Up in the sky, 33 floors within the glittering glass architecture of The Shard, lives Hutong- the cuisine of Northern China and pays homage to it’s much-loved and famed restaurant in Hong Kong.
There are times in life where stand out dishes leave such a lasting impression upon not only your taste buds, but also burns such mental savoriness and flavor deep into one’s mind. Hutong has satiated my dim sum cravings and probably ruined me for the rest of my life; as I will always compare every dumpling to this standard.
Hutong is on the fancier side of things, this is not your norm dim sum setting where you roll out of bed with your hangover and hope for the greasiest pushcarts to come table-side. Imagine more of a scene where it’s business wheeling and dealing, couples canoodling over Chinese canapés and groups of friends toasting creative cocktails while peering out onto the crazy, impressive expansive views of London.
We ordered off the prix fixed lunch menu, which consisted of 5 savory dim sum dishes for £28. Wafts of deliciously scented air prepped your stomachs for a feast to come, I secretly was inhaling and side-eying each passing dish; perhaps to note any tasty additions.My only regret was not ordering the Peking Duck that you see delicately carved table-side and hanging in the kitchen windows, taunting you to try its suckling meat and crisp skin. In bad blogger style, I was on the edge of beyond hangry and ravenous that I didn’t get a great shot of the food because the moment it came out, it instantly went down the gullet. By the time my blood sugar levels got back to a normal state, I resumed photographic duties, but just couldn’t capture the beauty of the immense flavors.
A few of my favorite dishes and recommendations: Beef Wagyu puffs, Rose Champagne Shrimp Dumplings, and Peking Duck Rolls. While we were being “adventurous” (read, my partner is still expanding his culinary attempts, and I’m Asian, so I’ve tried far crazier things than a fish patty) the Cuttlefish was alright, but I rather would have had another order of the Wagyu puffs. I’d love to come here with a group of friends and just order one of everything, you simply can’t go wrong with any dish.
DRESS: Missguided Blazer Dress // SHOES: Chanel Knee-High Boots (Similar) // ACCESSORIES: ASOS Knee Socks (Similar) & Chanel Golden Class WOC Bag // COAT: Mackage Asymmetrical Coat
Featured: Chanel Golden Class WOC (Similar), Missguided Blazer Dress, Agent Provocateur Love Bra, Chanel Boots
Who knows how to decipher what different restaurants mean by “smart casual”? I’m always one to live and die by “it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed”. With that sentiment in mind, I pulled on my crisp, white blazer dress and some black over-the-knee socks, that frankly always sink with gravity. My sightseeing shoes are my trusty old Chanel boots that have lasted longer than many of my relationships. A perfect walking boot with enough heel to give some much-needed height, while made of the most buttery leather that has been stain resistant and resilient.
Hutong’s setting is beautiful and modern within The Shard’s glass house feel, yet juxtaposed with many touches of ancient Asian decor. Intricately carved wooden ‘Moon Gates’ and red lanterns lights set a moody and calm tone to the restaurant. Ceramic tea canisters and red envelopes hanging from trees bring back a certain nostalgia of Oriental decor familiarity.
While the food and views were stand out, the service was lacking as we experienced a shift change or our first waitress just pulled a fast one on us and never came back. Patience has never been my strong point; however, the lack of service worked out in our favor as I jumped at the chance to take a million pictures from the floor to ceiling windows. Even the restrooms have an open view as you take care of business a la the Standard Hotel’s Boom Boom Room bathrooms. A bit unnerving for the men, but made much more private for the ladies. Eventually, a new waiter was flagged down and he took over with no hesitation and never skipped a beat. I loved our experience at Hutong minus a few missteps, but the with delicious food, pricey drinks, and expansive views; it’ll be a place I return to each time I head to London.
If Asian cuisine just doesn’t happen to be your thing, do not fret. There are 3 other restaurants within The Shard, all vastly different to cater to a wide range of palates and tastes.