I have just returned from a superb lunch at the Grand Imperial. When booking I didn't know what to expect since my knowledge of Chinese cuisine is somewhat limited.
On arrival, we were shown into a large,elegant, dining room which was/is part of the Grosvenor Hotel (in itself a magnificent building) right next to Victoria Station. A smiling young waiter showed us to our seats and within seconds the menu and wine list had arrived. (As an aside, chopsticks are provided but after the great flying strawberry incident of 1992, I elected to use the standard knife and fork!)
We were going for a 'special' lobster deal which included a glass of very nice Champagne. The large, whole lobster (between two) was perfectly cooked with spring onion and ginger and cut into chunks, including the shell. This could have been a bit disconcerting but we just 'went for it' with our fingers (don't worry - a wet flannel is provided).To accompany, we opted for the crispy noodles and seafood. This was another revelation with plenty of scallops and squid along with pak choi and other vegetables. Gorgeous! The waiter suggested a Sauvignon Blanc to accompany the food which we had by the glass so we didn't see the bottle. I thought it might have been a New Zealand Malborough (one of my favourites), it was that good.
For dessert we had a Mango and Rhubarb pudding. This was served in a 1920's style cocktail glass and consisted of a kind of Mango 'blancmange' (I'm not describing this very well!) over a Rhubarb jelly. The waiter suggested that one between two would be enough and he was right - not because it wasn't nice (it was delicious) but because of it's size. This was followed by double espresso to finish the meal.
All the staff are very friendly and helpful, service is efficient yet unobtrusive and the overall cost is very reasonable. Would I go again? In a heartbeat! In fact I am going to treat some friends to a meal there. If my experience is the norm, I whole heartedly recommend it. I cannot imagine a better Cantonese restaurant.
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