In Short: Hulu Dining is a welcome addition to the changing culinary harbourside landscape at King Street Wharf. Traditional Chinese dishes take on refined, sophisticated flavours that absolutely must be shared. Make sure you leave room for the signature Deep Fried Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup, as much for the ‘theatre’ of the presentation as for the incredible taste!
For as long as I can remember, Chinese food has always played a part in my culinary repertoire. It holds much nostalgia, from long nights at my local ‘Happy Dragon’ with family and friends, to first learning how to use chopsticks, to the plastic takeout containers that adorned my cupboards from the multiple home deliveries that kept me going through my late night uni assignments. Growing up in Sydney, we’re absolutely spoiled for choice in the whole range of Chinese dining options, from takeaway shops, to dim sum, to fine dining experiences, and now you can add another must-visit to the list of great Chinese cuisine venues.
Hulu Dining at King Street Wharf is the latest addition to the block in the revamping of King Street Wharf. With the adjacent Barangaroo raising the stakes on the foodie destination, King Street is responding by extending that great restaurant experience as you follow the boardwalk through to Darling Harbour. We are here on one of those spectacular (but freezing!) winter’s day, and decide to brave the cold to sit out on the patio to watch the sun glimmer on the water and the scores of people wasting away the afternoon on leisurely strolls.
It is the perfect setting for the feast that awaits us, so let’s not waste a minute in filling you on the delights! Hulu’s menu is about refinement and blends the influence of both Asian and European flavours into traditional dishes for that extra twist. Typical of the Coco & Vine experience, we’ve left our selection of dishes to the experts, and once again, we are not disappointed! We start off with the Hulu Mix Appetizer which is a fresh mix of four selected appetizers. The spicy chicken is moist and tender; celeraic prawns are a take on the prawn ‘cocktail’, with the surprise addition of the honeydew melon; fresh chinese carrots have been pickled and provides crunch and tang. It’s all finished with a spinach in sesame sauce that adds another layer of sweetness and freshness to tease the palate.
While waiting for the selections from the Signature Dim Sum menu, we’re treated to the Green Garden, a delicious blend of green apple, kiwi, lemon and mint and an Amazing Dream, made up of lemon, orange, mint, and sprite. Both are a delight to sip through our dishes to cleanse our palates.
Next we’re on to the dim sums! I definitely recommend ordering the Crispy Cheese & Prawn Dumplings. I could have eaten these all afternoon…the crisp, cheesy crust housed chunks of mushroom, prawn and Italian cheese, giving these mouthfuls a savoury, yet sweet, texture.
Shifting from crunchy to smooth, the Poached Prawn Wontons with Chilli Sauce were perfectly steamed and the soft, crunchy moist prawn inside explodes in your mouth with soy, spice chilli, and spring onions. Delicious!
For the Nemo Dumplings, I just had to pretend it didn’t look anything like the adorable cartoon clown fish, as we devoured these deliciously steamed casing shaped into fish, to bite into the flavour combination of pork and prawn.
There’s nothing like having a selection of provincial specialties to shift gears from bite size delights to the main meal. The Long Green Beans, Pork Mince Stir Fried in Oyster Sauce are definitely no side-dish and crispy fried beans, are mixed with charred and caramelised pork mince. A subtle yet balanced blend of flavours without being overpowering.
It’s not Chinese without a serving of fried rice, and Hulu’s Egg White Fried Rice with Fish Roe is incredible. I would come back over and over just for this dish! The crispy fried egg white in this dish is dominant and with the wonderful addition of fish roe, giving it a salty bite, this dish is a stand out.
With an influence from Hulu Dining King Street Wharf’s Malaysian chef, we get to taste our first experience of Sweet & Sour Pork on Ice. This is very far removed from the non-descript nuclear red sauce you find in most take-outs of this popular dish, and elevate it to a sophisticated taste. The ice serves to make the pork bites skin really crunchy while retaining the moist and tender pork meat inside. Eat it together with either the red grapes or strawberries for a unique taste sensation.
How can you ever not order beef in black bean?! Hulu Dining at King Street Wharf expertly cooked Beef Cubes Pan Fried in Black Bean Sauce is amazing. Strong, yet sweet, the black bean sauce with soy flavours that come through with each bite with a hit of peppery heat. Each beef morsel is insanely tender and with just the right level of caramelisation to give texture but retain moistness.
We were already undoing the top buttons of our pants, in a useless attempt to make room for dessert. Ah, who needs a waistline anyway?! To ease into the last leg of our epic feast, the Sago Dessert with Honeydew Melon & Coconut fits the bill. Not overly sweet, sago balls are mixed with small chunks of honeydew and just a hint of coconut milk.
If you’re no stranger to dim sum, then you know that you cannot leave without mango pancakes. Here at Hulu Dining King Street Wharf, they shift gears and opt for the equally delectable Strawberry Pancakes. They are incredibly airy and light, and encase an even lighter whipped cream with fresh strawberry chunks.
But it’s the signature Deep Fried Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup that has us salivating! This amazing dessert, is presented as a white chocolate orb. Magically, it is melted away with a hot chocolate syrup that reveals a centre of deep fried ice cream and strawberry chunks. The fried exterior is crunchy and tart with a citrus like flavour and the vanilla ice cream is melt-in- your-mouth – quite literally! The chocolate is deadly smooth, rich and decadent and if you have room for only one dessert, make it this one!
Hulu Dining at King Street Wharf is a great addition to the changing landscape of harbourside dining in Sydney. There is no shortage of tried-and-true Chinese favourites, but with the refined and sophisticated twists they sure make the experience here memorable. So find a few hours, and come while away an afternoon or evening sampling their menu. Just bring lots of friends along to share it with!
*Coco & Vine dined as guests of Hulu Dining. However, all images and opinions are our own.