Hi!!! It’s National Holiday here in China, and I get the entire week off! Well, I still have test prep and some research stuff, but that’s no big deal. Anyways, my mom’s high school classmate living Australia is in China with her daughter for the holidays, so celebration was mandatory! She happened to be staying right by the Kerry and of course I knew just the restaurant to go to.
The Hut is one of the newer and more successful restaurants in the Kerry. On a typical weekend, lunch usually requires at least a 30 minute wait and dinner requires a reservation. The restaurant was actually fully booked by the time my dad and I got there, but luckily, my mom arrived early and snagged a spot in a corner- the only unbooked table in the entire restaurant.
What makes The Hut so good? The food of course! It features traditional Huaiyang cuisine with a modern twist and some seriously skilled plating. The food is very soup and seafood/fish focused, but for those who aren’t fans, the place makes some mean meat dishes. I got to order so here were the standout dishes
Smoked Yellow Croaker- This is their one of their signature dishes. Basically, they rub incredibly fresh small yellow croakers with a magic spice blend and smoke it in a magic oven. I used magic twice because magic is the only way to describe this dish. The skin has a slight texture and incredible flavor while the meat is equally flavorful and not only tender, but juicy! The smoking brings out the natural oils in the fish which added an extra, buttery, depth of flavor. Also, the dish comes in single servings, so each person gets their own. No need to share with
hungry competitors friends.
Braised Radish with abalone sauce- This is another signature dish. The Chinese name literally translates to “Beautiful person’s treasure chest”. I don’t know about the beautiful person’s part but it’s sure a treasure chest of flavor. The radish is braised tender, the covered in a thick, rich and extremely umami abalone sauce (also a house specialty). Honestly, I’ve had my share of abalone sauces, but this is by far the thickest and best. Also, the lightness of the radish makes it the perfect compliment to the sauce, leaving the palate clean.
Boiled lamb ribs- This is not a huaiyang dish, nor is it a specialty of the restaurant; however, a good restaurant excels in all dishes on the menu. I must say, I was pretty impressed. The lamb itself was tender, not too fatty and actually pretty flavorful, even without spices. The one disappointment was that the menu promised special sauce, but we only got a small thing of hot oil and cumin
Bean curd strips in Shark Fin soup- Bean curd strips in soup (煮干丝）is about as traditional as Zhejiang cuisine gets. Usually, the dish is cooked in chicken or pork stock and includes some crab roe and salted egg. However, The Hut managed to elevate it to a whole new level by using shark fin soup. It was umami through the roof and actually almost matched the radish in amazingness.
Also recommended but not ordered
Shrimp roe stuffed bean curd roll
Eel stuffed crispy pork intestine- don’t judge this one until you’ve tried it.
Orange spiced fire roasted duck
Fish head casserole
Atmosphere and Service
The atmosphere was lively but very elegant, which makes it perfect for a special event, receiving friends or even business dinner. It would also be a great place for a date night, but a having a party of only two people really limits the food experience. The service was also fast and great, but the wait staff are a bit slow with the water.
Overall, The Hut is an AMAZING restaurant. Just be prepared to wait a bit.
So that’s it for this week! I hope everyone, whether on holiday or not, has a great week. See you soon!