Hutong at The Shard 333

Level 33,The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street , London, SE1 9RY

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SquareMeal Review of Hutong at The Shard

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016London flagship of the Hong Kong-based Aqua Group, this luxe eatery on Level 33 of The Shard is nigh on impossible beat for its beautiful interiors, glamorous vibes and “spectacular views”. Despite ‘hutong’ bringing to mind Beijing’s backstreets, the menu’s a sophisticated mix of Szechuan and Northern Chinese, with some “absolutely exquisite” Cantonese dim sum for good measure. Recent highlights have included Shandong shredded chicken (for stuffing into fluffy buns), boned lamb ribs (braised then stir-fried), and a plate of “soft, yielding and deeply savoury” braised beef in aged vinegar and ginger sauce. The full-on version of Peking duck is simply “fantastic”, and there’s also ma-po tofu, with a blend of chilli and Szechuan pepper giving it that distinctive numbing-hot effect known as ma-la. Spicing is considerably toned down from the full blast you’ll find in Chengdu, but that suits most of the suburban visitors and expense-account diners just fine. Prices are double what you’d pay in Chinatown, although readers are happy to shell out for such “phenomenal” food. “A real treat.”

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7.2

Food & Drink: 6.4

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 7.1

Value: 5.8

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

jo m. 29 April 2017

visited on 23rd afternoon march 2017 was disappointed with the reception received by the people at the bar on the side of the restaurant. have visited many times before always good service but this time was very disappointed by the reception staff and the Chinese cook who served the peiking duck. need to train the staff welcoming guests. they need to make the guests feel comfortable rather than have the attitude that they are doing a favour by being there especially the male reception staff member.hope you will investigate and solve this as its not acceptable for a restaurant of this calibre. was contacted by representative on face book but no contact via email since last10 days from the london branch. not expected from a place like huton

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Alison F. 04 April 2017

I booked a table to celebrate my father's birthday. From the moment you step into The Shard you are welcomed by really pleasant and helpful people. All the staff at Hutong are helpful, pleasant and their sole aim is to make sure you have a wonderful experience - it really was a wonderful evening. The food is sublime there and so is the wine. If I have to criticise something it would be time - if flew by!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Simon S. 12 August 2016

In short, it's overpriced and a bit shabby. There are better places in London to eat with a view (City Social for a start). You're paying for the view and that's about it.... and even then the windows were smeared and grubby. I went for a business lunch... it may be better in the evenings, but I'm not sure I'll bother to find out. On a positive note, the dumplings were excellent.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

David N. 04 July 2016

Close but certainly not the same atmosphere as Hutong in Hong Kong, the place certainly is spectacular but the food keeps on an average on regarding other Chinese restaurants in London and certain colours on the dim sum looked too intense and distant from the original ones. With everything reserved me and my guests were placed on the third line far away from the view while a certain number of tables kept empty more than an hour and a group that didn´t like the location were moved to another one. Do I have to fight to get a better place ? In short, details on presentation of a real Chinese food, a more warm reception and details can make a visit to Hutong a remembered one, not this time.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Amy M. platinum reviewer 01 April 2016

It was my second trip up London's answer to Burj Khalifa for a meal at Hutong. This time I left mildly underwhelmed. Naturally, this restaurant is in constant demand for its beautiful interiors, spectacular views and suitably glamorous feel to wine and dine either clients or a paramour, so it may be that after a couple of years, they have begun to rest on their laurels. This time I opted for the Experience Lunch Menu, which is a great bargain when one considers the average a la carte per head cost. The dim sum were absolutely exquisite, juicy little parcels of incredible deliciousness, but sadly it was downhill from there. I can genuinely say that the main courses were both utterly tasteless. Not offensive, just bland. Which in a restaurant such as this, serving this kind of cuisine should be impossible. The service was also slightly ambivalent and sometimes difficult. My mother is a coffee fiend and as our reservation was for 1230, I met her half an hour earlier for a drink. She wanted her cup of coffee, however, it was as if she had asked for the chef's head on a plate. They made it very clear that the bar did not serve hot drinks. Which is ridiculous, because 10ft away in the restaurant, they do! Hutong seems to have lost some of its initial lustre which is such a shame, as it will run the risk of becoming all fur coat and no knickers.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 07 January 2016

We went for dinner in late November, and had a really delicious meal at what I still think is a very special location. I love this food and I love the views over London. We started with Shandong shredded chicken with homemade butterfly buns, the buns soft and white and fluffy, the chicken served sliced and seasoned so you can fill the buns yourselves. This was followed by the beautifully carved at-the-table roasted Peking duck, the skin fabulously crispy, the meat soft and luscious, with thin pancakes and a good hoisin sauce. Moving on to the main course, with boned lamb ribs, braised and then deep-fried until crunchy crisp with a dipping sauce, and a plate of soft, yielding and deeply savoury braised beef in aged vinegar and ginger sauce with vegetable rice, and some healthy flash fried greens with ginger. There was also the second serving of Peking duck stir-fried, but this felt like a bit of an after-thought. Well this was plenty and we couldn't finish it all, but found a small spot for some rather uninteresting looking ginger ice-cream that turned out to be really delicious, and a mango pudding that looked pretty but lacked impact. We were very fortunate to have a table for two close to the windows, with fab views and dim lighting for romantic ambiance. I still like the lanterns and decor and yes there are Friday night groups of city types getting rowdy, but they don't stay long and didn't bother us.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Joanna G. platinum reviewer 28 July 2015

I was taken here for a birthday lunch last Saturday. I know that my sister had rung in advance and told them of this fact and that a friend of mine who knows the manager also told the restaurant in advance. We arrived about 15 early for our reservation and were told that if we were happy to go straight to a table that we could have a window table, but if we went to the bar first they couldn't guarantee it would still be available, so we went straight to the table. Unfortunately for us the view was straight down onto London Bridge station, which, whilst impressive, is not the most attractive view! Our waiter was very friendly and said "you are here for a celebration aren't you, what is your name", I told him and he called me by my name throughout and we had a few chats and laughs throughout the lunch, he was great. Not being particularly large eaters we opted for half a crispy duck (served in the traditional way, in 2 servings), the lamb and fennel dumplings and asparagus in white sesame. The duck was brought to the table by a chef, who carved it beautifully, perfect crispy skin, delicious, moist and tasty duck, and served with hoi sin, pancakes, cucumber and spring onion - we would happily have eaten the rest of the duck this way, but the remainder was taken back to the kitchen and then re-appeared in the style of a stir fry with peppers and onions, and lettuce leaves to make a "wrap" which completely dried the duck out and was pretty tasteless. The dumplings were full of flavour, although not sure it was a particularly "Chinese" dish and the asparagus was blanched, fresh and crunchy and a cut through the fatty food well. We had a bottle of Verdejo which was also very nice. I am not really a dessert person, so we opted for the ginger and honey ice cream to share - which came with a piece of chocolate with "Happy Birthday" written on it. I eat out a lot and most restaurants if you tell them that its a special occasion make a little more effort than they do at the Shard, but hey, I'm a big girl and don't need candles - the waiter even said that he was embarrassed at how little effort the management put into these things. The bar area was heaving with tourists, suitcases and people not adhering to the dress code of no sports shoes. All in all, it was a nice lunch, with great views, excellent service and mostly good food, but I wouldn't rush back, this has been on my "list" to visit for some time, but there are many other restaurants that I would go back to before coming back here.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Bacchus 03 April 2015

Went to Hutong as a treat for a major birthday. They don't formally accept bookings near the windows (everyone wants one) but they did take note of the request, and very kindly gave us a semi-private table in it's own room. Could not have asked for a better position. The food was really very good, served quickly with portions plenty large enough. The waitress suggested scaling back our order as we had too much, and she was right. Wines sensibly priced, service good and friendly. Top notch.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Tim H. gold reviewer 16 March 2015

Having previously been to the other restaurants in the Shard I booked to take a party of 5 to celebrate my son's birthday. I have to say that our experience at Hutong was at best average. The food was the most disappointing aspect of the evening. This was very typical Chinese food that you can find anywhere in Chinatown without the cost premium.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Faijai. H 20 June 2014

On a Friday night, this was a crowded bar and restaurant packed with the ‘bridges and tunnel’ crowd and office parties on a night out. This creates an atmosphere of its own (drunk girls staggering around and boys vomiting in the gents), but perhaps not one which you would want to experience for the prices you pay. The restaurant is well-designed with an attractive modern asian theme. There is a mix of semi-private booths and well spaced-out tables. The views are as staggering as you would expect. The ‘a la carte’ menu is not enormous and has a strong Schezwan-hot presence and a heavy use of the deep fat fryer. Generally our appetizers, whilst simple, were good: spicy chicken, scollops with pomelo/belly pork. The spring rolls were disappointing: unsophisticated- a few root vegetables in filo. That having been said, there was no wow-factor to what was presented which we would have expected from the brand. We had a Peking duck (high expectations which were not met) where the skin was not as crispy as should have been the case, but it was Ok. The first batch of pancakes were dried out and like cardboard, but replaced quickly. Mains repeated the theme of the starters: good, but not wow. The soft shell crab had a a few too many legs and not enough body, so was a little greasy. More generally, we all felt that we could have dined as well at a good local Chinese restaurant and the menu is eye-wateringly expensive for what you get. All food was presented superbly. Deserts were excellent. Service was top drawer. Attentive, friendly and engaging, knowledgeable and helpful. From the front door through to our departure and also in the bar. That was the highlight of the evening. What was not was to be asked to vacate our table towards the end of the meal. We had not lingered over the meal, but to be asked to move on just over an hour after we sat down was an unexpected downer. We had expected a super-charged version of Hakkasan. This does not come close on the food front. The atmosphere also will challenge many as it undermines any sense of quality or sophistication. That, of course, may not be what the owners aspire to: if it's what you aspire to I suggest that you go to the bar at the Shangri La for the view and Hakkasan for the food. We will not return.

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Beijing
Capacity: 26
Shanghai
Capacity: 18