27 May 2014

Hutong Restaurant & Getting Stuck Up The Shard

I enjoy so many different world cuisines; French, Spanish, Greek, Polish, Indian and good old English grub. When I'm asked which one I love the most, I always say Chinese. Well, Chinese or Thai - they're on a par. It's the food I get most excited about - the sweet, the sour, the spices and incredible flavoursome sauces. I even have a soft spot for the prawn crackers (which I must have accompanied by hoisin sauce for dipping or else I get very upset).

My enthusiasm for the cuisine extends from the post-nightclub 'open all hours' restaurants in Chinatown (HK Diner, I love you) right up to the more expensive, lavish venues - like Hutong.

Hutong is situated on level thirty-three of The Shard, serving contemporary northern Chinese food to its well-dressed diners. I'm sure you already know about the incredible views from the upper levels of this building by now so I won't bang on about it - I'll just throw in the odd photo.

I was happy when I saw the menu. Being something of an up-market restaurant, I was half expecting something rather long, complicated and difficult to decipher. To my delight, the dishes were classic, the choice wasn't brain-breaking and it all sounded right up my street.

Mary and I started off with the vegetable spring rolls...

...and, because it's our absolute favourite and something of a tradition, the roasted Peking duck. 

My mouth is watering just looking back at these pictures. It was as good a Peking duck as I've had. The crispy skin was wonderful and the meat pleasingly tender. If it wasn't for the ridiculous fat content, general unhealthiness and duck guilt, I'm pretty sure I could eat this dish every single day.

The leftovers from the duck (i.e. legs, thighs) were taken away and then returned to us with our main course, chopped up and sautéed with vegetables and a tangy sauce. A nice touch, I thought.

Something else I have a great fondness for (and I know a lot of you do too, fellow bloggers!) is soft shell crab. I've ordered it in a few different restaurants recently and it really is a delight. However, never before had I had it served up to me in a massive metal Game of Thrones-esque lantern or in quite such a huge portion!

It may not be cheap but you get a fair amount for your money! It's served on a bed of dried red chillies and tasted as impressive as the portion size.

We also ordered the fried grouper fillet in black bean sauce braised with chilli & onion and the crispy shredded beef & chilli with carrot, celery & garlic.

The grouper was over-salted for my liking and the beef, despite tasting great, was a little difficult to chew. So for these reasons, it wasn't one of the best Chinese food experiences I've had. However, the restaurant was worth the visit for the duck, crab and those ridiculous views alone! The service was very good too.

After an hour and a half, we were gently informed that the restaurant needed their table back in thirty minutes time so we rounded off our meal with some lychee ice cream to share and a couple of Irish coffees (which initially were served to us without any alcohol - we soon put them right!).

We decided to round off this rather opulent evening with a glass of bubbles before heading home. A lovely member of staff in Hutong had secured us a great little table in the Aqua bar, right next to the window. Perfect.

But things were soon to get a little less perfect when we tried to leave. The lifts had broken down.

We were thirty-three floors up, our taxis were waiting outside and the options were either a) stand next to a useless man with a walkie-talkie for the next half hour waiting for something to happen, or b) get our flats on and start walking.

Deciding we could probably do with working off some of those duck-calories, we went for the latter. Getting bored after eight floors, we managed to keep ourselves entertained with a series of ridiculous photos.

Thirty minutes later and we'd made it to the bottom!

Yay us!

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. HA HA OMGGGGGGGGG I love your walking down the stairs photos, brilliant :D

  2. haha oh dear... thats a lot of stairs!! your life looks so glam... http://goo.gl/fb/iVO2R

    1. Not so glam stuck in the stairwell! Haha :) xx

  3. Those portions all look ginormous!! I could definitely eat all that crab though :) Thank gosh the lift didn't break with you in though, ugh... Love the stairs photos

    Rosie xx

    1. The portions were crazy, definitely enough there for a couple of good doggy bags. We did finish off all that crab though...

  4. Those stair photos made me laugh so much!!


  5. This is BRILLIANT! The photos made me laugh so much, what a fun night out. Can't believe your friend lay on the floor, such a legend, she's a keeper! Little London Girl x p.s. the food looks good too. Had an amazing dragonfruit cocktail at Hutong once. I want more!

  6. Oh Caroline - you had me in hysterics at the walking down the stairs photos. hahahahaha - that's me still laughing. You two get up to all sorts!

    Food looks good though - although, I really do hate it when tables ask you to leave. It's like erm I'm actually not finished, so BACK OFF!

    Katie <3

  7. Hooray, love that Chinese food got your vote for best cuisine! It's so interesting to see it on a high-end level but that soft-shell crab and duck looks out of this world. Have you tried A Wong? Also, the Shard is the one place where you really don't want the lift to break down, so kudos for walking down 33 flights!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

  8. I am sitting reading this on the train laughing and chuckling to myself like I am a little bit disturbed. This is a brilliant post the soft shell crab is a favourite had the best in Abu Dhabi recently you can read about it on my blog. The views are spectacular and only a blogger could find photographic joy in having to walk all the way down ingenious. Lucy x

  9. Well your photography is just beyond brilliant my dear. I mean, seriously. I'm drooling all over the library right now!
    But I have to say, the photo at floor 24 is my favourite part of all of this.
    Emily xx
    My GingerBread Journey

  10. Caroline I am DYING at your stairwell photos. Girl after my own heart!!!

    Great post as ever

    Meryl x


  11. This looks so scrumptious!!! Definitely need to try this place - I love chinese food!!! Such funny pics - and I guess you almost burnt off the calories from the Chinese?!! *Wishful thinking *

    See you tonight!

    Josie xoxo Fashion Mumblr

  12. Fantastic photos! I'm going to Hutong for my birthday in a couple of weeks and I feel so inspired to eat all the things after reading this :)


  13. Love the photos of your journey to the bottom!!!


  14. Looks like a lovely venue! Shame about the food, but it looks like you had fun!


  15. Haha brilliant! We stayed at The Shangri-La on the opening weekend and we had an evacuation alarm at midnight and all I thought was oh goodness I need to walk down 47 flights of stairs - thankfully we didn't have to evacuate in the end. The views are amazing from The Shard xx


Thank you for your comment!