Park Row review



Helen Down reviews Gotham-inspired multisensory dining in the heart of Piccadilly…

Park Row is the Gotham City inspired immersive dining experience, slap bang in Piccadilly, where nothing is served without a side of Batman-themed storytelling. Its playful theatre starts as soon as you cross the threshold: a cunningly disguised walk-through bookcase. Once smuggled in, a dramatic spiral staircase descends into the Gotham underworld. Dripping in Art Deco, you are instantly transported to the lavish 1920s and presented with an innovative new menu helmed by top chef Alyn Williams who held a Michelin star for eight years at The Westbury.

Our fanfare commenced with house cocktail, The Blue Boy. In homage to the 1989 Batman movie featuring the eponymous Gainsborough painting, this tequila concoction was unexpectedly poured from the artwork itself. If serving cocktails from paintings doesn’t wow you, the Nitro Caramel Popcorn certainly will. Each kernel is frozen by liquid nitrogen, yet surprisingly yielding. This Batman and Robin thoroughly enjoyed transforming each morsel into smoke, like two giggling eight-year-olds pretending to vape.

Once ushered to our table by attentive staff, the main event began with ‘Scales of Justice’, aka Scottish scallops. One was seared to caramelised perfection and doused with sriracha butter and kooky pops of puffed rice. The second was ceviche, marinated to create butter-soft cubes with a citrus kick. At £32, you may hope to get more scallop for your buck. But you’re paying for the performance as much as the shellfish. Each scallop is presented on old-school brass scales, in a nod to the duality of Harvey Dent’s Two Face character.

‘The Trench’ soon followed: a dish comprising golden roasted halibut and a healthy scoop of caviar. In keeping with Park Row’s trademark opulence, the fish arrived in a treasure chest and a cloud of dry ice. Dessert came in the form of ‘Everything Burns’, a chocolate and caramel torte accompanied by the ceremonial burning of Gotham City currency, in honour of the Joker who incinerates $6-billion in 2016’s Dark Knight. Served with feisty whisky ice cream and a white chocolate Joker card, the plate was also adorned with jewels of popping candy that saw us again regress to our eight-year-old selves. Delightful.

Coming in at anywhere between £60 and £100+ per head for food alone, Park Row is a pricey option that, despite being fit for superheroes, is not quite Michelin-star status. Then again, this is no mere restaurant. It’s a joy-filled theatrical dining experience that feeds every single sense. And that’s worth paying for.