Feb 11 2011 Juliet Eysenck, Fulham Chronicle
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I WAS eager to try out the Grand Imperial London, which opened before Christmas boasting authentic Cantonese dishes with a contemporary flourish.
As we walked in, the restaurant itself was impressive, with high ceilings and opulent surroundings and, I was told, a true 'feng shui' dining experience as 50 more seats had originally been planned but then removed, to create a more pleasant atmosphere.
Diners can choose from a selection of set menus, or a choice of the restaurant's soups, meats and vegetables.
I chose set menu D, costing £35 per person, which began with a combination of imperial barbecued honey glazed pork, roast duck and roast pork loin.
My boyfriend opted for the similarly meat-based set menu C at £30, which started with a selection of three dim sum.
Soup followed those - lobster and spinach for me, and for my boyfriend, sweetcorn and crab.
I would never have thought of putting lobster and spinach together but somehow it really worked and the bowl was quickly emptied.
Moving on to the third dish, I had steamed cod with mushroom and dried lily - again an unusual combination of flavours but they complemented each other well.
My boyfriend had the pan-fried sirloin steak, Cantonese-style, with a thick peppery sauce.
He found the pepper a little overwhelming, but again the plate was almost licked clean.
Despite feeling pretty full, I still had room for the fourth dish of noodles with scallops and mushrooms.
Scallops are one of my favourite foods and they were particularly well cooked.
My boyfriend tucked into rice with sweet and sour pork, which I'm used to seeing on the menus of Chinese restaurants, but this seemed particularly fresh, with large chunks of pineapple.
For dessert, although full to bursting, we both had a green tea creme brulee which rounded off the meal well, without being too heavy.
Overall, we had a great time at the restaurant, with a delicious meal enjoyed in spectacular surroundings.
My only thought as I left the Grand Imperial, and looked round at several empty tables, was why more people were not dining.
Word of mouth should ensure this restaurant reaches its full potential, because its quality certainly speaks for itself.
GRAND IMPERIAL LONDON,
101 Buckingham Palace Road Victoria SW1W 0SJ
020 7821 8898 www.grandimperiallondon.com