As we enter the era of Robert Pattinson as the newest batman, Warner Brothers have partnered up with Wonderland Restaurant Group to create London’s first DC-themed restaurant experience. The launch of Park Row immediately swept Londoners off their feet with their “luxe fine-dining experience”. Whether it’s pouring drinks from an art frame or the abundance of dried ice smoky effects, there is no short of dramatic touches at the restaurant. Apart from dinner service, Park Row London has now also launched a new Amusement Mile Afternoon Tea which we were kindly invited to review in this article.
Park Row London: A Gotham City Dining Experience
Interestingly, despite being widely recognised as a Batman-themed restaurant, there is no actual sight of batman there. Instead, the restaurant takes on the storyline around batman and is more of a nod to Gotham City, i.e. Batman’s fictional home. Upon arriving at the restaurant, you’d find yourself stepping into Wayne manor’s library where one of the bookshelves will open as a doorway (a nod to the hidden Batcave entrance) to the spiral staircase leading down to the world of Gotham. It comes with cinematic music in the background and pulsating light discs as you descend the stairs, with sights of the Joker as if you’re in the dark streets of Gotham before opening up to the grandeur of Pennyworth’s bar.
From there, the restaurant is split into several sections where each showcasing a different theme, including the Iceberg Lounge, Monarch Theatre, Rogue’s Gallery, and Old Gotham City. We were seated by the Rogue’s Gallery, which represents Catwoman’s storyline. The whole venue was massive, with a high-end lounge-like setting and has got a fairly nice dining ambience.
Amusement Mile Afternoon Tea (£40pp)
Date of visit: October 2022
The Amusement Mile Afternoon Tea is halal at Park Row London. Please confirm with staff when booking. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
*Disclaimer: this was a complimentary meal but all thoughts are our own.
Nitro Caramel Popcorn
There’s nothing more dramatic than a little smoking effect, which we very much expected to see here at this themed afternoon tea. A little pot of caramel popcorn was served enshrouded with a puff of liquid nitro smoke. We were advised to start eating the popcorn before the smoke fades. It was certainly rather frosty to the touch when picking up the popcorn, with almost a burning sensation on your fingertips. The fun part is that a puff of smoke would release from your mouth as you bite into the popcorn. Though do be cautious as biting into the popcorn too quickly also leave you with a slight ice-burn feel. Essentially, it’s a direct mimic of the “Dragon’s Breath” snack but with popcorn instead.
Once the liquid nitro smoke completely fades away, the popcorn was just very regular gourmet caramel popcorn. In fact, it tasted rather familiar and led me to think of this one particular world-leading popcorn brand. Later in the meal, as we were seated directly behind the liquid nitro station, my suspicion was confirmed when I spotted boxes of Joe & Steph’s popcorn beneath the counter.
My entire highlight of the Park Row Amusement Mile Afternoon Tea was definitely the sandwiches. Funny enough, this is normally my least favourite item for afternoon tea but I genuinely loved these ones. The sandwich flavours include:
- Truffle Egg & Purple Radish Cress on White Bread
- Coronation Chicken & Mulligatawny Date Puree on Turmeric Bread
- Roasted Aubergine, Peppers & Red Onion on Tomato Bread
- Cured Salmon, Cucumber, Lemon & Dill on Rye Bread
All four sandwiches were excellent but it was the coronation chicken sandwich that stood out the most for us. The chicken was fried katsu-like, with a super crispy coating that offered a really lovely texture. It was well-seasoned and we just wanted to go for seconds and thirds even. The truffle egg sandwich was outstanding too and elevated the typical classic egg mayo sandwich. Both the roasted aubergine and salmon sandwiches were equally fantastic and the ingredients truly got to shine.
We were given a mix of plain and raspberry scones, served with Devonshire clotted cream and raspberry jam. The scones were decent and still warm to the touch. They’re lightly crumbly and not too dense in texture, but aren’t anything too special. The clotted cream was smooth & creamy, and the raspberry jam was fairly standard. The bottom line is that they were decent but nothing memorable.
However, we couldn’t say the same for the desserts. In fact, our least favourite part was the desserts, which was a bit of a surprise. The three pieces of dessert were Chocolate & Caramel (the one with the joker print on top), Vanilla & Passionfruit (the heart), and Lychee & Rose. Ultimately, all three of them were overwhelmingly rich. Even just eating half a piece gives an almost sickening richness. In this case, it’s unsurprising that we didn’t finish it even though there were only three pieces of dessert on the plate. The passionfruit dessert uses green passionfruit with quite an immense tartness that might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Teas & Coffee
Last but not least, the tea options include the English Breakfast Tea and the Earl Grey. We had one of each, which came in a fairly large pot and was refillable throughout. The breakfast tea got hints of Assam and was generally quite nice & mellow to taste, whereas the Earl Grey was a little too light in flavour. Overall, the teas were decent. Alternatively, coffee is available as well.
Restaurant Review Summary
Park Row London is certainly an interesting experience to check out, especially for any DC movie lovers. As much as we liked the ambience and setup, we weren’t exactly blown away by the food which is the most important element of all. For the afternoon tea, the sandwiches were amazing but the rest of the food was just decent. Whilst the nitro popcorn gave a dramatic serving effect, the subtle ice burns here and there weren’t exactly the most welcoming. Though ultimately, for £40 per person, it’s not a bad deal, in my opinion, especially with the ambience and its prime West End location! If you’re looking for something different, it’s kind of a cool experience.
Looking for other afternoon teas in London? Check these out too:
The Amusement Mile Afternoon Tea set is halal at Park Row. Let the staff know when booking. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus