#CocktailConversations with Paolo Molinaro, Hutong’s new Assistant Bar Manager

Meet our new Assistant Bar Manager Paolo Molinaro and learn more about him including where the inspiration for Hutong’s cocktail menu comes from to his favourite bars in London.

Paolo Molinaro

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Place a wish on our wishing tree for OneSky’s Chinese children in need

For over two hundred years in China it has been tradition to tie a wish written on paper to an orange and toss it into a treeIf the wish catches the branch and stays there, it is believed it will be granted. At Hutong, regular guests will know that it’s custom to write their wish and place it on our wishing tree at the end of your meal.

Wishing tree and restaurant

This Chinese New Year, we are supporting children’s charity OneSky who since 1998 have brought love to over 10,000 Chinese children in need by providing dedicated carers to give family-like nurturing care to help those who are orphaned, abandoned or live in poverty.


We would like to invite our guests instead of wishing for themselves, to write their wish for a child on one of our special golden wishing cards between the 23rd January and 19th February 2017. At the end of this period all the wishes will go into a draw and three children will receive the love and care provided from the OneSky ‘Sponsor A Child’ programme, sponsored by Hutong.

For more information or to make a donation to OneSky, please visit their website.

The Year of the Rooster and story of The Great Race


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


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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