loti eats: park chinois
If you’re sick of walking into new restaurants in London and seeing the same exposed brickwork, industrial fixtures, filament lightbulbs, polished zinc bar tops, and surly tattooed waiters – then go immediately to Park Chinois. Alan Yau’s latest masterpiece in Mayfair is a place to restore the faith, a place so classic and elegant in its execution that, if it wasn’t for the obligatory iPhones on all the tables, you could easily believe you’d gone back in time at least 100 years.
It’s hard to sum up in words the overall effect of walking in here, the design is that rich in detail, but suffice to say, it looks blinging, with lashings of gold, marble, red velvet, bathroom taps made from gold ducks, crisp white tablecloths, immaculately dressed staff. There’s also a stage in the main room for live music which would normally make us run a mile but even this they’ve nailed; we had a five piece string band on a Sunday playing some classic numbers but also some clever contemporary pop numbers. The whole place is a lot of fun.
Oh, and the food is also bang on. We opted for a classic Sunday dim sum lunch plus a couple of mains but you could easily just go dim sum all the way. Some of our faves from the dumpling menu were the Sichuan vegetable wontons; pork Xiao Long Bao; crispy beancurd and prawn cheung fun; and the baked venison puff. We also went for one the signature mains, a take on a carbonara made with fresh noodles, sea urchin, and pancetta, and a Iberico tonkatsu fillet with a sweet and sour sauce which was definitely our favourite of the two. Desserts were more in the western camp – check out the vanilla cheesecake as it’s nice and light after all that dim sum!
Park Chinois has pretty much shot straight into our favourite London restaurants list – it’s definitely not somewhere you’d come everyday, but for a special occasion – or just when you’ve had enough of those exposed bricks – this is the place to be.
For our favourite London restaurant, see our Top 20 guide here.
17 Berkeley St, Mayfair, London W1J 8EA