It sounds like a bit of an odd thing to say, but I’ve been waiting for Hulu to open up for a while. Two years actually.
Whilst most people probably know of Hulu at King Street Wharf for its social media presence since it opened a few months ago, I’ve been a fan since they first opened as Bistro Hulu on Liverpool Street. So much so that when I worked as a tour guide for food tours in Sydney, I was one of our first stops.
Bistro Hulu still exists in Crow’s Nest, but Hulu at King Street Wharf is their latest venture, a more upscale venue with a beautiful view of the harbour. And of course, I had to visit!
The menu itself is impressively extensive, including a handmade dim sum section that spans four pages. You could literally just order off the dim sum options for a yum cha style meal if you wanted!
And we’re loving the creativity with the unexpected addition of cheese in the crispy prawn dumplings, making for a satisfying cheese pull.
If you’re on Instagram, you’ll no doubt have seen these very photogenic Nemo Dumplings. Seriously, how can you not share this with the world?
They’re just as cute in real life as the look in photos and arrive so steaming hot, we just want to dig in straight away. Which is exactly what we did.
And we’re glad we got them while they’re hot. Made with a wheat and tapioca starch wrapper, it’s the perfect balance of soft and chewy when hot (not so much when cooled). These dumplings are filled with mixture that’s predominantly prawn, and so tasty you’ll be forgiven for having eaten nemo.
Our surprising favourite was however the poached prawn wontons.
It’s Hulu’s take on the traditional Sichuan style chilli wontons, and whilst not quite as photogenic as the dumplings, it makes up for it in taste! Whilst traditional chilli wontons tend to come swimming in a pool of fiery chilli oil, Hulu’s version is somewhat toned down a little. There’s less of the oil, more of the sauce, but the balance of flavours is just right. There’s an unmistakable chilli kick without being too spicy, followed by a numbing tingle of the tongue
But if we’re talking impressive, we have to talk about the sweet and sour pork!
Before you turn your nose away, hear me out.
Hulu’s version is a world away from the batter heavy oily sweet & sour you get from your local takeaway. Instead, these are small, bite sized juicy pieces of pork, wrapped in a light crispy batter. A thin coating of glossy red sauce gives it the familiar burst of sweet and sour with each bite without being overpowering. It’s the way sweet & sour pork should be!
But the best bit? The ice!
Whoever thought to serve sweet and sour pork on ice was genius. Pure genius.
It seems an odd combination at first. You’d think the pork goes cold and wet, and of course the bits which touch the ice do get a little cool, but it it’s the cool that makes the batter unbelievably crispy. Seriously, it’s’ the crispiest batter ever, and hands down the best sweet and sour pork we’ve tried!
And because no Chinese meal is quite complete without ordering a hot plate, we also try the Mongolian beef. The beef is cut into sizable chunks, and is tender without being overly soft. We’re impressed that the puddle of oil that usually surrounds sizzling plates is nowhere to be seen- it’s tasty without being oily at all!
If you’re looking for veggies, there’s a sizeable bed of buk choy lining the silky tofu. There’s heft to the tofu, which is served as an entire block, deep fried to a golden brown exterior, before covered with a glossy egg white and dry scallop sauce.
Cut through with just a light touch of your spoon into the soft and wobbly tofu. We’re glad it’s not cut or partitioned, which means you can dictate your own size- in our case, meaning massive chunks!
The numbing chilli fish fillet is another Sichuan Style dish, and you can tell from the chilis it’s not for the faint hearted!
There’s a whole layer of dried chillies lining the soup that holds the fish pieces, but if fishing for your food with a ladle isn’t your thing, don’t worry- the staff do scoop away the chillies at the table before it is served.
Whilst the Sichuan boiled fish dishes we’ve tried in the past have been served with a thick layer of red chilli oil, we’re relieved to find that Hulu’s version isn’t oily at all. The flavour still packs a punch, with a good amount of chilli to leave our tongues tingling, but we’re glad it’s not as spicy as it may look!
Shredded Duck Fried rice is a cheerful mix of egg, shallots and shredded duck. It’s a good balance of rice to additions, plain enough serve as a accompaniment to the mains, but tasty enough to have on its own.
Dessert is served with a theatrical performance of warm Nutella sauce cutting through the white chocolate dome, revealing a fried ice cream ball inside. Hulu’s fried ice cream is a madeira wrapped vanilla ice cream, deep fried to a golden brown crunch. It’s definitely one of the better deep fried ice creams we’ve tried, and the hint of citrus from the cake cuts through the rich chocolate nutella combination.
It’s a very decent serve, most likely heavier and more rich and decadent than you would think, best left for sharing for a satisfying end to the meal!