Suspended high up on the 33rd floor of London’s iconic Shard, Hutong makes quite the first impression. Positioned right on the sweeping curve of the Thames, the views here are amongst the best you’re likely to find in London, encompassing all the major landmarks in what must surely be one of the world’s most impressive cityscapes. But despite the undeniably stunning vistas, Hutong is much more concerned with what lies inside its sky-high location. Once you’ve finally torn yourself away from the floor-to-ceiling windows (vertigo sufferers need not apply), you’ll notice an extreme attention to detail in all things design, from an entire wall of low-lit red lanterns to the hand-carved wooden panels that dissect different areas of the restaurant.
Yuan Shihai’s Northern Chinese menu, specifically influenced by the Lu School of Shandong, delivers delicious regional specialities such as “Red Lantern” crispy soft shell crab with Sichuan dried peppers, which appears at the table in an enormous bronze bowl, and Imperial Peking Duck, which is prepared and roasted in Hutong’s very own dedicated duck oven. The dim sum is also exceptional – perfectly presented and delicate without loosing out on flavour.
And when it comes to wine, there’s an entire tome to work your way through, along with an incredible selection of cocktails, from fiery Sichuan infused numbers to exotic gin blends laced with dragon fruit.