With an opening set for later this month, everyone is talking about Hutong, the new restaurant at level 33 of The Shard. The 130 cover venue, from David Yeo, founder of Hong Kong’s Aqua Restaurant Group will specialise in the relatively unknown cuisine of Northern China and boast panoramic views of London’s skyline.
Taking inspiration from the Lu School with its roots in the province of Shandong, Aqua Restaurant Group’s head chef for Chinese cuisine, Yuan Shihai has developed an innovative menu inspired by the culinary styles of Peking, Shandong and Sichuan provinces.
Amongst some of the signature dishes will be Crispy deboned lamb (meat from the ribs of the lamb is thrice marinated over a 24 hour period and crisped in the wok); Red Lantern crispy soft shell crab with Sichuan dried peppers; 'Kung Po' wok fried prawns with cashew nuts and chilli; Chilli spiced bamboo clams (steeped in Chinese rose wine and chilli auce and Imperial Peking Duck hand-prepared and roasted in Hutong’s own duck oven). An extensive dim sum menu will also be served at lunchtime.
Hutong takes its design inspiration from the fast disappearing lanes which once criss-crossed the city of Beijing. Billowing silk curtains, traditional Chinese red lanterns and beautiful hand-carved wooden panels adorn the room and there’s also a wall of tea brick tiles and vintage tea canisters dating from 1940s. Tableware features bespoke China plates and all made exclusively for the venue.
A spectacular three-storey high atrium bar will serve quintessential British cocktails with an emphasis on gin and tea and will also link to aqua shard on level 31 below. The latter will showcase a menu devised by Yeo and Executive Chef Anthony Garlando (Pierre Gagnaire) which combines classic British produce with Garlando’s contemporary cooking techniques.