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Park Chinois

17 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8EA, United Kingdom

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This was my second visit to Park Chinois, the expensively designed late 2015 opening from Alan Yau that is intended to conjure up the atmosphere of a 1930s Shanghai jazz club. The menu has more sections than really makes any sense given that portion sizes are considerable, and I have written before about the ambitiously priced wine list.

Scallop shumai tonight was nicely made, the dumpling soft and the shellfish of good quality (14/20). Sichuan vegetable dumplings had a suitably spicy sauce but the dumplings themselves were a touch hard in places (13/20). Beef shumai was rather disappointing in flavour, the texture somewhat slimy (11/20). Bang bang chicken salad was much better, the salad having a suitably sharp dressing to balance the meat, the chicken itself good (14/20).

The Peking duck, which is made to order and takes 45 minutes to prepare, arrived looking distinctly dark on one side. Indeed, when carved the skin on the lighter side was fine but the skin on the other tasted charred; the meat was overcooked throughout. The bird was removed when we pointed out the issues but in my view should not have been served in the first place (9/20).

Guinea fowl with scallops was as good as on my previous visit (14/20). Scampi and sea urchin was also enjoyable, as well it might be at £44, the langoustines tender (14/20). Steamed gai lan with garlic was lovely, the young shoots  having excellent texture (15/20).

The bill came to £165 a head, albeit with a fair bit of wine, though it takes considerable scouring of the list to find anything affordable. Josmeyer’s The Dragon Riesling at £73 compare to a retail price of £25 was drinking well. I really want to like Park Chinois, with its lovely room, touch of glamour and good service, but the food is too inconsistent here, especially at this elevated price point. I find it baffling that the kitchen is unable to match the standard of food of somewhere like Royal China when so much money has evidently been invested here. The room is gorgeous but at this point the food does not match up to the décor. 

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Further reviews: 25th Nov 2015

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