you’d be missing out on a nice dumpling though!
I’d gladly bring friends to Mr Huang Jin for their xiao long bao. Perhaps I would choose a day with more temperate weather because of those glass panels.