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Mayfair Musical Soirées at Park Chinois:
There’s not much I like more than a night out in the West End with great food and drink alongside some live music.Park Chinois, Mayfair’s premier restaurant and musical entertainment venue, has recently launched an all-new music night – New Talent Tuesdays – which plays host to emerging artists in a series of relaxed and intimate evenings in the restaurant’s decadent Club Chinois. The club sits in the super-luxurious 1930s Shanghai jazz era inspired basement which offers live acoustic music whilst you enjoy dim sum and drinks.The good news is that I was invited to review. The interior is stunning with the tables arranged so everyone has a good view of the music area, but before going through to eat we stopped off in the rather sexy bar area for some beautifully made cocktails. We tried a Negroni on Voyage #1, a blend of Plymouth Gin infused with Mediterranean botanicals, Campari and the unexpected addition of Italian dessert wine Vin Santo instead of sweet vermouth which added a definite smoothness to even out the bitter characteristics of this classic drink. The Rouge Intime, mixing Konik’s tail vodka, rhubarb liqueur, and honey infused with lavender with lime again had great balance drink with the tartness matched by the sweetness of the honey.After drinks we moved into the restaurant area where Chef Ming, a dim sum master, had prepared a specially curated menu for us. Finding the right wine for Chinese food with its deep savoury flavours and chilli heat is not totally straightforward, but the bottle of Sebastian Dampt, 2016 Chablis, Premier Cru, Les Vaillons, chosen by the sommelier was perfect with its minerality and lime and grapefruit notes.We shared three starters accompanied by dipping bowls of chilli and soy sauces.Morel mushroom and vegetable spring rolls had a crisp dry exterior with a deep rich mushroom flavour.Plump, sexy little Har Gau (Shrimp dim sum) came delicately pleated in their soft, near-translucent wrapper. The shrimp had bags of taste. Japanese squash and pine nut dumplings were rich and autumnal – perfect for a damp October day.Between courses we were treated to the first of the two artists to be featured that night. Isaac was a highly talented young jazz-funk and R&B singer playing great soulful piano and singing over a backing track. He had a beautiful tenor voice that delivered covers and originals with great expression and more than made up for any lack of polish in his presentation.After the first set of music it was time to eat again. Wonderfully flavoured prawns came in a rich curry, coconut and prawn bisque. This was one of my favourite dishes this year – a marriage of French classical and southeast Asian techniques.A meaty perfectly cooked fillet of sea bass was steamed in ginger and spring onion -simple but a perfect way to showcase the fish.Sides of gingery stir fried pak choi and fried rice were similarly well delivered.The second singer of the night was Bluey Robinson, a rising R&B star from South London who cites Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye as his biggest inspiration. He took to the stage with a guitarist and performed a crowd-pleasing set of soul covers. Having already appeared alongside Justin Bieber, D’Angelo, Alicia Keys, Trey Songz and Tiny Tempah and being produced by Labyrinth he seems assured of a successful career.And then desserts… The Century Soufflé with Grand Marnier, bitter orange and ice cream was fantastically light and delicately scented.And in another coming together of French and Asian styles, the Bergamot almond perfume, crispy tuile with quatre épices ice cream and kaffir lime leaf powder was a sophisticated almondy dessert that was the perfect coda to the meal.
Park Chinois is a luxury Mayfair venue with prices to match, however the quality is such that you never feel short-changed. For some proper old-school West End glamour, great food and drinks married with live entertainment it’s the best bet in London at the moment.
17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8EA
T: +44 (0) 20 3327 8888