Bat Signal, alert! London’s Batman-themed restaurant has a new chef at the helm.
Park Row, which has been conceptualized as the fine-dining home of the Caped Crusader, is switching things up a year into service with the recruitment of executive chef Alyn Williams.
And it’s a pretty solid move. Though Park Row has been celebrated as a ‘must-visit’ for fans of the DC Comics and subsequent franchises, the food has been criticized.
Originally, the chefs involved included Karl O’Dell (Texture), Kim Woodward (100 Wardour and Savoy Grill), and Leyre Pedrazuela (South Lodge and Bakeoff: The Professionals), as well as innovation consultant Mark Garston (The Fat Duck). All fantastic individually but, perhaps, not collectively.
Alternatively, having trained under chefs Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay, Williams rose to fame with a singular vision his eponymous restaurant, Mayfair’s Alyn Williams at The Westbury, which received a Michelin star less than a year after opening.
Williams will work alongside O’Dell, who remains executive chef of The Monarch Theatre (the venue’s one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience in which 20 guests are invited to enjoy a fully-immersive Batman-themed tasting menu each night).
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It’s these themed elements that really make Park Row what it is, and the owners know it.
From the second you enter the Grade II-listed art deco complex that enshrines the Theatre and main restaurant, you can’t help but be taken into the experience.
A secret library entrance and Batcave-like stairwell lead you into Pennyworth’s (a slick lounge and ode to the Wayne family butler), Rogue’s Gallery (a gilded dining space where an exhibition of Selina Kyle’s most famous acquisitions are presented), the Iceberg Lounge (the main dining space, boasting a Penguin-friendly circular bar and supersized cage for live entertainment), and even Old Gotham City (a hidden speakeasy with cocktails and sharing plates).
All of which possess a seemingly endless number of Batman-themed easter eggs.
It’s theatrical, without being overly gimmicky, and the perfect home for food of the same ilk. Chef Williams’ new menu is looking to deliver exactly that, too, introducing dishes like rabbit with smoked chicken terrine, tarragon and confit rabbit samosa, as well as Cornish stone bass with crispy caviar and chive butter.
“Alyn is one of our country’s greatest chefs with a huge pedigree. He is a massive coup for us,” says James Bulmer, CEO of Wonderland Restaurants (Park Row’s experimental parent company).
“His plates display his own unique culinary personality and by merging this with our creative cuisine of theatrical gastromony, I cannot wait to share our new menu with our guests. We now have two stellar British chefs at Park Row and The Monarch Theatre in both Alyn and Karl.”
Both experiences are available to book now.