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Miami needed another top restaurant specializing in Chinese cuisine. And we got it with Hutong which came here via Beijing, Hong Kong, London and, most recently, New York. The Northern Chinese fare is exciting, different in presentation and taste, and downright delicious.  And then there’s the handsome, original decor. It’s definitely one of the best Chinese restaurants in Miami, and vies for the top spot. Tomorrow they open for lunch as well as dinner.

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First, the decor. Though the ceilings soar, skillful lighting gives it a warm, intimate ambiance. Tables are well spaced apart, so even though the restaurant was full when we went, you could actually carry on a conversation. Walls are lined with 35,000 grey antique bricks from a 1930’s Chinese building. Hand carved lattice screens at one end of the room provide more visual interest. Look up and find what they call the “Great Wall”, a 70 foot long wall of multi-colored Chinese wooden doors and panels. An attractive bar with back lighting makes the bottles seem to glisten, and small lights on the bar add to the inviting atmosphere.

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Dim Sum dumpling platter

The dinner menu is divided into starters, dim sum , soup, barbecue, meat, seafood, fish, tofu and vegetables and rice and noodles. Be sure to start with the dim sum dumpling platter. The dumplings look like jewels, in colors ranging from black to green, pale rose, and yellow. They’re filled with prawn and black truffles, marlin, sichuan peppercorn prawn,  and wild mushroom and spinach. Next up was a standout, wok tossed jumbo Tiger prawns that seemed more the size of langoustines, on a bed of crunchy bread crumbs blended with chiles and peppers.

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First course of the Peking duck –the whole duck pictured here

And then there’s the Peking duck, prepared tableside and in two courses. The first course featured the pancakes with the usual accompaniments and a large plate of the thin sliced succulent pieces of duck with crispy skin on. The second course was tiny pieces of chopped duck with lettuce leaves for making wraps. You can order half or a whole duck.

 

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Second course of the Peking duck

There’s a separate dessert menu.

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Dinner for four with a $50 bottle of wine including tip and tax was $140 a couple. Hutong is open for dinner daily and they’re opening tomorrow for lunch. They also have a private room that seats 8.

Hutong, 600 Brickell Avenue, T.(786-388-0805).

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