Park Row, London W1: ‘It reminds me of a failed Christmas cave’ – restaurant review | Food

IAt a hangar-sized but half-baked Batman-themed restaurant, a letter is placed on my table while I wait for a serving of 15 pounds of citrus salmon with a serving of caviar-sized caviar. “Dear guest of Park Row,” it reads, “I fear the worst has happened.” It was a small touch of drama in a supposed Gotham-style dining experience, but its message was not wrong: the worst had actually happened.

It was Saturday lunchtime at Park Row, just off Piccadilly, and despite Warner Bros.’s Batman franchise being one of the most recognizable brands in modern civilization, Charles and I were one of only four other tables to choose to eat. there. Why was that, I wondered. OK, I go to the bone: I know this well, and in such vivid detail, that I called my editor during my £ 26 main course with champagne and black truffle risotto – which smelled of silage and polyethylene – and demanded 3,000 or 4,000 more words to document my dismay at this confusing, slapdash nonsense. Warner Bros. appears to have sanctioned a Batman restaurant without any real mention or observation of Batman, and instead offers a menu that is more expensive than the Foyer at Claridge’s and serves boring renditions of dover-tongue Grenoble style for £ 44, which even a hedge fund manager in an advanced state of refreshment would see as a massive, cynical waste of money.

A ‘£ 15 serving of citrus-confectioned salmon with a fingernail-sized caviar’ at Park Row, London W1.

Park Row is neither a cozy theme restaurant for children and the young at heart, nor is it a destination brasserie for tourists with dollars to burn. Rather, it’s an absurdly sloppy staged kind of Batman experience that never ever mentions Batman. Oh, of course, Gotham’s presence lurks in cocktails called Beyond the Gates and Three Bridges, and in desserts with names like Riddle Me This (I solve that riddle right away: it’s a caramelized apple with hazelnut saber). Still, before I got here, I had imagined a steroid-powered Hard Rock Café combined with a sleek Warner Bros. amusement park, whereas what I found was more comparable to the incredible erroneous caves that open in the UK every Christmas, where elves Marlboros smokes behind a foam-spitting snow machine next to a donkey with conjunctivitis that makes the kids cry.

The entrance to Park Row is mysteriously almost unmarked. You enter through a rather clever fake but cozy British library, then you are chivvied down a dark, uninteresting spiral staircase before waiting at the maître d’s desk in a restaurant called Pennyworth’s. “Pennyworth’s restaurant and bar is an undisputed art deco masterpiece and pays tribute to the faithful butler of the Wayne family,” the website states. By this time, any hint of fearlessness and wonder had long since melted away.

Sea bass with shavings, caviar and wasabi beurre blanc in Park Row, London W1.
Bass with seafood on Park Row, London W1.

A manager in a guarded Gotham-themed velor outfit that appeared to have been picked up from the floor of his bedroom an hour earlier was standing with his back to us, making phone calls while a large, fake ice sculpture of a penguin farted dry ice out . All employees were dissatisfied at the Dignitas level; to hell, even the gang in the London Dungeon looks more splintered and they have to wear stick-on boils and tempt people to watch reconstructed executions. When we finally sat down, the floor staff handed over the mysterious, aforementioned letter about Oswald Cobblepot’s new restaurant.

And oh yes, that’s it: the Batman “experience” is practically over before it’s even started, and you’re basically back and eating the worst type of cruise ship food in a hollow room where the other diners are catching yours. eye for sharing a quiet scream at the £ 36 plates of lukewarm, disgusting fallow deer. While we ate, the staff was busy moving an epic terminal noisily until I finally asked if it really felt like the best time for a do-it-yourself spot, how about we had already run a bill on £ 146 without even ordering alcohol. “We need new space for the box,” I was told blankly.

'The Ruins of Gotham Pudding' at Park Row Restaurant, Soho, London.
‘The ruins of Gotham City pudding’ in Park Row, London W1: ‘Dry and loveless, but it’s a beautiful photograph.’ Photo: Karen Robinson / The Guardian

Dessert was a bid for chocolate orange cake with peaks and peaks in shades of black and called The Ruins of Gotham City. It was finished, dry and loveless, but it made a pretty nice photograph. If I had to find one pleasant thing to say about our lunch, the £ 8 side of truffle mac and cheese was certainly hot and edible, which is more than can be said about the £ 6 mushy, stone-cold steamed broccoli who went back to the kitchen untouched.

I’m not an avid Batman fan, but I still can not figure out if I would be more or less upset with Park Row if I were one. However, I spent my childhood engrossed in another superhero named Scooby-Doo, who in several episodes shows up in a run-down amusement park ready to meet monsters and adventures, only to conclude each time that the gang had just met a reluctant employee in a silly costume. Yikes, Scooby: same thing.

Park Row 77 Brewer Street, London W1, 020-3745 3431. Open Tuesday-Saturday at 12.00 (last order at 10.30), Sun at 12.00-16.30. Around £ 65 pr. head for three dishes, plus drinks and service.

Episode three of the second series of Grace’s Comfort Eating podcast will be released on November 9th. Listen here or where you now get your podcasts.

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