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Welcome inside Hutong!

Hutong, situated on Level 33 of London’s tallest building The Shard, takes its inspiration from the food served in the imperial palaces of old Peking. Based on the Lu school cuisine of Shandong Province, renowned for its seafood and vinegars, and with influences from Sichuan Province, famous for its fiery flavours, the menu at Hutong artfully captures the subtlety and surprises of Northern Chinese cooking.

The restaurant is named after Beijing’s ancient hutongs – the now fast-disappearing narrow lanes which criss-crossed the city revealing its old family houses, their grand courtyards and life within.

With our blog we seek to create our own lively community, sharing news, recipes, inspirations, lessons on Chinese culture and stories about our team and guests. We invite you to join us in this by commenting and sharing using the social media buttons on each post, and do please contact us if you would like to share stories of your own!

The Year of the Rooster and story of The Great Race

Rooster

The Chinese New Year begins on Saturday 28th January and it will be the year of the Fire Rooster. Roosters are known to be hard working and are a sign of dawn and a new awakening. The fire element means that it could be a year of inner warmth and insight.

The story of the Chinese zodiac comes from an old folklore, The Great Race. The Jade Emperor called a meeting with all the animals and proclaimed that he would name the zodiac after the order that the animals finished. The race was across all terrains, culminating in crossing a mighty river.

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The Winter Solstice Festival

Dim sum platter 1The Winter Solstice Festival in China is also known as Dongzhi Festival, which literally means “the arrival of winter”. This year Winter Solstice falls on Wednesday 21 December.

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Northern China and wheat

HT18F Hutong Dan Dan noodles Low Res

At Hutong we serve Northern Chinese and Sichuan cuisine. We are often asked to define the differences between these cuisines and the more familiar Southern Chinese food.

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The dim sum story

dim sum steaming

Dim sum is an important part of our menu at Hutong, in particular for our lunch service. Dim sum is a traditional Chinese cuisine that originated in Southern China but each region now has its own distinct array of dim sum.

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A dish inspired by the Qing Dynasty

Hutong Kung-Po style whole lobster_LowRes

The Qing Dynasty was the last Imperial Dynasty in China, ruling from 1644 – 1912. During this period art and culture grew and developed, with many innovations happening, and the philosophical Confucian teachings expanded greatly, creating a space for a flourishing and creative society.

Along with a well-established culture often comes exciting cuisine.

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Hutongs, home & family

Hutong's Shanghai Bar

Our guests often get ask us about our name and what ‘Hutong’ is. Our name is a huge part of our identity and we thought it would be nice to share a brief history of hutongs and why we find them inspiring.

Hutongs are alleyways particular to Northern China, famed in Beijing,  originating from the Yan Dynasty (1271–1368) and were built around the Forbidden City.  Hutong is a Mongolian word for water well, meaning they were pathways towards communities’ wells, the centre of a neighbourhood.

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Make a Wish

LR-Make a Wish

One of the joys of designing a cocktail menu at Hutong is that there is so much to get inspiration from. The tastes of the kitchen, the smells from the unique Sichuan spices, and Northern Chinese ingredients provide rich places for our bar team to begin creating a cocktail list.

But cocktails aren’t just about flavour profile, here at Hutong we think dinning together with friends and family is special and something we enjoy celebrating. Therefore, how a cocktail makes you feel is just as important to our bar staff.

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Mid-Autumn Festival & Mooncakes

LOWRESMooncakes

The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the harvest season and all that that brings. Traditionally the whole village would come together as a community, and families would work closely to harvest their crops. As the festival and the traditions have evolved the meaning of the Mid-Autumn Festival has grown to mean a coming together of friends and family, and a thanksgiving.

The Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, which is when the moon is at its brightest in the year. This year that date is Thursday 15th September.

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Spotlight on: Sichuan pepper

Red Lantern Crispy soft shell cab Sichuan dried chilli_lowres

Sichuan pepper is integral to our cuisine here at Hutong, with many dishes using the hot spice, such as for our signature dish the Red Lantern and in our Ma La sauce. Sichuan Pepper is a key ingredient in Sichuan cooking.

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Our new summer cocktails

Our Bars manager Francesco enjoys taking inspiration from his surroundings. He believes that the cocktail list should be an important part of a guests experience, therefore it needs to work with the food and the feel of the restaurant.

Each of the cocktails uses at least one of the spices that are predominant in our kitchen.

LR-Chilli Qing Julep 2

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