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Park Chinois signals Alan Yau's return to the world of high-end Chinese cuisine, and it looks spectacular: punters process on a red carpet, via heavy wooden doors, before being ushered into a long, low-ceilinged dining room awash with frilly red lampshades, ruched wall coverings
and powder-blue armchairs, while a band plays jazz at the far end. The inspiration may be the dinner dances of 1930s Shanghai, but Park Chinois creates its own world, like a very
oriental Orient Express. Gastronomically, it delivers Yau's trademark amalgam of European and Chinese traditions, with meals designed around separate western-style courses. Starters of sweet scampi shu mai dumplings (very classic, very good) or glossy, crisp-skinned butterflied chicken might precede an intensely savoury plate of sliced veal chop coated in minced veal and yellow beans or Ibérico pork loin katsu with caramelised pineapple and heritage tomato – a superlative rendition of the high-street sweet-and-sour that we don't expect to see bettered. Prices are undeniably high, but the trade-off is supreme opulence: where else can you wash your hands with water dispensed from a gold-plated duck beak?
You can smell the money, walking in here – both the fit out and the wealth of the diners. For a fact we were sat next to a billionaire, whose dining companion’s glittering high heels would have been visible from space.If you are smart – and we were – you can get away with spending &100 a head including a glass of red and white wine. If your numbers have come up then of course you’ll start with Peking Duck Imperial Caviar at &280. Look up Fay Maschler’s review and you’ll see how.
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Park Chinois has been on my list for a while, but I never realized that they did afternoon tea until a friend of mine suggested it. Walking through the heavy red velvet curtains, we are greeted at the front reception desk before being led through another set of doors, above it hung a notice with the words &On Air&.The red colour theme continues throughout, with interior decorations and furniture that give a 1920&s Chinese dance hall feel to it.
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“Park Chinois occupies a niche, and offers a balance to the current club culture. It brings about a rebirth of the Dinner Dance aesthetic, a modern interpretation underpinned by old school values.” Website: Park ChinoisOne of the more creative of our serial restaurateurs, Alan Yau has for this, his latest venture, chosen to target the much-moneyed Mayfair crowd and it looks like he’s using old Shanghai as his reference point. In the dripping Golden Triangle bounded by 5 Hertford Street, The Arts Club and Novikov comes Park Chinois, doing a me too to the itinerant rich who frequent this particular part of Mayfair.1930s...
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