Hutong is a prestigious Chinese restaurant on the 33rdlevel of The Shard. It’s one of the three upscale restaurants at The Shard, with Aqua Shard and Oblix. We’ve dined at all three of the restaurants and written about Oblix. Hutong has been our favourite of the three (we even spent NYE 2017 at their bar) but that’s simply because of the dim sum lunch; we didn’t really enjoy our first dinner experience. Regardless, I booked for dinner last Friday about a month in advance (that seems the only way to get a table at prime time).
Hutong is utterly beautiful; every element of the restaurant is beautiful. The décor is exquisite and with heavy traditional Chinese influences. The natural light through the windows, especially when approaching sunset, is perfect, and the views of London through those windows are amazing. The restaurant is split into the two rooms on either side of a corridor and both those rooms have amazing views, so does the beautiful bar between them.
Our main reason for not enjoying our first dinner experience was because of the Sichuan dried chilli in the fried chicken. The dried chilli completely numbed our taste buds and we couldn’t enjoy anything else for a few hours, so this time I called ahead and made sure the fried chicken could be cooked without the dried chilli.
What we ordered
The menu is fairly extensive, but ultimately quite simple. For starters, we ordered vegetable spring rolls, mixed vegetable dumplings, and minced lamb with fennel seed dumplings; I ordered scallop and prawn wontons just for myself. For mains, Shiima ordered fried chicken made with garlic and onions and chef’s pickled vegetable fried rice. I, after consultation with our helpful waiter, ordered aromatic beef ribs braised in lotus leaf.
Both dumplings were really good, but the mixed vegetable dumplings were much better.
I usually don’t even try spring rolls, but these were delicious. The filling was very tasty and the pastry was perfectly crisp. Easily the best spring rolls I’ve eaten in over a decade.
The scallop and prawn wontons was served in hot and spicy sauce, but I still added quite a bit a chilli oil to give the wontons more of a kick… and they were yummy.
This is where I talk about all the other dim sum in the lunch menu. Damn, they’re amazing, especially the baked Wagyu beef puffs and scallop siu mai.
The fried chicken with garlic and onions was fantastic! The fried chicken is succulent and excellent spiced with the garlic and onions. Much better and so much more agreeable to our tongues than with the Sichuan dried chilli. The chicken also went down well with the vegetable fried rice, which tasted really good on its own.
I didn’t quite enjoy my braised beef ribs. The beef ribs are brought to the table on the bone and inside the lotus leaf, and your waiter easily shreds the soft beef and pours over black bean sauce. There wasn’t enough of the sauce for me, and the beef itself wasn’t seasoned so it was just very err… beefy lol. I added a ton of chilli oil as well, but it seemingly wasn’t enough as it was still very beefy lol.
None of the desserts particularly intrigued us, so we gave it a pass. Next time, maybe.
We really enjoyed our experience at Hutong. The restaurant is very beautiful, the service is professional and the food is mostly awesome. It’s perfect for a romantic date and special occasion, and there are also lots of somewhat secluded tables for private dinners and small events. I recommend for lunch as well, because the dim sum is especially delicious. Hutong is very expensive though, so be ready.
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Shiima’s Star Dish: Fried chicken with garlic and onions
Amen’s Star Dish: Baked Wagyu Beef Puff (dim sum lunch)
Rating: 4.8 out of 5