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17 Berkeley Street
0203 3278 8888
Replete with swathes of red velvet, powder-blue armchairs, ostentatious trappings and nightly live music (often jazz), Park Chinois is an opulent take on a 1930s Shanghai speakeasy that is built for big-money special-occasion dining – complete with a Chinese menu designed around separate western-style courses and served by “impeccable” staff. Dim sum is a top shout at Park Chinois, and rightly so: we love the spicy intensity of the Szechuan vegetable dumplings, the oh-so-crispy duck spring rolls and the summer truffle bao buns. Order from the carte and you might be treated to braised short-ribs with black bean sauce, red prawns with coconut, okra and tamarind or a veggie claypot of aubergines and tofu – although big groups go for the roasted-to-order full-strength Peking duck served with pancakes, shredded cucumber and baby leeks. To finish, there are some unmissable westernised desserts – do try the vanilla cheesecake twinned with passion fruit and strawberry sorbet. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something sultry, head downstairs to the plush-yet-cosy Club Chinois, where the entertainment is a little more risqué.
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SquareMeal 2 Stars
17 Berkeley Street
0203 3278 8888
Green Park Tube Station 307m
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 682m
Faraday Museum 147m
Medici Gallery 163m
Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sat-Sun -4pm) 6pm-2am (Sun -12M)
Situated on the ground floor, this private room features a Baccarat chandelier and can be accessed privately via the Dover Street entrance.
Featuring a rectangular Makassar Ebony table, Salon Rouge can seat up to 12 guests and is accessible privately via Park Chinois’ Dover Street entrance.
This semi-private area in the main dining room seats up to 18 guests.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
I love this place! It has all the things that Hakkasan has surrendered. Style, sophistication, decadence and a hint of the exclusive. But not impossibly so. Reminiscent of an Opium Den or a Peking speakeasy of the 1930s the richly furnished upstairs room is warm and enveloping with lots of red velvet, especially as there are no windows. Downstairs has a more caberet, Chinese theatre-type feel with black and gold, accented with purples; all beautiful and clearly expensive. I was taking daddy for Father's Day and had to wait for my parents; the barman (do NOT call him a mixologist) was charming, with the right amount of chatter for a lady on her own and most importantly, makes a killer classic martini. Once at the table our waitress was attentive without hovering and wonderfully smiling throughout our meal. We are dim sum fiends, so nothing else got a look in and we had a fabulous feast. Incredibly juicy Har Gau, spectacular Siew Long Bao and amazing Scallop XO dumplings to name a few. We went in for seconds and the waitress recommended that we try the Beancurd Prawn Cheung Fun, which was probably the most delicious thing of the whole meal. Once again, a very expensive, very adult place is allowing in BABIES. Yes the witch (or substitute whatever consonant you prefer) is back, however, I am just unhappy paying £75 a head in one of the hottest restaurants in town to share my environment with something that uncontrollably screams at volume. We recently ate in the Hakkasan Mayfair, switching from Soho, in the vain hope of recapturing the specialness and left reasonably underwhelmed with both the food and experience. At Park Chinois, the staff were lovely; happy to let us poke around the (closed) room downstairs with a guide, charming and beautifully attired wait staff. The food is exquisitely executed it is a glorious place to be. This place really does deliver on fine Chinese dining and an experience worth paying for.
Food + drink: 3
It was all just a bit too serious. As I sat waiting for my dining comrade to arrive on a recent lunchtime visit to Park Chinois, my first instinct was to rebel, perhaps do something naughty or to cause some sort of minor disturbance. I know this sounds horribly childish, but my hackles were raised from the moment I walked in. Diners may be used to swanky affairs in this part of Mayfair (the restaurant is a couple of doors along from Nobu on one side and Sexy Fish on the other, with Novikov almost opposite), but after having laboured past an immensely heavy red curtain, I was greeted by an exceptionally snooty and supercilious gentleman. The suggestion seemed to be that I should consider myself privileged to eat here, rather than having chosen to do so of my own free will. Such an attitude was perhaps all the more outrageous given the restaurant was not even close to being half full. Although Alan Yau has tried to model Park Chinois on the decadent atmosphere of 1930s Shanghai, the ambience felt more like that of a semi-exclusive airport lounge, albeit one with some heavy, expensive and old-fashioned furnishings. The volume of chatter was kept to a fairly low level; when one did hear conversation, it was about deals and bonuses; and a couple of mobile phones rang abruptly loudly (yet no-one intervened). Somehow, the attempt at being grown-up doesn’t really work and Yau seems much better at creating a ‘good’ or ‘fun’ atmosphere in places such as Hakkasan, Yautcha, or Duck & Rice. My resentment grew as I flicked through the wine list. The premise here seems to be on quality, but at a clear price. Less well-off diners be warned; it is almost impossible to find a bottle at Park Chinois for less than £50. And, if you’re keen on something other than wine from France, Italy or Spain, then forget it. When we got round to ordering, we opted for Dim Sum, which was priced broadly competitively, at around £4-8 per item. Mains, however, were more eye-watering, with some coming in at close to £50. The dishes we sampled were, for the most part, pretty good. The Sichuan dumplings stood out, and packed a punch of spicy intensity, but others, such as the pork ribs and black bean, were pretty forgettable. Furthermore, what I remember more than the food was just how agonisingly long it took for the dishes to arrive. Given the relative emptiness of the place, this was all the more surprising. I am told Park Chinois gets better in the evenings, when there is live music (perhaps more evocative of the Shanghai scene they are trying to create), but based on my lunchtime experience, I certainly won’t be rushing there again anytime soon.
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