Hutong, The Shard

Sitting pretty on the 33rd floor of the Shard, it’s not just the views from this Northern Chinese-inspired restaurant that get us going – the food is as pretty as the London skyline we look onto from our table.

The rest of the dining room is equally as charming. The rectangular space has a glass fronted kitchen at one end with Peking ducks hanging for all to see. There’s a wishing tree too which is quite a spectacle.

We’ve been to Hutong a few times now but the reason for this visit: a new head chef, Fei Wang, so we’re trying his new dishes.

We start with something light and fresh; Chinese asparagus hearts (£12.50). On their own, probably nothing out of the ordinary, but in between far richer dishes like iberico pork dumplings (£14.50) and the dim sum platter (£17.50), it’s a lovely thing.

That dim sum platter really is something quite special. Cod and seaweed, XO sauce crystal prawn, rosé Champagne shrimp and seasonal mushroom – all taste as good as they look. And they look incredible.

The real highlight dish, and again another looker, is the Sichuan-style deep fried lobster. The lobster head sticks up from the plate in a dramatic way, in contrast to the subtlety of the sweet chunks of crisp lobster. There are sliced chillies galore which provide some fiery assistance.

More heat, this time from dried chilli and Sichuan pepper, comes with the Ma La crispy eel (£32). The eel is crisp and fatty – moreish would be the word here. Surprisingly, the chilli doesn’t overpower the fish in the slightest.

Sichuan makes another appearance, but in broth form, with Red Star noodles (£36). A massive bowl of the stuff with pieces of soft, flakey halibut and rice noodles. It serves 4 but the two of us make an impressive dent on the portion as it’s so light.

After all that food, we share the mini black sesame glutinous dumplings (£8.50) – glutinous being the operative word – which deliver a sugar wallop. The perfect end to a rather perfect meal.

Hutong seems to be a restaurant that keeps getting better and better. Sure, it’s expensive, and sure, your fellow diners often take selfies, with the flash on, right besides your table, but the food is so good, none of that matters.

Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant