The Southwestern region of China is known for its deep and rich flavours. The taste of Sichuan pepper stands out in this cuisine and is one of the most popular cuisines across the globe. Namma Chennai can now boast of an authentic Sichuan place. Hutong, initially called Yum Cha, in Alwarpet is the latest entrant in city’s bustling food scene. The fact that it is owned by restaurateur Sandesh Reddy (Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory, Ox & Tomato and Old Madras Baking Company) makes it a great bet on any given day.

The moment you enter the place, you can’t help but notice the transparent glass flooring with a koi pond below it. The ambience, cutlery and music have sharp Oriental touch to it. The menu includes a range of dimsums with different fillings and different skin. The baos are melt-in-mouth soft and slightly sweet (the latter might be an issue for some but we liked it). We loved the chicken and water chestnut dumpling, seasonal vegetable hargow and slow cooked lamb bao – each distinct in flavour and taste.

From the snacks section, do not miss their savoury egg custard with mantao bun. It is soft and almost runny savoury egg goes well with some great bao. But if you like bold flavours, give a shot to Sichuan fried chicken or stir-fried spicy tenderloin.

The aromatic vegetable broth with full flavours and right crunch of veggies acts as a perfect palate cleanser. For main course, you should try their Dan Dan Noodles in Chilly oil, it is absolutely delicious. They have a range of rice and noodles with gravies in this section. You can take your pick!

We suggest you keep space for some dessert. Hutong does have a small but fantastic dessert section. The Upside Down Pineapple Cake with cream cheese and popcorn and the very nostalgic Milk Bread. They also do a dessert version of Mantao bun filled with custard.

Hutong is perfect for a family dinner or a friends’ evening out.

Location: 34, Co-Operative Colony, Alwarpet

Timings: 12 to 3 pm, 7 pm to 11 pm