Tower Bridge: Hutong
Hutong was a hit from the day it opened in May 2013 in The Shard, Europe’s tallest building. Inspired by the eponymous and legendary restaurant in Hong Kong, the London version offers Northern Chinese cooking at prices as sky-high as its 33rd-floor location. Of course, it’s beautiful, with wooden latticework, black lacquer and red lanterns, but all this has to compete with the spectacular view. At lunch, dim sum is the order of the day: delicate dumplings filled with vegetable and bamboo pith, crab meat, scallop and pumpkin; pan-fried chicken; or crispy shrimp rolls with thousand-year egg. At dinner, if you want a dish to match the panorama of London sparkling below you, choose Peking duck, carved at the table with style and skill. Hutong is expensive (that Peking duck is £58), but the pure theater of the setting combined with the skill of the cooking makes this a splurge-worthy experience .
Hutong is not the only restaurant in the Shard with that view. Oblix on the 32nd floor takes its cue from the skyscraper setting for a menu of New York dishes from Rainer Becker, while the 31st-floor venue aqua shard, serving a modern British menu, has the most enviable wow factor with its three-storey high atrium bar.
33rd Floor, 1 St. Thomas St., SE19RY; 020 3011 1257