Hutong at The Shard

The Shard was opened to the public in February 2013 and since then it's made countless appearances particularly on social media as visitors post images of the view across London. It has become something of an icon of the London skyline.  

I have never been to the Shard. The closest I've managed to get to it is looking skywards at it as I pass by London Bridge but all this was about to change.  

As a very late birthday present I was invited to dinner by a friend and the restaurant of choice was Hutong which is on the 33rd floor of The Shard. The reservation was on a Sunday evening which perhaps is a blessing in disguise as the place wasn't as crowded as one would imagine it to be.  

I'll divide this review into sections which should make it more palatable (see what I did there)

Venue - Undoubtedly the reason most people come to dinner at the Shard is the view. This isn't a comment on the quality of the food served. This point was made clear by the other patrons around us constantly on their phones taking pictures. This gets distracting as there was a flash going off from every angle. The restaurant's website has this to say about the view "we cannot take requests for window tables, the layout of our restaurant is panoramic and all our tables and bar offer a beautiful view of the London skyline" This is very true, wherever you're seat you're in stored for a fabulous view. On the night we visited the city was lit up like a jewel. 

Food - Hutong serves Northern Chinese dishes. We decide to indulge as it was a special occasion so our order was as follows

2 Crispy prawn rolls

1 Pork dumpling with garlic sauce

1 Crispy de-boned lamb ribs

1 Chef's rice

1 Seafood fried rice

1 Braised beef in aged vinegar and ginger sauce

1 Chocolate tart and a mango pudding and of course a bottle of wine to top things off

Our order selection presented beautifully on our table

Our order selection presented beautifully on our table

Service -  The service was a little slow to start with. The discouraging part of the whole meal was when after spending 10 minutes choosing a wine from their wine list and telling our waiter what we wanted he took the order and disappeared for 5 minutes only to come back and ask if we were sure we wanted that wine and rudely pointed to the price to find out if we could afford it. 

All in all a fabulous birthday meal in an amazing location with the only suggestion that the staff are a little more attentive to their patrons. ****

Michael Dankwah