Set behind some intriguing red doors in London’s exclusive Mayfair, guests will be able to explore the captivating world of Park Chinois.
This week, some PA Life Club members and I were invited through the inconspicuous red doors down Berkeley Street for an intimate evening of fine dining, live music and pure decadence.
Once we walked through the doors, we were greeted by a reception desk and were then shown through a mirrored red door that led into the Salon de Chine, the ground floor dining room designed to emulate a theatre. As we walk through the doors. I notice that there is an ‘on air’ sign set above it, and I am told that it lights up whenever the live band is playing.
Inside this room there are a variety of tables including ones for smaller parties of two people, as well as larger groups of up to six, which are all positioned in a ‘circle’ around the stage, ensuring diners enjoy an experiential meal every evening. Walking through this room, it’s clear Park Chinois prides itself on opulence and glamour, thanks to the stunning décor, velvet accents and gold details.
After being treated to helpings of champagne at the bar, we were taken to our table to begin our meal. Park Chinois is known for showcasing its eclectic palette of French Chinoiserie, so I couldn’t wait to try some of its unusual dishes. For our starter we were offered a selection of dim sum to try, as well as venison puffs and the sichuan vegetable dumplings. We were then given the dish, Park carbonara – an Asian twist on the classic Italian carbonara inaniwa udon, which came with sea urchin, an organic egg and guanciale.
This was followed by the restaurant’s signature dish; Duck de Chine, served with pancakes, baby cucumber, leek and duck sauce, which is roasted to order. This dish is so popular and requires such attention to detail as it takes 72 hours to prepare. It truly was exquisite and unlike anything I had ever tasted before. By this point the live band kicked of the evening’s entertainment, playing an assortment of French jazz and swing music, which was closely followed by a solo singer who commanded the room with her powerful voice. I was so impressed to hear that these live acts take centre stage every day in the Salon de Chine and are handpicked by a specialist music director from the entertainment industry.
For our mains we then tried the braised Chilean wagyu beef short ribs, paired with a classic black bean sauce and steamed wild sea bass with soya, along with a side of pak choi and potted rice with Japanese squash and French chestnut – it was absolutely delicious.
If this wasn’t enough to satisfy our taste buds, we were then supplied with five different desserts to share. A lemon meringue pie, Eton mess, chocolate fantasy, matcha ice cream and nectarine peach cheesecake were the perfect combination to round off our meal.
During the evening, we were told that thanks to the seasonal produce the menu changes every quarter to keep it fresh and modern – I would love to return here with some clients in few months’ time to see how it has evolved. Plus, thanks to the sharing style of the dishes, it makes for a perfect setting when meeting loyal clients or treating staff members to a luxurious meal. An express lunch menu is also available during the day, for those on the go in the city looking to discuss business in a quick lunch hour.
Below the Salon de Chine guests will stumble across the Club Chinois, where gilded columns lead the way into a cocktail bar that boasts velvet banquets and mirrored tables. This leads onto another stage and dancefloor, where cabaret acts and live music is there to thrill and entertain. This can be hired out for exclusive use, where up to 180 can sit comfortably, while 250 can be fitted standing.
Additional private rooms are also available, including the Salon Noir on the ground floor, which seats up to nine dinner guests around the circular ebony table. Salon Rouge is a slightly bigger room that can host up to 12 seated and 15 standing, meanwhile larger groups should consider The Opera. This can seat up to 18 or 25 standing, depending on the party style.
Park Chinois truly does have it all, from the delicious cuisine and wine to accompany it, to the entertainment and glamorous 1930s-inspired décor – you will never fail to impress here, nor will your guests ever forget it.