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Here’s how to make an entrance – along a walkway & over a footbridge above a koi-filled pond & into Imperial China’s dining room. Inside, dark woods, plush carpets & well-dressed tables
position the restaurant firmly at the classier end of Chinatown. So it’s surprising the menu is middle-of-the-road, containing many dishes seen in high-street restaurants across the land. You might
start with prawn toast or barbecue spare ribs, then a soup (hot & sour, chicken & sweetcorn) or crispy duck with pancakes & hoisin sauce. Next are more classics: chicken with cashew
nuts, salt & pepper squid. A more interesting time can be had at lunchtime dim sum (beef & pineapple dumplings, baked shredded turnip pastry). The experience, however, doesn’t always match
the grandeur of the surroundings. For some, the cooking is ‘not memorable’, & while staff are smartly turned out, communication skills can be poor.
Cantonese food is the tour de force that most westerners expect when they go out for a Chinese meal. With contrasting bold and subtle flavours, a well chosen meal can be balanced and leave you very satisfied. The two factors that can really change everything are the decor and service.While the service at Soho’s Imperial China...
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You can get Michelin star standard Chinese food and top quality fusion menus about town, but if you search heard enough and down the right alleyways, you may also find the best chow mein you've ever eaten. The latter may lack finesse and the finest ingredients, but frankly the flavour is all that matters when all you want is a vat of Szechuan King Prawn or wheelbarrow of Sesame Prawn Toast?! Like a humble British pie or roast dinner, a cracking Chinese meal is something that, for me, needs to be plentiful, flavourful and entirely fuss free! Dim sum however, is a niche and should be none of those things; it’s a mouthwatering...
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