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Imperial China Restaurant - Teddington

Imperial China Restaurant, Teddington
I must admit firstly that most Oriental styled restaurants in London don't have the best reputation for service. I recall the Chinese restaurant, Wong Kei, in Chinatown reputed as being the most rudest restaurant in London, heck I even had friends who recommended a visit purely on the pretence that you would be mistreated. 

Dim Sum start Platter, Imperial China, Teddington
I won't say Imperial were quite as bad but the service can be a lot left to be desired. They are a little hit and miss but I always try to visit places a few times to ensure consistency, and yes the service was consistently hit and miss. lol, but mostly the staff were good even if they do have an unconcerned attitude.

Prawn Dim Sum, Deep Fried Prawn
The pricing at Imperial can be a little tricky and the dim sum appetiser for two people is listed as 8 pound but actually costs 16 quid, This is overpriced considering half of them weren't even dim sum. In fact, you can go to Hakkasan, a one Michelin star in London, for a dim sum lunch for 15-20 quid total. Imperial may charge you double on some courses without you realising so read the menu carefully, where-ever you see the word 'each'. 

Dining Room, Mixed Vegetable Dish - Imperial China Teddington
Apart from all this kurfuffle, they do very good food. The seafood is mostly (I have my doubts about the scallops) fresh and the mixed vegetable dishes, in season, are quite outstanding. We started with a round of dim sums, this took a while to cook but the staff did warn us and they were nicely presented. The steam dim sums are excellent and well made, small but packed with protein. 
We followed these with a 'sizzling' mixed seafood dish with sea salt and chilli, mixed vegetables and a crispy duck with orange.

Prawn from mixed seafood sizzler, Duck from Duck Orange - Imperial China Teddington
The mixed seafood is very satisfying with nicely sized prawns, in fact there was a decent amount of seafood on the plate and it went well with plain rice. As the name suggests, it is bought out sizzling on a hot plate and seems to be quite a crowd pleaser - it attracts plenty of attention.  With this we also had a plate of mixed vegetables. This is a quite a delicious dish considering it's just vege. There's plenty of garlic with fresh snow peas, asparagus & bok choi amongst other veges. They have plenty of vibrant colour with a clean, sweet and perfectly cooked bite to them. 
Mixed 'Sizzling' Seafood, Prawn from mixed seafood, - Imperial China Teddington
Our last plate was crispy duck with orange. The duck, if you put aside the orange sauce, was incredible. The texture on the skin was puffy and crisp and the fat underneath (duck fat is good for you btw) was perfectly rendered giving the meat the most delicious flavour. The duck meat was pink, soft and dense. The orange sauce was rubbish but forget about that, the duck itself makes up for it. You know what? It's such a shame about the sauce and the 80's styled presentation, because if they got the sauce right, and served it in a jug table-side that dish could be an absolute show stopper.

Mixed Vegetables, Duck with Orange - Imperial China Teddington

We finished with sesame paste balls that have an interesting soft texture and are sweet and nutty in flavour.
All in all, Imperial is yet another restaurant in an area around Fulwell/Twick/Tedd that seem to be serving great food along with Brouge, Loch Fyne (yes I know Loch Fyne is a chain but the food is good) that buck the trend. I am finding the quality of food from these restaurants (apart from a few) much better than that of Twickenham. Interestingly, Twickenham seems to be over subscribed with mediocre eateries, and the quirky thing about that is, Twickenham don't even seem to know it.

Sweet Sesame Balls - Imperial China Restaurant, Teddington


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