In June 2013, Hutong opened on Level 33 of The Shard. The 130-cover restaurant was created by David Yeo, founder of Aqua Restaurant Group, and serves contemporary Northern Chinese cuisine. Hutong takes its inspiration from the dishes served in the imperial palaces of what was then Peking. Based on the ‘Lu school’ cuisine of Shandong Province, renowned for its seafood and vinegars and with influences from Sichuan Province, famous for its fiery spices and peppers, the menu at Hutong artfully captures the subtlety and surprises of Northern Chinese cooking. The restaurant is named after Beijing’s ancient hutongs – the now fast-disappearing narrow lanes which criss-crossed the city revealing its old family houses, their grand courtyards and life within.
Among Hutong’s A La Carte menu there are a number of signature dishes including the dramatic Red Lantern (crispy soft- shell crab with Sichuan dried chilli), Ma La Chilli Prawns (fried with dried chilli, Sichuan pepper and Chinese celery) and Crispy De-boned Lamb Ribs, for which the meat is thrice marinated over a 24-hour period and crisped in the wok. In addition a dedicated duck roasting kitchen, which can be viewed from the restaurant, produces traditional hand-prepared Roasted Peking Duck. The duck enables a sense a theatre as it is carved table side and served as is traditional in two courses; first the skin and breast meat are carved to be enjoyed with homemade pancakes, spring onions and Hutong duck sauce, then the remainder is stir fried with vegetables and served as a second course in lettuce leaves. An extensive Dim Sum menu is available at lunch every day with baked, steamed and fried parcels from £7.00.
In addition to a broad offering of traditional wines, spirits and classic cocktails, Hutong’s drinks menu features Chinese wines and a cocktail selection inspired by ingredients used in traditional Chinese cuisine. The ‘Old Peking Fashioned’ for example blends Peking duck infused Hennessy cognac, roasted sesame syrup and chocolate bitters, angostura bitters and is topped with a chocolate and sesame seed popping candy pancake. The ‘Hutong Sunset’ features Bulleit Rye whiskey, Solerno blood orange liqueur and Hutong’s amaro mix.. Hutong’s dramatic interior design blends the old and new with panoramic views over the London skyline from Western Europe’s tallest building. Based on the much-loved restaurant of the same name in Hong Kong, this site is the first overseas location for Hutong, regarded as one of the world’s leading Chinese restaurants.
As creative director of Aqua Restaurant Group, David Yeo conceptualized every detail of the dramatic interior of Hutong. Traditional Chinese red lanterns and beautiful hand-carved wood-panelled ‘Moon Gates’ adorn the room, while a wall of tiled tea bricks (compressed dried Chinese tea) and vintage 1940s tea canisters celebrate the link between China and London and its old tea warehouses. A Wishing tree stands tall in the Beijing wing, guests are invited to write their wishes on special cards at the end of their meal and hang them on the tree for good luck. David Yeo’s vision naturally extends to the table setting itself with a beautiful collection of crockery and tableware all made exclusively for Hutong.
33, The Shard,
31 St Thomas St,
020 3011 1257