Friday 18 July 2014

The Shard Restaurants - The Complete Guide

The Shard Restaurants

At 1,004ft tall, the Shard is the 87-storey skyscraper that now dwarfs every other building in London. Compared to other major cities around the world like New York and Hong Kong, London’s skyline is relatively open – our historical landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, and Nelson’s Column may have been tall in their day, but now are closely guarded from other potential structures masking them from view. The Shard then was viewed with suspicion by many who thought that such an immense building would change the traditional feel of the London skyline. Now that construction is completed though, Londoners have embraced the shimmering glass giant as a true landmark of the city.
Now sitting as the tallest building in the EU, the Shard was designed by architect Renzo Piano to be a ‘vertical city’. So how does a building that can be seen from over 40 miles away achieve this? Inside, there are 27 floors of office space, of which television company Al Jazeera has said that it wants to construct a TV studio inside. There are also 19 floors of hotel accommodation. But can you actually make the Shard your home? Only ten apartments are being offered, and if you want one, prices start at a cool £50 million. However, the penthouse is 735ft up, and even has sea views on a clear day.
The Shard is clearly a structure that is making the most of its cloud-piercing height. What then could be better than the thought of getting a table for dinner that towers over the entire city? Such an amazing dining experience is absolutely possible, as there are three separate restaurants inside the Shard, each offering their own unique style and appeal, but all sharing the same unmatched views.
In a city as cosmopolitan as London, it’s no surprise that dining inside the Shard is very much an intercontinental affair. Contemporary tastes from the Orient sit alongside faithful Mediterranean staples, with wine and cocktail list so extensive that every corner of the globe is represented somehow. However, this dominating London landmark housing these eateries are a symbol of British achievement, and as such, the often side-lined British cuisine has been given pride of place in the first restaurant under the spotlight here.


Hutong at The Shard
Hutong at The Shard
Where: 33rd floor
Cuisine: Northern Chinese
Average price for a main course: £25
Dress code: Smart casual
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, Lunch: 12 - 14:45. Dinner: 18:00 - 22:45

An outpost of the acclaimed restaurant of the same name in Hong Kong, Hutong is perhaps the most theatrical and of all the restaurants in The Shard. Think deep, rich dark wood, hand-carved into intricate latticework designs, with interior trees and traditional red lanterns throughout. In any other restaurant in any other location, these touches would be the final talking point about the interior design of the establishment. However, being that the restaurant is inside the Shard, 33 floors up, there is always an ace in the hole. As uncouth as it may sound, it is the toilets that have been the talking point with many visitors to Hutong. With urinals actually set against the glass of the floor to ceiling windows, gentlemen are offered a more engaging backdrop for one of nature’s essential moments. If anyone is going to have any profound reflections on life while using the convenience, it will happen in here.
Back to the restaurant itself, the menu takes its cues from the bold cuisine of Northern China, with arresting spices and colours abound. Even the cocktails have a bite to them, with one being packed full of Sichuan peppercorns. Of course, this is not to say that the dishes are unrecognisable. Glazed beef ribs, fried grouper fillet with black bean sauce, and whole Peking duck all feature (although a whole one of the latter will be £58).
In a building as desirable as the Shard, a luxury hotel was a natural step in utilising the valuable space inside London’s tallest building. The Shangri-La occupies the 34th to 52nd floors, with level 35 housing the newly opened TĪNG. Meaning ‘living room’ in Chinese, the hotel has gone to great pains to furnish the restaurant with a mixture of traditional and contemporary Chinese furniture, creating a sophisticated, relaxing setting for meals at any time of day. Asian specialities feature throughout the a la carte menu at this Shard restaurant, while both traditional English and Asian-influenced afternoon tea options offer up a selection of more than 30 teas.

Recommended Dishes at Hutong
Whole Roasted Peking Duck Hutong at The Shard
Whole Roasted Peking Duck
Hutong Duck Carving
Peking Duck (Carving)
Soft Shell Crab - Hutong at The Shard
Red Lantern (Soft Shell Crab)
Hutong Dim Sum
Dim Sum
Chilled Spiced Razor Clams
Hutong Prawns
Ma La Prawns
The Bar
Shanghai Bar at Hutong at The Shard
Shanghai Bar, Hutong

Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard Restaurant
Where: 31st floor
Cuisine: British
Average price for a main course: £25
Dress code: Smart casual
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 07:00 - 10.30 & 12:00 - 15:00 & 15:00 - 17:00 & 18:00 - 23:00, Saturday and Sunday: 09.00 - 10.00 & 11:00 - 15:30 & 18:00 - 23:00

Aqua Shard sits on the 31st floor, and is a confident display of British dining doing what it does best. Sourcing much of its produce from the famed Borough Market on the streets below, you’ll find traditional breakfasts given gourmet tweaks that don’t break their universal approachability, as well as the finest examples of the institution of afternoon tea. Obviously, dining here would be a treat at any time of day, but with the breakfast menu loaded with enticing dishes, Aqua Shard is able to offer Londoners something that feels all too rare – excitement to get up for work! The classic of eggs Benedict is given a twist with the addition of tender lobster, and that’s before you even get to the full English. No greasy spoon fare here, but at the same time, no pretentious minimalist approach to this staunchly defended classic. Thick-cut bacon and Cumberland sausage aren’t the only pork treats on offer, as the homemade baked beans are laced with shredded pork too.
The restaurant is not so stuffy that it is above pulling out a little British eccentricity though. Alongside its artisan teas, in-house jams and preserves and freshly-baked breads, there are the unique breakfast cocktails. True, drinking in the morning isn’t usually the done thing in civilised company, but civilised company hasn’t had access to such eclectic creations such as these up until now. Take the Morning Glory Cup – almond milk, egg white, mandarin bitters, fresh raspberries and Chambord, all topped with a sprinkling of corn flakes. There are some things you just don’t turn down.
Brunch at Aqua Shard pulls out all the stops. Along with a signature cocktail, diners are spoilt for choice with options ranging from lobster benedict, through to spiced pork cheek or braised lamp rump with a black olive jus. The bigger mains on the menu at this Shard restaurant showcase some of the finest seafood options in London, such as open crab ravioli, and Loch Duart roasted salmon with Welsh mussels. Prime meats and poultry from around the UK are given carefully crafted accompaniments, while a special ‘Market Garden’ section of the menu boasts the freshest produce from Borough Market’s ample fruit and vegetable stallss
It simply wouldn’t be a British restaurant without afternoon tea being served. Offering a collection of infusions from the Rare Tea Company, Aqua Shard of course pairs these with its selection of fresh pastries and preserves, all made in-house.

Recommended Dishes at Aqua Shard
Aqua Shard Dover Sole
Dover Sole
Aqua Shard Lamb Saddle
Lamb Saddle
Lobster Benedict
Lobster Benedict (Breakfast)
Full english breakfast
Full English Breakfast
Morning Glory Cup
Breakfast Cocktail: Morning Glory Cup

The Bar
Aqua Shard Atrium Bar
Aqua Shard Bar


Oblix Restaurant at The Shard
Where: 32nd floor
Cuisine: International
Average price for a main course: £27
Dress code: Smart casual
Opening hours: Lunch: Monday to Friday 12.00 - 14.30. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 12.00-15.30. Dinner: Monday to Sunday 18.00-22.30. Additionally: a smaller menu is available, from 15.00-18:00.

With skyscrapers like the Shard being more of a signature of the American metropolises across the Atlantic, it’s only fitting that the next restaurant inside London’s tallest building has a flavour of the new world to it. On the 32nd floor, Oblix was developed very much with the New York skyline in mind, and as a result combines an obvious sophisticated feel, but with an unapologetic urban feel that New York is famed for.
With the warp-like speed of the lifts up to the restaurant already taken into account, entering Oblix is an experience in itself. Upon first being greeted with flickering candles and an almost Mayan temple-feel of earthen tiles and dark passageways, you are soon lead into the much brighter but no less dramatic main space of the establishment.
As well as an energetic restaurant space with a theatrical open kitchen, Oblix also features a cocktail bar that boasts an aged cocktail library with a dedicated wine corner; perfect for any experts in a dining party. Any potential stuffiness or unapproachability to the bar is sidestepped though, as the live music offerings that has won Oblix additional fans is a real ice breaker.
Formerly of New York institution Eleven Madison Park, head chef Fabien Beaufour has crafted the Oblix menu into a truly international affair. Lobster and scallop ceviche is paired with japaleno, coriander and sweet pepper, while the impossibly tempting grill offers up dishes that are scarcely found elsewhere – a cut of the much heralded Japanese Wagyu beef is available (but don’t expect much change from £100).
To not include a hotel inside London's tallest building, given the views that people gladly pay £25 to go and experience, would've been a bewildering move. Of course, any hotel that stepped up to fill such an envious location would clearly be world-renowned. The Shangri-La has transformed the floors it now occupies into contemporary hotel gold, and has brought a level of dining that matches..

Recommended Dishes at Oblix 
Burrata at Obix
Burrata, olives & datterini tomatoes
Iceberg, stilton and pancetta
New York Cheesecake
New York Cheesecake
The Bar
Oblix Bar


Ting Restaurant Shard
Where: 35th floor
Cuisine: International
Average price for a main course: £22
Dress code: Smart casual
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, Breakfast: 06:30 - 10:30. Lunch: 12:00 - 14:30. Dinner: 18:00 - 23:30.

TĪNG restaurant and lounge matches the style and setting of the Shard perfectly, offering classic British and European dishes, but with Oriental flourishes that emphasise the meeting of British splendour with the far eastern roots of the hotel. What's more, sitting on the 35th floor, this restaurant is open 7 days a wee, 365 days a year.
Set out with a contemporary Chinoiserie style, TĪNG's menu artfully blends its respective cuisines. The menu cannot be skimmed, as it contains some real surprises that are unseen in other restaurants. For instance, the classic of Cotswold free range chicken is tweaked to also also contain celeriac, savoy cabbage, apricot and tea.
Luxurious afternoon tea is served at TĪNG, but in two ways – diners can choose the 'classic' variety, which has favourites like Scottish lobster, or the Asian format, which blends exotic Oriental flavours into the selection. Not only this, but the range of teas on offer is dizzying.

Recommended Dishes at TĪNG
Curry Laksa
Curry Laksa
Nasi Goreng Kampung
Char Koay Teow
Char Koay Teow
Strawberry Panna cotta
Panna Cotta with strawberry compote, meringues and strawberry sorbet

The Bar
Gong Bar at The Shard


Lang at The Shard
Where: Ground floor
Cuisine: International
Average price for a main course: £6
Dress code: Casual
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday: 07:00 - 19:00. Thursday and Friday: 07:00 - 23:00. Saturday: 09:00 - 23:00. Sunday and public holidays: 09:00 - 19:00.

Given the Shard's place in one of London's financial hotspots, there will always be a steady stream of people passing by. The Shangri-La has catered for just this, but at a far more approachable level – on the ground floor. Here can be found LÁNG – the hotel's artisan deli and cafe. Packed with Shangri-La signature cakes and pastries. With its floor to ceiling windows, like further up the building, Lang has a wonderfully bright, relaxing ambience that is perfect for those wanting a pick-me-up during the day, but wanting something a little more special than the local Starbucks.

Recommended Dishes at LÁNG
Yuzu Cheesecake
Yuzu Cheesecake
Cappucino Cake
Cappucino Cake
Red Cake
Red Cake
About The AuthorJohn Murray
John Murray is a London based editor who likes to get his food on. 

As well as discovering new and exciting restaurants, he enjoys travelling to find new dishes around the world. So far, nothing has beaten Californian Mexican cuisine.

John’s current favourite restaurant is Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill. You can follow John on his online magazine Yes Boy, or on Google+ View profile