Howling winds and scattered showers would confine the best of us indoors, safe from the elements. But not my girls. My second visit in one month, I was excited for my nearest and dearest to experience this unique slice of London, with Hutong being the restaurant of choice at the Shard.
Shimmers of red and classic oriental décor lined every other twist and turn, creating a modern elegance, with the panoramic London skyline as its backdrop. Such attention to detail when it comes to the ambiance and presentation of a restaurant naturally leads your curiosity to the culinary surprises in store.
For me, Hutong surpassed my expectations when it came to their food. Well presented and full of fierce flavours, I never thought a seafood fried rice could pack such a punch. Whilst I was shocked at the generous use of spices and left my friend to tackle her fiery dish, I opted for the mixed dim sum platter. This included 2 rose champagne shrimp dumplings, 2 crystal crabmeat dumplings, 2 scallop and pumpkin dumplings and 2 vegetarian dumplings. Paired with a flavoursome garlic sauce and potent chilli oil, dinner was truly a delight, despite having to stab my dim sum with chopsticks that just didn’t want to work with me.
I was delighted to hear that the bar could do mocktails and even adapt some of their listed cocktails for those who didn’t wish to consume alcohol. Naturally a piña colada was on the cards and as I chatted away with Hutong’s delightful manager, their resident mixologist put together a medley of juices, which kept me satisfied for the remainder of the night.
Every restaurant has room for improvement however and the fact that Hutong’s team are open and transparent about this makes this 33rd floor getaway all the more endearing. The in-house service was wonderful and efficient. The manager with whom I spoke with, made very meaningful provisions for us to make up for some discrepancies experienced with the reservation team. Right from the start, you get a sense that service is important to these people and there’s nothing more reassuring than seeing a determination to right wrongs and to build on constructive feedback.
As a birthday venue, I would definitely recommend Hutong. There is an allocated time limit to your table, however in our situation where there were no later bookings made, we were able to enjoy our evening without rushing courses and watching the time.
Like many of our landmarks we often take for granted, the Shard is one that should be experienced mostly for the views you get of such a bustling capital, which just like the food, is mouth-wateringly sublime.