We arrived at Hutong at 6 pm and were the first ones there. They provided lockers to store bags and jackets/coats to help alleviate your outer shells smelling like BBQ grill smoke. Such a fine attention to detail and care! Who wants to smell like smoked meat coming out of the restaurant? The counter was the best place to be, as we could see everything that was going on and interact with the staff. The owner hired and trained his staff so well. Superb service and quick to refill on tea, water, drinks, lemon wedges and condiments.
Before the plates of meat arrive, flaming hot grey charcoal with a red firey halo is removed from a storage area that heats them up, placed into a container and placed in front of you, with a grilling net on top. Then the meats arrive and you are ready to go. This is what we had:
thinly sliced beef tongue with tons of green onion on top - what a superb way to start the meal. Very Japanese yakiniku style. Instead of squeezing the lemon over the grilling meat, we did so on our plates. And we had to eat it in one bite. Our waitress/hostess grilled these for us and told us when it was done (it didn't take long). Superb texture and the flavors exploded all over. One of the highlights of the evening.
high end cuts of pork neck meat with sesame seed on top. - Holy cow this was as good as pork belly but without the filling feeling. They recommended that we eat this with lemon juice and minced daikon+onion.
beef belly - thinly sliced marbled beef, it was the highlight of the evening for me. The marination was apparently garlic sesame oil, salt and pepper, but the grilling time was perfect and the fatty oils got pushed out and further enhanced the flavors with the citrus lemon juice.
pork intestine - yep very Taiwanese. And who knew how chewy and smooth this tasted after being charcoal grilled? Turns out the intestines were already cooked and pre-sliced. The grill only served to give it a more smokey flavor, and the inside of the lining tasted like bone marrow of osso bucco. Wow. Even more sublime after the lemon and minced goodness.
lamb chops - I think they used Australian or New Zealand lamb chops for this. Unbelieveable how this came out. Forget those fancy American or Euro fusion restaurant versions, THIS is how I want to enjoy lamb, over a charcoal grill in Taipei! Came to about US$80 ish for 3 people, which for Taipei is expensive but for us visiting it was a steal. -1 star because while they apparently take credit card, Taiwan is still a cash loving country, sigh. But heck this place rocks so much no earthquake can take it out.
胡同燒肉 Hutong (http://www.hutong.com.tw/)
北市敦化南路一段161巷17號 Taipei City, Dunghua South Rd 1st portion, Alley 161, #17