SquareMeal Review of
Having survived the financial carnage that closed both its neighbouring pubs, The Imperial is a commendable example of how a boozer can be rethought for the 21st century. A refurbishment has injected fresh pizzazz into what is now a smart all-day gastropub, its high-ceilinged Victorian space kitted out with a slim new bar furnished in grey metro tiles and burnished scaffold shelving. The rear restaurant is more muted, but perked up by lively artwork and high energy levels from the open kitchen. The modern European cooking has the potential to impress, aided by a well-described wine list with a good choice by the glass. Our roasted chunks of Jerusalem artichoke in creamy mushroom consommé with slivers of almond was deep, rich and original. Suckling pork belly on sticky, sherry-poached prunes was equally rich and comforting, yet didn’t quite hit the same high. Excellent breakfasts plus lunchtime soups and sandwiches complete the all-day offer.