Hutong New York Review

Hutong New York Review 2019

This Hutong New York Review is from our 2019 visit. Hutong opened its New York restaurant in the former Le Cirque space in the Bloomberg Headquarters at 731 Lexington between 59th and 58th Streets. The original Hutong in Hong Kong opened in 2003, and Hutong in London opened in 2013.

Hutong New York Entrance in the Bloomberg Building

Hutong New York Restaurant Hours

Hutong New York has refashioned the former Le Cirque dining room into an Art Deco setting that recalls 1920s New York and Shanghai, with a blue, silver and white color scheme.

Lunch is served daily from 11:30am-3pm, and dinner from 5-11pm Sundays to Wednesdays, and until 12 midnight Thursdays-Saturdays.

Hutong New York Review
Hutong New York Reception
Hutong New York's Dining Room is in the Former Le Cirque Space in Bloomberg HQ
Hutong New York's Dining Room is in the Former Le Cirque Space in Bloomberg HQ

Hutong New York Menu and Food

Hutong bills itself as a Northern Chinese restaurant, but there are at least a couple of caveats. For starters, the menu reflects more of a Pan-China approach, with dim sum and Cantonese dishes. The style also uses the original Chinese dishes as a starting point, but the execution is edgier, and not necessarily authentic. Here's the lunch menu:

Hutong New York Menu
Hutong New York Menu
Hutong New York Menu

We started with a fried dim sum appetizer, the Hutong prawn and scallop roll. It came in 6 pieces, with tender and flavorful shrimp and scallop encased in a crispy shell. My husband was a little disappointed that there was no accompanying dipping sauce, but I thought the freshness of the seafood didn't need any other adornment.

Hutong Prawn and Scallop Roll, Hutong New York Review
Hutong Prawn and Scallop Roll, Hutong New York

For our main, we decided to share an order of a Half Peking Duck, which at Hutong comes in two stages. The first is the duck with pancakes and plum sauce, and at Hutong, the duck was carved tableside.

Hutong New York Review: Chef Carving Peking Duck by Our Table
Hutong New York Review: Chef Carving Peking Duck

I'd specifically asked our server if the Peking Duck is prepared with a crispy skin, since to me, that's one of the best parts of Peking Duck. She said that yes, the kitchen could prepare it that way. And fortunately, several pieces were crispy, although I have had crispier skin at other places in New York. There was still a bit of white fat between the duck and the skin, which I don't care for, but on the other hand, the duck meat was more tender and flavorful than is often the case when the skin is crispier, as the meat often gets overcooked in the process.

Peking Duck, Hutong New York Review

I also liked that the duck came with more delicate wrappers than is typical in U.S. restaurants that serve this dish. In fact, you had to handle them quite gingerly to avoid tearing the wrappers.

Peking Duck Wrappers, Hutong New York Review
Plum Sauce and Scallions, Hutong New York Review
Peking Duck with Pancake, Hutong New York Review

The second course of the duck was the rest of the meat, diced and sauteed with chilis, then served with lettuce that you use as wrappers. My husband and I hadn't had this as part of a Peking Duck meal before, but enjoyed this second course.

Peking Duck Second Course, Hutong New York Review

The Verdict

Hutong New York, as you'd expect from its location in the former Le Cirque space, is a far cry from most Chinese restaurants in New York, with its soaring ceilings, orchids, and elegant blue banquettes. Prices reflect this, and there aren't any lunch specials. We did enjoy our shrimp and scallop dim sum appetizer and half Peking Duck, and would definitely go back to try other dishes.

That said, for a more casual (and inexpensive) dim sum meal with family or friends, we prefer Tim Ho Wan. And given Hutong's price point, I would have expected an amuse bouche of some kind, perhaps some fresh fruit or mignardises at the end, or at least an oshibori towel after Peking duck, since you roll up the duck in an pancake and eat it with your fingers.

If you've visited Hutong New York, what was your experience?

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