Hutong to celebrate Double Fifth Festival with new menu

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th June 2015
On the 20th June 2015, Hutong will be celebrating the traditional Chinese event the Double Fifth Dragon Boat Festival. To mark this occasion, the restaurant has decided to serve a menu of five dishes, each of which will explore the five different tastes on offer; bitter, salty, sour, umami and sweet. The festival is held to commemorate the death of the historic poet Chu Yuan, who died in 278 B.C., on the fifth day of the fifth month. The boat races that take place at the festival are in memory of the attempts to save Chu Yuan. The eating of Zonghi rice dumplings also takes place at the festival, due to the legend that Yuan’s followers threw cooked rice filled bamboo leaves into the water in the hope that the fish would take this offering instead of the struggling poet. Hutong Shrimp-stuffed bitter melon The menu starts with shrimp-stuffed bitter melon, in which the intense bitterness of the Asian fruit is contrasted by the sweet shrimp, awakening the palate for the dishes ahead. Next salty flavours are explored in sea-salt baked chicken. The chicken is wrapped in a lotus leaf before being covered in rock salt and baked. This helps to retain the moisture and results in a subtle salty taste, infusing the tender chicken throughout, and providing an enjoyable contrast to the previous dish. Hutong Monkfish fillet in sour broth At the centre of the menu is monkfish fillet in sour broth, a complex dish of robust monkfish cooked in a rich and spicy broth. The sour notes come from marinated pickled vegetables, which are added to the stock along with a touch of heat from white pepper and chilli to further enhance the flavours. The fourth and final savoury dish highlights the most recently discovered taste, umami, in the form of braised silken tofu with mixed mushrooms. Known for balancing and rounding out the overall flavour of a dish, umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste that lingers on the palette. It is found here in the umami rich ingredients of tofu, bean curd and mushrooms, which also add different textures to the dish. The menu concludes with iced taro and sweet potato, the naturally sweet vegetables provide a gradual journey from savoury to sweet, lightly iced with sugar to give a contrasting crunchy texture. The taro also provides a nutty flavour which rounds off the dish perfectly. Details:
  • £58 per person
  • Available Monday 15th June - Sunday 28th June 2015
  • 6.00pm - 10.45pm
By Jack Mckeever

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th June 2015

Hutong to celebrate Double Fifth Festival with new menu