Restaurant: Park Chinois
Location: 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair
Price: We had the Prix Fixe Lunch menu. Starting at a reasonable £26 for 2 courses and £30 for 3.
I admit I have a massive love affair for stunning interiors and Park Chinois’ romantic presence really gets you in the mood to be wined and dined.
The mix between French and Oriental design draws on the aesthetics of Chinoiserie. The colour scheme is quite typical of the oriental decorative style; deep red drapes and gold lined pillars. Then you have the touch of French design; which is the chic vintage armchairs.
We dined in the Salon de Chine, which is the upstairs restaurant. There were only a few others having lunch, so it felt somewhat like a private dining session. The dining room is dimly lit and considering we were only there for lunch, it was almost too dark to suit the time of day. The room is set up for theatrical performances and you can’t miss the grand piano that conveniently sits at the back of the restaurant.
As I mentioned before, we went for the set menu. The selection is OK, pretty much what you’d expect from a set menu. It offers more starters than mains and even fewer desserts. There are just two vegetarian dishes for the main course, which sounded appealing enough, but we weren’t going to forgo the meatier options.
We started with the steamed dim sum selection. This included; a classic prawn dumpling, scallop dumpling with celery, yambean, dried shrimp, carrot and asparagus, a vegetarian dumplings filled with Japanese squash, pine nuts and asparagus and a black skinned dumpling filled with diced cuttlefish, prawns and chive topped with Tobiko roe. My favourites were the classic and black skinned dumpling.
The Cantonese duck that I had for my main, was generously laid in the orange sauce, which added bitterness to the otherwise crispy sweet glaze of the duck. Served with fluffy egg fried rice – a recommendable dish.
The grilled cod was also very good, but the taste was a little too crisp and burnt for my liking.
Just three dessert choices; the vanilla cheesecake and choice of ice cream or sorbet. A selection of sorbet is always great to finish with if you want something a little lighter. I enjoyed the mix of refreshing raspberry and lemon and the presentation was notable also.
My partner had the cheesecake, so you’d have to ask for his comment 😉
So let’s discuss price first…One cocktail will set you back about £18. This is pretty steep for a cocktail, but I guess the price tag goes hand-in-hand with the location.
I did however savour every bit of my £18 cocktail. I went for the Rouge Intime; a Konik’s Tail vodka infused with rhubarb liqueur, honey lavender and lime. As I like my cocktails sweet, this was the perfect blend between bitter and sweet, with a slight undertone of vodka, but stronger tones of lime.