What to Eat at Hutong (a.k.a. the New Betelnut), Opening Tonight

Roti canai, with curry and raita sipping sauces.
Roti canai, with curry and raita sipping sauces. Photo: via Alex Ong

As we warned you, Betelnut is no more, and after a quick, one-week remodel, it reopens tonight as Hutong, a pan-Asian restaurant with a little more street cred, and a little less hints of the days of nineties fusion. Chef Alex Ong tweets that he is “so ready!!!” for the new concept and menu, which we bring you below, and he also revealed this hint of the new interior, which is complete with a poster-covered wallpaper job, accented with graffiti. The theme of the place derives from back alleys throughout Asia where different types of street food can be found, thus the more “street”-influenced aesthetic. As the Scoop shows us, the exterior also comes with a new graffiti’d awning.

Both the Scoop and SF Magazine earlier posted Ong’s new menu, which is below. It shows a mix of influences from India, China, Malaysia (where Ong is from), Japan, and elsewhere, including these pancakes with dipping sauces called roti canai, pictured at left, which are a holdover from Betelnut’s roti prata; kampachi sashimi with chive oil and lemon ponzu; some Malaysian fried chicken livers tossed in ginger, black pepper, and garlic; and an oxtail hotpot, with mizuna, a whole egg, and shiitake and king trumpet mushrooms. Things are also notably cheaper, with the most expensive item being that hot pot, at $15.

With the new food there’s also a new cocktail menu, which is “less Tiki and more classic,” as managing partner Robert Wellbeloved tells SF Mag.

As Ong mentioned earlier, a longtime favorite of the Betelnut menu, his Beggar’s Chicken, will still be available by request with at least 24 hours advance notice, upon making your reservation.

Hutong Opening Menu

Kampachi sashimi, chive oil, lemon ponzu $12
Sea bream, radish, mizuna, chili-lemon soy $12
Ahi tuna, apple-mustard sauce, shiso $14
Tombo tuna, tobiko, limu, creamy wasabi $12.50
Oysters, sriracha-lemon ice $1.50 each

Small plates
Chicken livers, onions, black pepper sauce $6.50
Swordfish, “fierce” crabmeat $11.88
Chicken wings, Jalan Alor style $8.50
Red-cooked pork belly, aged vinegar glaze $9.00
Lamb belly, jalapeno vinegar $8.88
Glazed short ribs with garlic and Thai basil $7.25

Roasted beets, red baby chard, salted plum vinaigrette, cardamom yogurt $8.88
Kale, Asian pears, cucumbers, roasted peppers, avocado, lime-mustard dressing $8.88
Arugula, broccoli, napa cabbage, crispy yams, honey-5-spice vinaigrette $8.88
Cress, roast chicken, spiced pumpkin seeds, crispy chicken cracklings, Serrano-lime dressing $8.88
Spinach, grilled tamari tofu, toasted sesame dressing, roasted broad beans $8.88

Grill & Oven
Whole gulf prawns, bacon & chili jam $3.74/piece
Red tofu marinated half chicken, pickled cabbage $13
Citrus brined Niman Ranch pork rib chop, pickled cabbage, and cucumber $12
Oxtail hotpot, mizuna, whole egg, shiitake and king trumpet mushrooms $15
Naan, black garlic puree, paneer, tatsoi salad $6.88
Roti canai, curry and raita $6

Noodles & Sides
Stone pot noodles, roasted onion puree, Surryano ham, crispy anchovies, egg yolk $10.88
Hand cut egg noodles, 5-spice wild boar, garlic chives, Szechuan pepper $6.88
Twice cooked Chinese bacon, chive flowers, Hunan chiles $6.88
Braised collard greens, preserved mustard greens, garlic, ginger, ham hocks $7.00
Asparagus, garlic, chili, soy sauce $7.25
Szechuan green beans $6.50
Fried oyster mushrooms, lemon $6.88
Hutong fried rice, basil, shrimp, soy and eggs $6.25
Steamed rice $2

Hutong - 2030 Union Street at Buchanan- 415-929-8855 - Open daily for dinner at 5 p.m. Serving until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Open for daytime dining Friday through Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Hutong rises tonight from the Betelnut ashes; here’s the new menu [Scoop]
Goodbye, Betelnut. Hello, Hutong [SF Mag]
Earlier: Betelnut Closing Next Week; Will Shed Its Nineties Skin and Reopen Quickly as Hutong

What to Eat at Hutong (a.k.a. the New Betelnut), Opening Tonight