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Supremely elegant Chinese food set in a 1930s jazz lounge.
Please note, Alan Yau is no longer associated with Park Chinois and jazz is no longer played. Time Out editors, August 2019.
Park Chinois is so atmospheric, I wasn’t sure if I was in Mayfair, or if I’d travelled through time and space to 1930s Shanghai. If its fancy Berkeley Street neighbours are the Joneses, then Alan Yau’s beautiful new restaurant is more than keeping up.
Impressions were spotless from the off. As you walk up the stairs to the entrance you’ll be greeted by a bright pink cherry blossom tree and a wonderfully enigmatic doorman. Entering the lobby, you’re disarmed by a wall of heat from the roaring fire and a host of charming, well, hosts. Led into the restaurant proper, you’ll find yourself in an atmospheric jazz club; covered in rich red velvet and with an abundance of fringing, heavy swathes of taffeta draped over the curtains, with lounge style tables and curved chairs positioned towards a jazz quartet. It’s the perfect location for a date – instead of pretending to care how someone’s day was, you can sit next to each other in comfortable silence while the jazz plays.
And whether you decide to live out some sort of ‘Lady and the Tramp’ fantasy or not, order the park carbonara – slinky udon, rich orange yolk, umami-packed sea urchin, pansies and nori dust. It was a brilliant, Asian ode to the classic Italian dish. Elsewhere, the famous duck, though incredibly full-flavoured, was cut into chunky pieces rather than being shredded – best reserved for dinner with friends as it’s not particularly conducive to ladylike eating. The same goes for the delicious smoky ribs.
With a theatrical setting, clever cocktails, thoroughly charming staff and a relaxed atmosphere, especially given how high-end it is – Park Chinois, I get a kick out of you.
Park Chinois offers two distinct dining experiences, on the ground floor you will find, Salon de Chine, serving bold Chinese cuisine and exquisite drinks with the in-house band and live songstresses creating a unique supper club atmosphere. Downstairs is Club Chinois, the ambiance is taken up a notch with the unique live show, DJ's and Chinese dining - every Tue to Sat evening.
Park Chinois also benefits from two beautiful cocktail bars, perfect if you are after a drink and some dim sum. Open 7 days a week.