When it comes to restaurants in Mayfair, it’s all about luxury. From the Instagrammable and the sexy to the celeb favourites that’ll make your wallet wince, W1 is teeming with stunning places to eat. One that had evaded my hit list for years, Park Chinois channels 1930s Shanghai with a menu of upscale East Asian plates. And when the Berkeley Street spot launched an afternoon pairing dim sum and burlesque? I just had to tick it off.
Oozing opulence and gilded in gold, Park Chinois is every bit as boujee as it sounds. Descending the main space via a red spiral staircase, we were met with red velvet curtains, fringed wall lamps and low lighting in a decadent subterranean setting. A slinky escape on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Fronted by Alan Yau – he’s behind the likes of Wagamama, Hakkasan and Yauatcha just to name a few – we had high hopes for the menu here. The luxurious dim sum afternoon soiree menu (£85 per person) promises 3 courses and a glass of Champagne. As the lights dimmed and a burlesque dancer performed a praying mantis routine, we tucked into our first plate of dim sum. The highlights? Thick prawns parcelled in siu mai form and a pillowy number topped with a generous glob of freshly shaved truffle.
As we graduated from bubbles to a bottle of Loureiro Vinho Verde (£60), a swathe of acts took us from starters to mains. The menu may be titled ‘dim sum’ but the second course was more Western-style than authentic small dishes. In between bites of crispy sweet and sour prawn and hunks of beef over noodles, there were double-jointed dancers, jaw-dropping acrobats and a dramatic bride who made a Tarantino-style entrance before swinging upside down from the ceiling. Light work.
By the time desserts made it over, we’d seen it all. Nipple tassels; aerial pole dancing; you name it. Pairing cherry with coconut, baked Alaska looked the part but was a clash of odd flavours. A photogenic hazelnut parfait made up for that though, parading as an orange (it was shaped like the fruit) but filled with a smooth, nutty mix.
The DesignMyNight Digest
The weird and wonderful meets opulent luxury at Park Chinois. Sure, you could head around the corner to Chinatown if it's traditional bites that you're after - but for something a little different, an afternoon here promises a taste of East Asia set to stunning scenes. The drinks are so quaffable, performances command the room and food is (for the most part) delicious. My only wish? More dim sum on the dim sum menu...
💰 The damage: £85 per person for 3-courses and a glass of Champagne.
📍 The location: 17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EA.
👌 Perfect for: those of you who love Chinese food with flair.
⭐ Need to know: Dim Sum Afternoon Soiree takes place every Saturday from 12pm to 5pm.
If you like this, check out our guide to the best restaurants with entertainment in London.