We're all about experiences at The Plus Ones. What better way to explore a selection of Melbourne's culinary scene than a progressive dinner? On a chilly Melbourne eve a hardy band of journalists wandered through the Hutong Group's three prime Melbourne establishments for a night of Sichuan, Shanghainese and Cantonese delights.
East Bar & Restaurant was our first port of call. With the entrance tucked down an alley next to the Sheraton Hotel on Little Collins Street, you can easily wander past the venue. When you get in, the interior is very chic and caters nicely to the top end of Collins Street. Given it was the first stop, our fare there consisted of a tapas style menu and I couldn't help thinking that it is a great start to any evening. If you venture down I'd recommend the crispy cheese and potato balls along with the Great East cocktail. The cocktail is a ginger infused flavour explosion. Be warned — it packs a punch!
Hu Tong Dumpling Bar was our next stop. As a staple of any Melburnian's restaurant diet, Hu Tong remains one of our premier dumpling houses. While everyone comes for the famous Xiao Long Bao (and accompanying third degree burns for the uninitiated), I loved the boiled spinach dumplings this time around.
Man Tong Kitchen was the last place on our progressive adventure. We were given the red carpet treatment at this Crown Casino located restaurant. The venue has four private dining areas that are gilded to the hilt. Each one represents a season and is decked with fine China, finer cutlery, and premium wines. The service here is top notch as is the cuisine.
Every dish at Man Tong was so on point I just can't even. If you need to limit yourself to one or two I wouldn't go past the stir fried diced eye fillet steak in soy sauce and the braised pork belly. Picture melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness!
The Hutong Group is doing great work to cement Melbourne's reputation as a culinary capital. Experiencing each of their venues via a progressive dinner is a fabulous way for any group of friends to experience our fine city!
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Rukmal lives and breathes events.
East Bar and Restaurant
25 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
14-16 Market Ln
Melbourne VIC 3000
Man Tong Kitchen
8 Whiteman St
Southbank VIC 3006