It seems almost unbelievable that The Shard has only been open for half a decade. Sleek and soaring, it is now hard to imagine London’s skyline without it. Marking its five years, award-winning Chinese restaurant Hutong – which opened shortly after the shard itself – has devised a celebratory 10-course menu of small dishes showcasing its most-loved dishes.
Set loftily on the 33rd floor of The Shard, boasting sweeping views of London (weather permitting), Hutong combines authentic Northern Chinese décor with city-slick interiors. A wishing tree hung with hundreds of hopes and desires flanks the entrance to the restaurant, where walls lined with dark latticed wooden panelling (all shipped over from China) are lifted by walls of merry red lanterns and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. It is here that my guest and I find ourselves nibbling on crispy wedges of spring roll and drinking a comfortably numb – an energising mixture of vanilla, lychee liqueur, fresh chilli, Sechuan pepper, honey and lime, while my guest sips a tropical serve combining Zapaca 23-year old rum with orange Curacao, molasses, grenadine, lime and flowers – before taking our seats to sample the full menu.