Located at the Thistle Grosvenor Hotel by Victoria Station, the Grand Imperial London opened its doors earlier this year after a £2m refurbishment. The rooms have massively high ceilings, marble columns, and have been very tastefully decorated.
White table cloths and bone china adorn every table in sight. Head Chef, Leung Chi Keung, has worked in various Asian restaurants over his long career including the popular Crystal Jade in Shanghai. The restaurant specialises in Cantonese cuisine with a strong emphasis on seafood.
Or next dish the "Jelly Fish and Barbecued Combination Platter" @ £21 was a real step up. The fine slices of barbecued char siu pork and duck were delicious, sitting on a bed of finely sliced, crunchy jelly fish, onions and carrots that tasted both spicy, sweet and sour.
The "Szechuan Hot & Sour Soup with Lobster" @ £8 was all it said on the tin - it was hot and sour with so little restraint that the delicate lobster in my opinion was completely wasted in the soup.
A much better option was the "Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Wolfberries" @ £6 - this was very light and delicate but with an great intensity of flavour like an excellent homemade stock. I would go as far as to say that this was the best dish of the evening, and one I would happily order again at this restaurant.
For dessert, Dr G opted for a "Deep-fried Ice Cream" @ £6 which was particularly good. I nearly always find ice cream a slightly boring dessert but this was a completely different ball game. I enjoyed the crisp fried batter with the ice cream, making an otherwise simple dessert into something special.
To accompany our meal, we had a 2009 bottle of Italian Soave Classico "Suavia" @ £34 which was excellent. A white wine from the Veneto region in Italy, Soave is made predominantly from Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave grapes. Chardonnay, and other varieties can sometimes be blended to add complexity. Soave wines have a rather negative image in the UK as most "Soaves" are made by co-operatives in Veneto for the cheap, everyday-wine market purchased in the large supermarkets. These are crisp, with fresh acidity but mainly fruit-neutral wines.
In my opinion, the Soave to go for is generally a "Soave Classico Superiore" originating from the ancient restricted wine areas of Soave or Monteforte d'Alpone towns. These wines have been matured for at least 8 months in oak barrel and have more complexity, refreshing acidity and pronounced fruit character than other Soaves.