When the doors to the lift open on the 35th floor of Shangri-La The Shard’s TĪNG Restaurant, you’re welcomed with breathtakingly beautiful 360-degree views of London’s skyline. From the first step onto the polished marble floors, you surrender yourself to the care of the restaurant staff whose embrace is like that of a mother’s hug, catering to your every last need.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, TĪNG Restaurant has been around for nearly ten years but the seasonal menu and exciting British-Asian flavours mean you’ll never get bored, enticing you back again and again.
You can feel the Asian roots of The Shangri-La Hotel from the moment you enter the lobby with oil paintings and orchids dotted everywhere, complementing the design of master architect Renzo Piano. There’s an oriental theme to the furniture, based on traditional Chinese wood architecture while the artwork is both intrinsic yet minimalistic, leaving the skyline to shine – from the dining table right through to the bathroom.
TĪNG is Shangri-La The Shard’s highest restaurant so we had to take full advantage of this with a sunset booking (7pm) to watch the golden light glistening off some of the capital’s most iconic buildings fade into the night.
For dinner, there’s a range of decadent options from the à la carte menu or you can choose from the three or five-course set menu, created by newly appointed executive chef, Paolo Belloni. Belloni joins the hotel from the Four Seasons Hampshire and has previously worked under celebrated Italian chefs Gualtiero Marchesi and Marco Garfagnini.
With over 25 different nationalities amongst his team, he says the kitchen is a very dynamic and diverse environment to work in. He adds, “we develop traditional recipes, giving them a modern twist, which I believe [is what] makes our menu quite unique… The menu is very much seasonal as we work with local produce and are always sourcing the freshest in-season ingredients.”
There’s also an award-winning selection of 317 wines handpicked by sommelier Piotr Sikorski. They range from vintages (think Dom Perignon 2012) to cutting-edge Chinese and Japanese wines. There’s even a champagne bucket to greet you on arrival and floor to ceiling glass cabinets showcasing the selection of red varieties.
We started the night with a Hendrick’s gin and tonic and the Rose Bud Blossom cocktail, made with pink gin, pineapple juice, egg white, gomme and rose lemonade. It came beautifully presented, reminding me of a vibrant spring garden sprinkled with edible flowers and herbs.
And that is really what makes TĪNG Restaurant the crowning jewel of London eateries – it’s the attention to detail that makes the whole experience so effortless. I’m talking right down to the locally churned butter that’s served at room temperature so it’s easily spreadable on the fluffy, warm sourdough. To the heated toilet seats and phone charges in the bathroom, it was almost impossible to find anything to fault.
The starters set the tone for what was to come choosing the marinated Thai scallops with chili, pomegranate dressing and wasabi caviar (yum!). My dinner partner said they were “the best scallops I’ve ever had.” Perfectly seared, served at the perfect temperature and with just the right amount of sauce, the pomegranates were an explosion of flavour in your mouth, tasting as if they had just been picked that day.
The open kitchen is located towards the back of the restaurant and you can hear the chefs saying “order up” to the tune of a bell ‘ding’ before the plate is swiftly picked up by the wait staff and delivered to your table. It’s like a symphony where everyone knows their role and harmoniously works with one another, so your meal is delivered on time and then the table is cleared minutes after you’ve dabbed the side of your mouth with a pressed napkin.
We shared the sweet and sour lobster which comes with fried rice, charred lime and a green onion salad, and the Cornish plaice, smoked clams, baby sweet corn Thai red curry for our mains. It was a generous serving of lobster, while the rice was sticky and coated in enough oil without being overbearing.
There are some signature dishes that have remained on the menu since its inception, with new seasonal dishes added every month and a half. TĪNG has also expanded its plant-based menu to cater for the ever-growing vegetarian and vegan market.
Executive pastry chef Leyre Pedrazuela is another new face and is in charge of the pastry offering for TĪNG Restaurant, for banqueting, afternoon tea, GŎNG Bar and for breakfast. She says, “I’ve been working as a pastry chef for 13 years so I started very young when I was 16, at culinary school.
I did a post-graduate in pastry management… [Before] moving to Barcelona to focus on the pastry. From there I just started working and have worked in luxury hotels.”
The former Bake Off: The Professionals star suggested we try the chocolate and miso dessert, which comes with crunch cocoa nibs, chocolate mousse, salted toffee, crémeux, gold chocolate and miso ice cream. Each bite was heaven while the presentation rivalled one of the pieces of artwork hanging on the wall. It was almost too pretty to eat.
As the afternoon stretched into the evening, we found ourselves relaxing into the art-deco style leather armchairs and not wanting to, quite literally, come back down to Earth.
TĪNG Restaurant at Shangri-La The Shard was inviting, romantic and glamorous all wrapped up in one. It’s the perfect place to take visiting guests or to celebrate the most special milestones in life with those you love most.
For more information, including bookings for the upcoming Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea in honour of the Queen’s 70-year reign, head to their website.