If you’re interested in finding out where Jessica Rabbit went to pay off her Klarna debts, look no further than Park Chinois. The Chinese clubstaurant is part of Berkeley Square’s playground of Coutt’s-sponsored restaurants and, like its sexy amphibian neighbour, has an innate ickiness that can’t be papered over with gold leaf. The white glare of iPhones light every table, indifferent diners stare aimlessly as acrobats cavort in front of them, and violently priced food arrives to be photographed and ignored.
The upstairs, Salon De Chine, is a Lynchian meets Butlin’s fever dream. It’s all red velvet, gold accents, and crooning live jazz on stage. The performers are a commendable bunch but the atmosphere is less Frank Sinatra and more Frankie & Benny’s. Some restaurants need settling into, but this is just plain SOS. And downstairs things descend in more ways than one. Club De Chine is restaurant purgatory. Part Star Wars cantina, part freshers' week hellscape, your mind will wander to places even darker than this pumping bunker as a lingerie-clad act twerks beside a plate of wagyu beef ribs.
Salon De Chine
Club De Chine
Like a funeral buffet, there is something perverse in enjoying food here. Some of it is very good, albeit eye-wateringly extortionate. The peking duck (over £100) is fantastic. Crispy pieces of skin, lightly sugared, handmade pancakes—the lot. Dim sum is delicious too. But one duck pancake swallowed does not make a summer. The 70-odd item menu jumps from the silly (a £20 spring roll) to the sickening (a £39 puddle of Park Carbonara), and it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving here feeling satisfied or not needing a good scrub.
When you boil down its elements, Park Chinois is like an all-inclusive’s evil twin. There’s no watery booze or karaoke, but there is sleaziness and a gargantuan bill. Of course, its true clientele don’t really care. In a restaurant of people who fancy themselves as a bit of a Logan Roy, there’s little doubt that everyone here is a Kendall. But that suits this part of Mayfair just fine.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.
Duck De Chine
It’s recommended you pre-order the signature peking duck via email after booking and, though that’s an immediate three-figure outlay, it’s the best thing you can eat. Between three people this wonderfully juicy duck, with perfectly rendered fat and separate crispy skin, is a delightful meal. All the necessary touches are there like handmade pancakes and a not-too-sweet hoisin sauce.
Chef’s Dim Sum Selection
This five-piece selection isn’t going to fill anyone, and that should be noted for something that’s just under £30. But the har gau is delicately made and as good as any. The black truffle dumpling is a genuine, decadent delight. And the sea scallop dumpling is as juicy as they come.
Park Chinois’ take on a carbonara is made up of handmade udon, sea urchin, egg, and guanciale. Unfortunately, it is a travesty. Sloppily mixed at your table into what can only be described as a car crash plate topped with edible flowers. It’s a hard no.