Park Chinois is Alan Yau’s latest opening (he’s the bloke who recently brought us Babaji Pide and Duck&Rice) and it’s a real stunner of a restaurant. I’ve neither been to Shanghai nor lived in the 20s but I imagine this is exactly what it’s like.
Everything about the place exudes opulence, from the two doormen, the fireplace by the reception desk and the live band who played for most of the evening.
We started with scampi shumai (£11) which were lovely little dumplings jam packed with soft prawn flesh. Wok poured crispy fried chicken (£35 for a whole one) arrived looking like Peking duck. It was unlike any other chicken I’ve encountered before; the skin was insanely crisp.
Next was the Park carbonara, Inaniwa udon, sea urchin, 65 degree organic egg and pancetta (£32). Probs the most expensive carbonara I’ve ever eaten but, once all mixed together, it was probably the best one I’ve ever had.
Hakka paneer (an Indian cheese), peppers and black bean (£13) was an odd inclusion for a Chinese restaurant but it was a proper lovely dish.
Iberico pork loin Katsu in a sweet and sour sauce (£23) was the only disappointment as the pork was over cooked and dry which was a shame as the sauce was so good.
Guinea fowl with dried scallop (£32) came swimming in a rich gravy which was good enough to drink. The soggy skin was my favourite bit – I love a bit of skin! The main dishes certainly weren’t cheap but they were massive – suitable for four to share I’d say.
For dessert ‘coconut park’ (£9) was a thing of beauty. A coconut mousse was covered in the shiniest chocolate ganache and sprinkled with raspberry bits and edible flowers. It was like a posh Bounty.
Our meal at Park Chinois was a real experience. The best part however was the people watching; whether it be the staff, half of whom looked like models and the other like Bond villains, or the Mayfair face lift crowd, they all made for a thoroughly entertaining evening. And it really is a stunning space.