What: Park Row
In a nutshell: Dining with Batman
Summing it all up: Taking over the space where Mash restaurant was, this is a huge DC Comics experience - with a big lean towards Batman in particular. Expect a multi-room experience that's inspired by Gotham City.
27/7/21 - updated with preview pics
It looks like theme restaurants are going to be a thing again because what's replacing MASH in London sounds like a theme restaurant to the max.
The space is being converted into an immersive DC Comics experience. Yes, that means it's a home for food based on Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman - a frankly huge list of superheroes to draw from. Although looking at their plans, it's really all about Batman.
It's called Park Row, also known as Crime Alley in the comics and where - spoiler alert - little Bruce Wayne's parents were shot (let's hope the Soho streets outside this restaurant are a little safer..!). Another spoiler alert - Bruce didn't exactly react to this incident in a particularly healthy manner, what with the cape and all.
There's quite a lot to the restaurant - split into loads of parts - but here's the rundown:
- They're keeping the art deco feel which, to be fair, matches the classic animated series.
- The entrance will be similar to MASH, with a hidden way into the main dining area, the entrance of which is modelled on the Batcave. We're assuming that a piano might come in handy here.
- First off is a lounge bar called Pennyworth's (that's Batman's butler's surname. Hey, and he's got his own series).
- One dining room will be the Iceberg Lounge (that's where the Penguin hangs out) with "an international menu and live entertainment"
- Next is the Rogues Gallery where it says you eat "alongside reproductions of some of the world’s most famous stolen art pieces, each bearing a villainous mark".
- There's Old Gotham City, a hidden speakeasy with cocktails and sharing plates
The dishes for the main room do sound a significant cut above any normal themed restaurant. We tried their DIY kit earlier in the year and were pretty impressed with it. The menu includes:
- Citrus cured loch fyne salmon, avocado purée, pink grapefruit, breakfast radish, aruga caviar
- Veal sweetbreads, king oyster & summer vegetable fricassee
- Alaskan king crab omelette, pecorino glaze
- Brill on-the-bone, pine nut crust, baby artichoke, broad bean & tomato salsa, tarragon butter
- Goosnargh truffle butter-dipped whole chicken, potato dauphinoise, Madeira jus
And finally, there's The Monarch Theatre. That's a 20 seater, 11-course tasting menu where "the environment of the room and the food on the table tie into the theatrical narrative of the evening". So there's a "poisonous" mushroom made from parfait (referencing Poison Ivy), a scallop, oyster, caviar and white chocolate dish topped with gold leaf and even edible jewellery.
The cost of the tasting menu is £195, but looking at the pic below, it has a screen surrounding the diners, so it should be a pretty impressive experience.
It's hard to know what to think of this. On one hand, it's a theme restaurant and they don't have the best of track records. On the other, there seems to be quite the attention to detail. The chefs involved include Karl O’Dell (Texture), Kim Woodward (100 Wardour and Savoy Grill), Leyre Pedrazuela (South Lodge and Bakeoff: The Professionals) - and alongside them Chris Cox (mind mentalist and illusionist) and innovation consultant Mark Garston (who was at The Fat Duck).
But this particular writer, who has the unfortunate ability to know about all this DC stuff a little too well for his own good, has to admit to looking forward to this one quite a bit. We're quite interested to see how this one turns out.
More about Park Row
Where is it? 77 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9ZN
When is it opening? 3 August 2021 (soft launch 3-6 August)
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