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Chinese New Year 2018: Hutong Celebrates Traditional Cuisine

SEEN never tires of wandering through London’s Chinatown at this time of the year and we see that this year’s offering from Hutong (located in The Shard) does not disappoint, either. Until 25th February, award-winning Northern Chinese restaurant Hutong will be celebrating Chinese New Year with dishes steeped in tradition. Head Chef Fei Wang has put a modern spin on historical Chinese dishes.

Many Chinese dishes combine diverse regional cooking styles. Chef Wang has combined these with popular dishes eaten at New Year, giving diners a unique experience.

On February 16th, Hutong will be ‘cleaning the restaurant’ by re-hanging the red lanterns for good luck and to signify a new start. Diners will be entertained by a traditional lion dance to ward off evil spirits known as ‘nian’, alongside noise-makers and traditional red pocket envelopes with gifts and treats. A Chinese calligrapher will be on hand to create personal mementos.

Auspicious sambo
This means ‘everything is lucky’ encourages diners to embrace past present and future, combining three different regional dishes and flavours on one plate – spicy fried ma la beef tenderloin, hot and sour konnkyu, Chinese-style potato and steamed sweet and spicy yam. ‘Sambo’ is a romanised term for three ancestral treasures in Chinese culture, with each region having their own treasures passed through the from generations.

Handmade king prawn dumpling with hot and sour soup
Dumplings are a key dish served at any Chinese New Year celebration; they traditionally represent wealth and happiness, and legend has it that the more dumplings you eat, the more money you can make in the New Year. These dumplings will be served in a rich broth made from chilli and vinegar, and a special stock made in-house at Hutong.

Steamed whole sea bass with spicy garlic sauce

In Northern China, fish has long been associated with prosperity and abundance.
Traditionally diners leave some of the meal on their plate, as it is thought that they will be brought more wealth in the new year. The fish course at Hutong comprises a whole steamed British sea bass, served with spicy garlic sauce and pico chillies.

Sides will include wok-fried choy sum (leafy and green like broccoli) and seafood fried rice with dried salted fish and ginger.

For dessert, Chef Wang will serve ‘nian-go’ (meaning ‘year’ and ‘tall’, so diners can raise themselves symbolically), a sweet sticky cake, deep fried with concentrated milk.

The Hutong bar team will create a special New Year cocktail: ‘Panhu’, taking inspiration from the year of the dog. Panhu is a dragon-dog figure from Chinese myth. It is made from Bulldog gin, pomelo cordial, crème de mure, lemon juice, fresh raspberries and egg white. This refreshing serve is priced at £16. The set menu is £88 per person. 新年快乐

33 The Shard
31 St Thomas Street