While London may not have the towering skyscrapers of New York, the city has some spectacular buildings of both historic and architectural importance, all of which are visible in all their glory from The Shard, the latest and tallest building to tower over the city.
There’s the Gherkin! Look, Tower Bridge within touching distance! And St Paul’s! London beams in front of you as you enter Hutong on the 32nd floor with an incredible double height ceiling and a dramatic staircase that will take you up one floor to Hutong.
Hutong specialises in the cuisine of Northern China, with a menu inspired by the culinary styles of Peking, Shandong and Sichuan provinces.
An absolute highlight was the red lantern dish of crispy soft shell crab served in a basket of Sichuan dried peppers – the fiery red colours making this my favourite presentation of a dish in quite some time.
The Imperial Peking Duck, while rather expensive at £58 (to share), was delicious, with the added theatrical element of being carved at the table. The dim sum platter offered a selection as good as any I’ve had in London and I’m keen to return to try the dim sum lunch menu.
The menu is full of items that you’d happily return to try, with a surprisingly large number marked as signature dishes.
The only dish that didn’t quite work for me was the chilled sliced scallop with pomelo segments – perhaps more to do with the texture of the cold scallop than any fault of flavour.
The design of the 130 cover restaurant is traditional Chinese in style with dark woods, intricate and beautifully carved furniture and subtle red lanterns. The bathrooms are rather spectacular with London in full view in front of you!
While you may wish to sit right by the window, the joy of Hutong (and Aqua Shard on the 31st floor) is that the view is all around you – we were sat further back in one of the raised larger tables and the view was just as mesmerising.
While London is, without doubt, a truly stunning backdrop to your evening, the food at Hutong already stands tall as some of the best of its kind in London within its short time of being open. I really can’t wait to return. And not just for the view.
Concierge’s tip: The bar at Aqua Shard on the 31st is enchanting late at night – make sure to leave time for a post dinner drink.
The private dining spaces at Hutong would be ideal for a group dinner – the Shanghai room accommodates 16 while Beijing can seat 24.