Park Tower Casino is known to most as one of London`s finest gambling centres yet not many are aware of its fabulous restaurant and bar. Diners can expect to find first class cuisine in an extensive menu that includes luxury dishes from fresh foie gras to whole lobster and poached salmon in champagne and oyster sauce. The reason behind this extravagance is the gambling that can be seen from the restaurant window. Seated just above the main room I overlooked players coolly place wads of £50 notes upon roulette tables and a fair few had some serious winnings to spend.
These casino regulars are well known to the staff and upon entering the restaurant are shown to their usual table and order whatever takes their fancy, in fact they often spend so much money with the venue that dinner is complimentary!
Not being the luckiest person I avoided the poker playing and stuck what I know best – eating! There really is something for everyone: meat, fish, vegetarian and due to the Knightsbridge location the menu acknowledges a local Middle Eastern community with traditional Arabic dishes. There`s no danger of going hungry here, the staff arrived with a variety of seeded breads, olives and a glass of champagne before our meal even began.
I started with the exotic crab claws and followed it with king prawns as my main. Both were possibly the best examples of seafood I have ever tasted. Surprisingly large and meaty dishes they were incredibly filling. Our chef sensibly made no attempt to drown out the quality seafood with sauce, the fish was dressed only in a little chilli, lemon and olive oil with a small amount of mango salsa for the crab and baked tomato for the prawns – elegant and first class. My dining companion had begun to complain of food envy but soon brightened up when his `testa rosa pasta` arrived. Strips of rare Scottish fillet steak sautéed in a little garlic and chilli were tossed in with a tomato penne. Hearty and robust it was the perfect dish for a wintry night.
Rather than work our way through a bottle of wine we each chose a glass to compliment the dishes. I enjoyed the recommended 2007 Bouchard Aine & Fils Bourgogne chardonnay, beautifully rich and oaky. My friend stuck to a hearty red to match the beef, a 2004 Chateau Senailhac Bordeaux – smooth, full bodied and very drinkable. In fact all the staff are incredibly helpful when it comes to making decisions, they know their food and wine inside out and at no point did I see a single customer either neglected or agitated. The room itself is also very carefully considered; cream linen clad tables are surrounded by pale buttery walls and gold finishes, the atmosphere is calm and relaxed, a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of the gaming rooms below.
We rounded off a lovely evening with a sweet dessert wine and pear tart and somehow still managed to fit in coffee after, which arrived as to be expected with a plate of Belgian chocolates.
The park Casino is a delight, whether it`s the draw of a roulette wheel or a fabulous meal you can`t go wrong!
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