Gotham has all the time been a story of two cities. One is the deserted funfairs, rotting sewers, and dirty alleyways the place tragedy strikes and heroes are born. The opposite is extravagant luxurious: The place glittering socialites collect to toast their success and gossip about Bruce Wayne’s newest squeeze.
Final evening, I visited the latter in Park Row. That is billed as “the primary totally immersive DC-inspired restaurant expertise discovered anyplace on the planet.” Nestled in a Grade II-listed Artwork Deco venue within the coronary heart of London’s Soho, the purpose is for guests to style Gotham’s nightlife and uncover the tradition of a metropolis molded by caped heroes and eccentric supervillains.
However this isn’t only a vacationer entice. Park Row is severe high-end eating and a surprisingly delicate try and carry Gotham Metropolis to life. The venue is break up into themed rooms, every surrounding Oswald Cobblepot’s Iceberg Lounge eating space. There’s Pennyworths, a “residence away from residence” for Bruce Wayne that pays homage to Alfred; The Rogue’s Gallery cocktail bar with artwork curated by Selina Kyle; and the “gastronomic present” of The Monarch Theatre, housed in a particular room that includes 360-degree projection mapping.
Even the bogs are in on the motion, with Joker-inspired neon for the gents and Harley Quinn for the women.
For those who’re a Batman nerd, this place is heaven, with the designers tucking in all method of Easter Eggs that solely a really dedicated fan will admire. Inspiration has been drawn from throughout the canon: I noticed nods to Tim Burton’s films, Batman: The Animated Collection, The Darkish Knight trilogy, Batman (1966), and, in fact, the comics.
There are some severe deep cuts right here too. I used to be more than happy to identify an correct Wayne household tree referencing Legends of the Darkish Knight‘s Decide Solomon Wayne and his spouse Dorothea, who helped form Gotham Metropolis. And when you order fish and chips, the fish is dyed blue to indicate the long-lasting results of the Joker poisoning the Gotham Metropolis water provide in Detective Comics #475. Now that’s consideration to element!
I had a three-course dinner on the Iceberg Lounge consisting of a grilled carrot and candy potato tartare, mushroom tagliatelle, and lounge’s signature “Kiss from a Rose” dessert. That is supposed as a tribute to Martha Wayne, with a crimson rose frozen in liquid nitrogen at your desk and shattered over a custard tart and lychee ice cream (that includes white sweet pearls). I’ve seen the Wayne murders depicted 100 alternative ways over numerous media, however I by no means anticipated to eat them as a dessert.
Now I’m no meals critic, however every little thing I ate was scrumptious: From the pungent mushrooms to the fragile, flower-topped pastry cage, to the black-truffle butter that got here with the breadbasket.
However then every little thing ought to be wonderful, as Park Row isn’t for the faint of pockets. You possibly can go significantly heavy on this menu, with the Dover Sole a la Grenobloise setting you again £44 ($60), the “Large Stomach Burger” clocking in at £24 ($33), and a Blue Gray Ribeye Steak at £40 ($55). An excellent indicator of the form of clientele Park Row desires to draw is the caviar choice, which tops out at £270 ($370) for 50g of Golden Oscietra. Drinks are available at $7.50 ($10) for a primary bottle of beer, with cocktails like The Bludhaven and Three Bridges coming in at £13-14 ($17-18).
There’s no getting away from the very fact that is going to be an costly evening, however these costs are roughly in step with different upmarket central London eateries.
There are just a few ventures into the realm of the gimmicky. The cocktail bar boasts the “world’s first levitating cocktail molecule,” served in an infrasound plinth created by College Faculty London scientists. A bead of liquid is rigorously injected into the infrasound subject, with a distant management permitting the waiter to pilot it into your mouth. It was enjoyable to style a floating molecule of booze, nevertheless it’s a whole lot of effort for a drink smaller than a grain of rice.
Nevertheless you order, Park Row isn’t going to be an affordable evening and it’s value questioning precisely who all that is geared toward. For instance, I can see a whole lot of comic-book followers drawn in by the geeky conceit feeling alienated by the formal environment. Conversely, when you’re a meals snob able to splurge a complete bunch of money on a super-swanky eating expertise, are you actually going to plump for the Batman restaurant?
There’s a rigidity between these two components, maybe greatest illustrated by the truth that whereas Park Row is stuffed with objects referencing Gotham’s rogues’ gallery, the characters themselves aren’t current. This seems like a disgrace; the setting is so immersive you half anticipate the Joker and his goons to kick the door open at any second and maintain everybody at gunpoint. Nonetheless, when you’ve simply been served a luxurious (and expensive) foremost course, do you actually wish to be hassled by a jobbing actor doing his greatest Heath Ledger impression?
Personally, I like a little bit of theater with my dinner, and when you’re already at a Batman-themed restaurant I doubt you’re going to begrudge some silliness. It’s nonetheless early days for Park Row, and chats with the employees point out that in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later they’re planning to have some form of reside presentation that includes Batman characters. So I assume the reply is to look at this area.
I’ve by no means been anyplace fairly like Park Row and I can solely doff my hat to its loopy ambition. Bringing collectively comedian books and wonderful eating is a big gamble. However, for me a minimum of, it’s one which paid off. The meals is unbelievable, the employees are useful and pleasant, and the venue has clearly been assembled by folks with an abiding data and love of the DC Universe. For those who’re visiting London, are a giant Batman fan, and desire a evening you’re not going to overlook, examine this place out.
Park Row is at 77 Brewer Road, London, W1F 9ZN. Opening instances Tues-Sat 12pm-1am. Reservations will be made at https://parkrowlondon.co.uk/.
Park Row paid the author’s invoice, consisting of three programs and two glasses of wine.
https://wegotthiscovered.com/films/inside-park-row-londons-high-end-immersive-batman-restaurant/ | London’s Excessive-Finish, Immersive Batman Restaurant