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  • “I would definitely recommend the shrimp dumplings dim sum but I think every dish is delicious and true to it's name.” in 28 reviews

  • “I've been twice, once in the downstairs public dining area, and once in the upstairs private rooms.” in 5 reviews

  • “We also got the cheung fun with prawn and char siu, char siu bau, har gau, taro croquette, and sliced fish congee.” in 3 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating
    6/5/2014
    1 check-in

    I've been brought here on multiple occasions by friends and have had amazing food each time. It is really best for groups so you can share dishes and try lots of different things. I would definitely recommend the shrimp dumplings dim sum but I think every dish is delicious and true to it's name. We have never ordered something that turned out to be very different i.e. not crispy, not large enough, too much fruit/veg rather than meat.

    I was very surprised at some of the previous reviews (save for the review by Sarah T. just below mine) as I've always experienced wonderful food and wonderful service when I come here but perhaps they have improved in the last couple of years. I particularly want to highlight the staff who are so patient. They were very nice to my friends who aren't used to dim sum and very helpful when we asked about various ingredients. They have also been respectful about my slight fish allergy.

    I prefer this restaurant over all the others in Chinatown. It may be a bit more expensive but it's worth it.

  • 5.0 star rating
    13/4/2014
    ROTD 8/7/2014

    I was incredibly impressed with Imperial China, maybe because I wasn't expecting to be after reading these reviews. Went with a group of 9 people, and by the end we were all pleasantly full, with only a few people having to "take one for the team" to finish off some last pieces. The variety is good, with all the standard favorites. Nothing was bad.

    The standout ones that I would definitely over more of are the prawn and chive dumplings and the baked pork pastries (char siu sou). We also got the cheung fun with prawn and char siu, char siu bau, har gau, taro croquette, and sliced fish congee. For the sweets, which were very good, we got the egg custard tarts and the black sesame buns, which were huge, easily splittable. Off the regular menu, we also got the soft shell crab appetizer, which was good, but not the best I've had. They had chrysanthemum tea, and it was just a very relaxing experience, which is practically unheard of for Chinatown. The waitstaff spoke good English, and service was impeccable--they cleared dishes promptly, and even checked the teapot levels proactively.

    All told, it was less than £13 per person, including service charge, which is very affordable, especially for the atmosphere and service. We had a booking, but the place was surprisingly quiet for a Sunday lunch. Maybe the weather was too good, and everyone was spending time reading a novel in a park.

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/8/2013
    2 check-ins

    Great dim sum! Bring a big group (that's a given). I love London Chinese restaurants, traditional Chinese menus with English translations, incl the dim sum order sheet. Believe me, it's a nightmare for me in HK. :-)

    Dinner is delicious also if you didn't have enough dim sum in the afternoon, go back in the evening for more. The roast duck, Capitol ribs was a couple of the dishes I remember from this evening. The dinner worked out ~£20 per person (7 of us) with 9 dishes of food with boiled rice, tea, beer and soft drinks.

    I'll definitely be back, it has been quite consistent.

  • 3.0 star rating
    22/3/2014

    A big group of friends and I ordered a whole list of things from the menu and overall, everything was decent.  Having had dimsum in many a place thus far, I can't say anything stood out as outstanding nor sub-par.  I do give the restaurant a big credit for the spacious and clean decor, as well as the efficient service.  It's a solid choice to satiate any cravings for dimsum.

  • 3.0 star rating
    19/6/2013

    A recent trip with 17 other people had us ordering a whole bunch of Dim Sum here. Initially, there were about 12 of us who were going to go, and when we got there, there were two people by the same name who had reserved tables for 12. Anyway, the crowd got bigger and bigger and bigger, and we were moved higher and higher and higher up the restaurant until we got to this cosy little private room on the 3rd floor where we could eat and chat to our hearts content. The decor is much like a nice chinese restaurant you would find in Hong Kong or Singapore. It's not posh like Royal China's is, but nice.

    We order about 200 types of Dim Sum (more like 30, but when you have that many people it sure seems like 200), and it consists of the usual har gow, siew mai and cheung fun, and a few other types of chive dumplings and the like. Most of it was... well, about right, not poor, but not great either. The glutenous rice with chicken and a wasabi flavored dumpling were the best things there, but the filling of the cheung fun, and the siew mais were the greatest disappointment. The filling for the cheung fun was, well, meagre, and the siew mais came, well, a little dried out. Most of the steamed foods were good, but it seemed like the baked items and the fried items were of a better standard.

    I think if I were bringing 17 people to Dim Sum at around £15 a head, I'd go back to Royal China on Baker Street. I'm just glad this place wasn't like most in Chinatown where they rush to toss you out when you're done. :)

  • 4.0 star rating
    19/3/2014

    Not bad! I got the vegetarian menu, and all the food looked and tasted delicious! The prices match the good quality though, but that's fair

  • 2.0 star rating
    12/12/2012
    1 check-in

    Had my work party here last week. There was 14 of us in total.

    Not impressed at all, they charged us £34 for a set menu (15% service charge included as we were a big group) The food was pretty awful I was expecting something half decent given the price we paid.

    The soup to start was not edible according to 5 people from our group. The rest were extremely hungry!  

    The duck pancakes were the highlight but the rest of the food was pretty standard.

    House wine is £16 a bottle which is not too bad. Prosecco is £22

    We hired a private room with the Karaoke system in. It was good fun and it worked fine we could have done with a couple for microphones as they did seem to fall apart. The song selection was limited and we did burn through the English selection pretty quick.

    I would not recommend this place

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/7/2009
    ROTD 25/7/2009

    I first went to Imperial for dim sum with a big group of friends. They were very accommodating for our group; we had about 12 people.  The food was awesome. A few stand out items:
    Steamed bun with pork, also known as a cloud puff
    Sesame dim sum
    Sweet potato dim sum
    Coconut puff

    I liked it so much I took a few friends there again just recently.  Unfortunately they don't serve dim sum all day, so we reluctantly ordered the set menu. We were very impressed with all the food we received: crispy duck (my new fav item), lemon chicken, chicken and sweet corn soup, sweet and sour chicken, spicy prawns, steamed veggies.  There was so much food; we were stuffed to the gills.

    Fringe benefit: the atmosphere is cute with an indoor bridge over a koy pond.

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/8/2012
    1 check-in

    Yes we could've gone to a cheaper Chinese restaurant, but I wanted a place with more ambiance and Imperial China didn't disappoint.  We enjoyed DIM SUM.  We stuck mostly with dumplings and some assorted snacks, but did order the ROASTED DUCK.  I was definitely surprised when this dish of shredded meat came out: yelp.com/user_local_phot…

    The rice paper wraps made it reminiscent of eating tacos.  Very lean meat, but I missed my duck fat and crispy duck skin!

  • 4.0 star rating
    11/10/2011
    1 check-in

    There is something about karaoke that I didn't quite get until my night at Imperial. I wasn't a karaoke virgin, I had had holiday rendezvous in the past, but until doing it at home, in your own backyard, you just don't understand the bug, that from nowhere jumps out and bits you on the bottom!

    14 of my nearest and dearest flooded our private room just behind Leicester Square. The poor restaurant knew not what they were in for when they accepted a booking for Team JB.

    Magnesium in and of itself is pretty volatile. You wouldn't mess with it, but generally on it's own it's reasonable safe. Put that metal in the vicinity of heat and you have yourself a very explosive relationship! To say the very least, an accurate picture of that room. On that night. With two mics! It is  said that 'birds a feather flock together' well, I would have to disagree and say rather that my lot it's more like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

    Not a moment was wasted, once in and the chamber door closed firmly behind us the honored guested made their presence known: Cher, MJ, Freddie, Amy, Ella, Will, Frank, all the greats were in tow and we proudly belted out and massacres some real classics!

    During the numerous concerts, we were served a three course Chinese meal. Most of it was untouched not because it wasn't any good (in fact what I did try was rather nice), but rather the excitement and generally frivolity left most of us full with joy and brimming over with laughter!

    It's officially I am diseased and I fully intend to be free with my love and infect everybody I know!

  • 4.0 star rating
    23/3/2009

    This little oasis of calm  in amongst the hustle and bustle of Chinatown is a good place to take someone you want to impress. The contrast between the noisy narrow Lisle Street and the serene interior of the restaurant is marked. It's helped by crossing a little bridge to access the restaurant.

    The dim sum is high quality with generous fillings and a nice range of dishes. The dough wrapping for the cheong fun and har gow dumplings are wafer thin and translucent, always a good barometer for the quality of a dim sum joint.

    For the main dishes, there is the usual Anglo-Canto fare but the menu does point out a section "whcih may not be suitable for western palates".

    Service is efficient and friendly. A little gem.

  • 3.0 star rating
    3/1/2011

    I've had less-than-stellar food most times I've gone out in Chinatown, which had led me to nearly give up on it altogether. So color me impressed by Imperial China, a slightly upscale place around the corner from the Prince Charles.

    While nothing we ordered was mind-blowing, all dishes were well-prepared and tasty. I'd put it a definite cut above most of the meals I've had in the neighborhood. The highlight was probably the dim sum- it was amongst the best I've had since moving to London. I would definitely like to eat at this place again.

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/9/2009

    Where are 2 American Asians going to go for Brunch? Duh! Soho!

    My friend was adamant we get some "authentic" dim sum on our London trip, so we trekked our way from Marylebone to Soho. We walked around Chinatown for half an hour trying to decide where to grub (it took a while since we didn't know shops didn't open till Noon). We finally settled on Imperial China as there was a good amount of people inside, which is always a good sign.

    From the outside the place looks pretty small, but once you walk in it's a completely different story. There's a pond with a footbridge which is just amazing. There's also plenty of tables and even a a couple of banquet rooms.

    The dim sum menu is pretty extensive which put a smile on my face. The only problem I had, was figuring out what some of the items were. I'm used to the American dim sum experience where they push the carts around and I get to point at what I like, so trying to figure out what some things were was pretty difficult. There was an added degree of difficulty with the language as well. I speak mandarin and the menu was written in the phonetic cantonese, so I definitely had a 'Lost In Translation' moment.

    The staff was really helpful when I was struggling with the menu. I was able to ask them in Mandarin, so that problem came and went. The price was in your typical dim sum range so no stress there. Definitely had a great time stuffing my face! I will definitely come back for dim sum when I visit in December! Yum!

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/11/2008
    First to Review

    I like the ambiance inside, its a very zen environment with trees, lots of light and running water in a small pool. There is a good selection of dim sum, but unfortunately only for lunch. There is another menu for dinner, and although there are some selected starters available, its not enough for a whole meal.

    The pork dim sum (don't ask me for the Chinese name!) is really good. Its good quality food, in a nice environment - although I prefer coming here for lunch rather than dinner. Not just for the dim sum menu, but because there is so much natural light, it gives the impression of eating outdoors. Very nice.

  • 3.0 star rating
    3/2/2014

    The Restaurant has a good atmosphere,friendly service,the sweet & sour Pork was really good.Price wise it is reasonable,except for a little glass of Beer which will cost you £4.00 each time.The outing can become expensive if you are thirsty!Would love to,but can't afford to go back.

  • 3.0 star rating
    13/12/2012
    1 check-in

    If it wasn't for my office Christmas party, I don't think I would've normally picked this place to eat.  We had one of the karaoke private rooms - which was definitely a lot nicer than I expected.  The songs are a little dated but hey - people usually go for bon jovi anyway right?

    The food was overall okay, the soup was good - but not hot enough.  The duck pancakes were really good but the mains took forever to come out.  Luckily we had plenty of wine to keep us company - which added to the festivities.  All of the dishes were good... but also I was heavily under the influence.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/5/2010

    Wow!  I came here with friends for dim sum and was amazed.  Really fresh and really tasty, and not too expensive.  There were some neat dishes, like sticky rice wrapped with a thin slice of taro.  

    Super nice decor for a Chinese restaurant (I don't know if that is usual in the UK... but in Toronto most of the decor in Chinese restaurants is a tad shady.)  What a nice garden and fountain out front!  

    Would come here again!

  • 4.0 star rating
    14/8/2011

    This place is in Chinatown and it is much bigger on the inside than I had expected.  There is also a little bridge and stream at the entrance, which sets it apart, and I had the feeling that I was somewhere outside London.

    We came here as part of a huge group of friends and we took up two big tables at the back of the restaurant.  We were there for dim sum (yum char) lunch and we went crazy when marking our choices on the list - 4 servings of steamed pork buns, 20 egg tarts, etc, etc.  The food all came out within a fairly short timeframe and our table looked like how I imagine downtown New York - so many skycrapers, but made of the bamboo steam baskets!

    My favourites were the roast duck and a sweet dumpling which was in the shape of a rabbit!  Total cost was around 20 pounds each, which seems fair considering the amount we ordered, but may be considered expensive than most for a Chinese lunch.

    I thought the service was pretty good.  We still got served tea even after we had paid and we were still chatting among friends.  I think this is one of the better restaurants in Chinatown for lunch and I would visit again.

  • 5.0 star rating
    9/1/2009

    This was the best Chinese food I've ever had in the UK. I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the menu downstairs that said "some of the dishes below many not be suitable for western palates" in the middle of the first column. This was repeated in the second column, but here the line started "some of the dishes above..." So anywhere your eye hit the menu, you'd be alerted to the fact that the chef knows how to make authentic dishes.

    When we were seated upstairs and read the menu, none of the dishes in the "some of" columns were listed, gasp! Instead, I was staring at a sea of westernized dishes, my eyes nearly welling with tears. My parents waved the waiter over to inquire about the dishes that had whet our appetites downstairs. They are all available so be sure to ask about the "secret" menu, which is in English and Chinese. The prawns in salted duck yolk were delicious, as was the choy sum simmered with mung bean thread and pickled vegetables. They also did a spot-on version of "pipa" tofu, not greasy or cornstarch-y as some can be. I'll definitely be back for dim sum one day!

  • 4.0 star rating
    5/6/2011

    Came here after trooping around looking for 'a Chinese restaurant, somewhere in Chinatown, it's got a little stream outside it, I'm not really sure where it is but we'll find it...' courtesy of la mamma. But find it we did and thanks ma for the tip - great restaurant!
    Impeccably fast and efficient service, lovely food - particularly enjoyed the Taiwanese-style spicy chicken which, although not at all spicy, was absolutely delicious.
    Cannot fathom the size of the koi carp in the tiny stream and felt kind of bad for them but aside from that, the atmosphere and great food made it definitely worth another visit.
    Expect to pay more than most of the places in Chinatown, but for that you can expect better service and tastier food. Worth it, in my book.

  • 2.0 star rating
    12/1/2013

    Overpriced (for chinatown), underwhelming food. That is all.

    ps - I dont really rate my yum cha places based on their decor, though to be fair it is quite pretty.

  • 3.0 star rating
    15/6/2009

    Probably the best combination of good ambience and food in Chinatown, and without having to rub elbow with tourists. This restaurant is tucked away on a side street, and even the entrance looks quite hidden. However, inside they have loads of tables over two floors, and unlike many Chinese restaurants on Gerrard Street, there is plenty of room between tables.

    Service is prompt, and the menu is extensive and truly Chinese, but I have found that over 2 years the food quality has degraded somewhat, and I now consider it a tad expensive compared to other good Chinese places in London.

    Still, it is one of the rare few places in Chinatown where you can have a good meal in peaceful surroundings and not be chased from your table after half an hour. The price is slightly higher than the competition, but it is a good choice for a business meal or for some privacy.

  • 3.0 star rating
    15/5/2011

    Taste? Good.

    Variety? Good.

    Service? Good.

    Wallpaper? Cool.

    Price? Too high.

    Portions? Too small.

    All in all, this place is pretty good. In fact, I would go and say that it's legit. Of course, it is expensive, around £20-£30 per person. The presentation and atmosphere of the restaurant is quite good, though. They make the inside of the entrance look like the outside of a Chinese building. So when you are inside, it's like you're inside a building inside of another building. When you wake up from the building within a building, you will have been inception'd  with the idea that it's a great restaurant.

  • 4.0 star rating
    4/3/2012

    Caveat:  I am no dim sum or Chinese food expert.  

    You feel like you are being transported somewhere else as you cross over the little bridge into this metropolis of Chinese food.  We had an amazing round table with big comfy chairs in the second room on the second floor.  (This place is enormous!)  

    No trolley service (guess that is passe?) so you order dim sum off the paper menu.  Every type of dumpling and glutenous combo with pork and/or shrimp came rolling out onto our table.  We gorged ourselves silly for 15 quid a head.  

    I was sad there was no spinach or bok choy on the offering (guess I could have asked).  

    Everything was tasty--no complaints except for the ridiculous salt intake I will now need to sweat out...

  • 3.0 star rating
    15/4/2012

    It's not the cheapest option but it ended up being a good last minute default. They do pretty reasonable dim sum too (not to my mind anywhere as good as Yauacha, or as cheap and joyful as New World or Dragon Castle), and their meats have always done the job (without filling my soul with any real joy). It's a big old place, a little prettier than some of its near neighbours and accessed over a tiny bridge past a concrete carp pool, just for a welcoming touch of clarse...

    I think as I've been eating a fairly substantial amount of Chinese cuisine recently, my palate has improved slightly. There's some disingenuity as to what counts as 'true' Peking Duck. My belief has always been that this is what you get when the bird has been cooked, marinaded and airdried (as you'll often see in Chinatown windows). With the skin separated from the rendered fat and crisped up to a shiny, dark, plum coloured top sheet, it's eaten first with a dipping sauce before the remaining sliced meat is wrapped in tiny pancakes with onion and plum sauce. I'd contrast that with aromatic crispy duck (the type you tend to get in most Chinese takeaways) which tends to give you an oven cooked duck where meat, fat and skin are broken up roughly with forks and served together in those pancakes.

    No garlic dipping sauce for the skin as you sometimes get with Peking Duck, just packaged pancakes and the usual hoisin, but I was impressed by the duck itself, with its soft fatty flesh perfect underneath shards of crisped marinaded skin.

    Of the other dishes, shared BBQ pork was a touch too sweet and so juicy as to feel faked, crispy beef was similarly sweet, albeit with a good chilli kick, but neither would bring me back. There were some perfectly acceptable noodles and an excellent aubergine hotpot that probably would bring me here again though.

    With a couple of beers and a few starters, we were looking at £35 a head. Not bad for what we'd had, but you can do cheaper and better round here.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/12/2008

    I had no idea this place existed, hidden away from the main part of China Town, on the quieter Lisle street.
    You enter into a little Chinese garden, where you cross over a little bridge with small fish pond below. Very different to all the other Chinese restaurant near by. On the inside, aside from the restaurant there is a bar and you can hire out private dining rooms, each with a karaoke system.

    I came for dim sum lunch, which they do very well. We had a delicious baked shredded turnip paste which came crisp on the outside and the turnip was soft and hot on the inside, this was the best dish out of what we ordered.  We also had the usual prawn dumplings, prawn and pork dumplings, steamed pork buns, and a side of pak choi with garlic. The cheung fun, thick rice noodle wrap, came a little too thick and chewy, but that was the only dish which was a mild disappointment.
    We enjoyed a warm flowery tea, which was kept going with lots of hot water re-fills. The staff were amiable, the service quick and the meal came to a very decent £22.

  • 2.0 star rating
    24/7/2010

    Sorry previous reviewers but this place is meh at best.

    Yes, the ambiance is awesome!!  The servers are professional and actually pay attention to you unlike many other establishments in London.  The protocol for dim sum is very accurate and the dishes are consistent with customs.

    However, the whole reason you really come here is for the food and their food is very average.

    Please excuse my ignorance with the names of the dishes but I usually explain what I want and get it.  Add to that I went here with a Chinese friend of mine that got some other dishes he grew up with.  Excitedly so since this place looks so authentic.

    Overall, the dishes lacked that extra umph.  I am not talking about the MSG umph or loads more salt.  I have been to many a dim sum joint and their food explodes off the serving dishes.  This place was bland.  I felt like I was 75 and have a restricted diet.  (for those Americans out there, like a Bob Evans or Perkins)

    The ingredients are super fresh so don't get me wrong, they aren't cutting corners.  It's just that their recipes need a bit of work.
    My friend got a desert that he couldn't wait to eat.  He had me try it first to get my impression.  I thought I was masticating unseasoned paper that had sat in water for 24 hours.  He was shocked and proceeded to try it himself.  We both took a bite and put it down.  He was unhappy to quite unhappy.

    The Pork buns, which is the dish that has me coming back to dim-sum time and time again was ok here.  The pork needed a bit more flavor to it.  The egg custard desert was ok.  It tasted super fresh, but the crust was bland and the custard wasn't sweet enough.
    The chicken feet was a complete fail.  I was expecting the actual foot nice and crispy, but they brought out just the skin and it was all gummy and cold.  Horrible.  I dig me some cold Chinese dishes, just when I expect them to be.

    So the first star is for the ambiance and the staff.
    The second star is for the freshness of ingredients.
    and.....

    that's about it.

    Maybe I need to come back when there is a different kitchen staff.

    • Qype User cleois…
    • London
    • 46 friends
    • 176 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    24/10/2010

    Following my Friday Night Food Fright Night I saw a film for the London Film Festival but after wards was starving and also in need of comfort food. To me there is no better comfort food than in the form of Dim Sum. My beloved and I went there and I felt like there was a food god once more that could offer reasonably affordable food that was of decent quality and very, very moreish.

    We had some Har Gau, Siu Mai and some prawn and scallop dumplings, all of which had a good meat content and wasn't greasy or flabby in the mouth. The chilli oil there is especially nice. We also had some steamed pork buns, mooli rolls and some cuttlefish cakes.

    Everything was well cooked, simply presented but tasted fantastic. We also shared a mango pudding for dessert and that was shaped like a carp and came with some sweetened condensed milk. It was simple but lovely.

    The dim sum mostly came in sets of 4 so that is great if you want to share within two of you, but I could have easily eaten everything we had twice as it was that good and given a bad meal i had the night before that I left most of I was one hungry beast.

    I shall definitely be returning, the food was lovely, staff attentive, prices reasonable and I loved where the restaurant was situated. I also loved that there is a little bridge you walk over before you enter that is full of carp fishes of different shapes, sizes and colours.

    • Qype User Sian…
    • London
    • 415 friends
    • 752 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    7/3/2011

    I came to Imperial China at the weekend for a hen do. I hate hen dos. They're scary horrible things. We saw three other brides-to-be. All in horrible veils. Luckily, we did not partake in such traditions. We partook in bubbly and Chinese food. And karaoke.

    I'm surprised that none of the other reviews mention the karaoke rooms. Which is strangely in the same private rooms that you have dinner in. Not entirely strange, but when you've started singing and no one has cleared your tables, it's a bit unusual. Like doing karaoke in the kitchen or something.

    But the food is fantastic. I'm as shocked as anyone that there's a decent place to get Chinese food in China Town. There wasn't anything that we didn't enjoy. As always, there was enough pancakes for the duck (why don't they ever bring enough?) and the main courses were the real highlight. Especially the salt and pepper squid. There's nothing overly special about the food, we're not talking Yuatacha or anything. But it's better than anywhere I've eaten in the area.

    Our set meal was £27.50 and that included karaoke for the evening too (I think we left around midnight, after killing every single song we could in three hours). We had many many bottles of sparkling wine too, yet somehow only spend £40 each including service. Absolute BARGAIN. It would have been a bargain at £60 a head too. Great night.

    Would like to go back next week please. I have char sui and bad karaoke cravings.

    • Qype User almost…
    • London
    • 33 friends
    • 121 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    7/3/2011

    I've got Chinese parents who used to run a takeaway. This essentially means that any journey to a Chinese restaurant usually results in mutterings about how the food isn't fresh, the service isn't up to scratch and oh how it would all be better if they cooked it themselves.

    However, I have now taken my parents TWICE to Imperial City, for major family celebration occasions. And on both occasions, neither of them have complained. Which is a win as far as I'm concerned.

    Better yet, we managed to have a huge celebration meal with ten people, and only paid £30 per head (without drinks). Which is a fairly good deal, but very good when you consider the relatively luxurious ambience you get at Imperial City.

    • Qype User AnnieM…
    • London
    • 98 friends
    • 81 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/11/2007

    Tucked down Lisle Street it's easy to walk past this place. However once you walk through the entrance, you stroll over a tiny bridge with a pleasant water feature. So far, so chinese.

    Daytime dim sum was incredibly tasty with some excellent cheong fun (streamed noodle rolls) plus traditional steamed dumplings and steamed buns.

    However I visited it in the evening for the first time last week and wasn't disappointed. It's a haven of peace in busy chinatown. A pianist provides unobstrusive relaxing background music. There's no evening dim sum, but the dishes were all delicate, flavoursome and attractively presented. Surpisingly good value too.

    It can be a nightmare to find (and remember) a good chinese in Chinatown, but once you stumble upon the Imperial China, it's certainly one to re-visit.

    • Qype User axisof…
    • London
    • 14 friends
    • 53 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    10/5/2008

    I went to Imperial China on 9th May (Friday) for a business lunch along with five work colleagues. As the previous reviewer mentioned the restaurant is a little hard to find if you're not in the know. It's also decorated well and the water feature is pleasing.

    Although this was a business lunch we had time to do it properly and each of us ordered 2 dim-sum dishes each as well as whole duck and some noodles.

    Service was generally pretty quick and tea-refills were easy to get. However by the time we'd finished all the Dim-Sum (including some sweets) the duck had not arrived and it took another ten minutes after the table had been cleared. Possibly for this restaurant they don't think serving Dim-Sum and duck at the same time is a good idea, but it really pro-longed the lunch too much and after eating sweet dim-sum the duck was not quite that special anymore.

    Prices for lunch seem fine, although the duck at £30 was not enough for six people and had too few pancakes with it! Dim-Sum is one of my favourite food types in the world and overall Imperial China is slightly above-average. Range is reasonable, taste is fine although unlike some restaurants there wasn't a special menu or any really 'different' dishes The most unique we had was tripe, (cow stomach) which on the menu actually said, NOT RECOMMENDED.

    That's the first time I've been to a restaurant that doesn't rate its' own food!

    Overall then, it was fine for lunch, but not quite as special for me as the previous reviewer.

    • Qype User neil_d…
    • London
    • 18 friends
    • 75 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    9/12/2009

    I like Ping Pong, honest I do. It's just that, well, it's not the most authentic of experiences, is it? I know that sounds snobbish and foodie and all that malarkey, but why let a chain serve you dim sum when there are so many options in Chinatown?

    Actually, I know the answer to that: you know where you stand with Ping Pong and that you won't point to the wrong thing and get a plate of deep fried things that come from the, er, south end of a chicken. Plus, there are a lot of bad restaurants in Chinatown and wheedling the wheat from the chaff in this stretch of town is a project that would cost a fortune and take a month or two to complete.

    Happily, I lucked into Imperial China thanks to a friend's research and a cracking and filling dim sum lunch - with tea - was both delicious and excellent value: we were stuffed at less than 15 quid a head.

    Service is friendly enough but a little rushed. As we were on a limited time scale that suited us, but it would be interested to see how those looking for lingering grazing experience would find it. Mind you, at these prices, for food this decent, you can't really complain.

    Oh, and the Koi pond is really cute too.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/6/2013

    We went as a large group and ordered a lot of dim sum.  We got a lot of the standards - har gow, siu mai, cheung fun, turnip cake, steamed sticky rice in lotus leaves, taro root balls.  Everything was good, well prepared.  You won't go away floored but it's solid dim sum.  It came out to about £20/person.

    • Qype User Soiste…
    • Sydney, Australia
    • 5 friends
    • 248 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    13/12/2009

    Given the many positive reviews, I thought I would give this place a try and really liked it.

    I had Dim Sum which they offer between 12 and 5pm. Portions were generous, the service swift and friendly and the view from the 1st floor down towards the pond quite relaxed.

    The "complimentary service charge has been added to your bill"-thing costs them one star.

    Dim Sum Reviews:
    Five stars:
    Beef cheung Fun were perfect (2.60)
    Prawns dumplings (goldfish)
    Vietnamese spring rolls (2.30)
    Steamed pork buns (sweet & sour) 2.30
    I thought the steamed beef & pineapple dumplings in butterfly for 2.30 were yummy.

    Not my thing:
    I liked the steamed glutinous rice with wrapped in yam (2.50) although some may find it a little bland.
    Shredded chicken spring rolls didn't like the sauce that much
    Black sesame buns very greasy
    yum dumplings (rabbit) just too sweet for a main dish
    The spicy soup was not all that nice either

    • Qype User goochi…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 103 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/1/2009

    I've eaten here a few times, but as others have mentioned it is not the easiest to find first time around. The restaurant is well decorated and has always been busy whenever I have visited.

    The food is of good quality and very tasty, with lots of different dishes to try that you don't normally fine in your local chinese restaurant. Dim sum is very nice at lunchtime.

    This is the restaurant I choose whenever I want to go out for Chinese food.

    Staff are friendly, but sometimes a bit too busy.

    • Qype User rcoldb…
    • London
    • 11 friends
    • 40 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    20/12/2009

    This place is a bit of a Tardis - it looks small on the outside, but once you're in, it's pretty big. It's one of my favourite places for dim sum in London - I also love their koi pond and little arched bridge as you go in - delightfully cheesy, but they really do have some impressive koi in there! Once inside, the place is nicely appointed, with a lot of tables all covered in white linen, and nicely dressed staff who are very helpful and quick. It gets very popular at lunchtimes so I normally arrive there at about midday to avoid the rush at 12.30!

    For about a tenner a head you can make a real pig of yourself with dumplings, cheung fan, squid - you name it, they've got it!

    It's worth mentioning that their loos are also very nice.

    • Qype User nightf…
    • London
    • 7 friends
    • 41 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    2/1/2010

    Only the dim sum and the decent interior make this place OK.

    The 3 times I have been here and ordered from the menu I have been disappointed. Looks great from the outside as you walk in with the pond and bridge. Unless you are here for dim sum only I would not recommend it.

    • Qype User chopst…
    • London
    • 12 friends
    • 105 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    17/3/2011

    I;ve been to better places but one thing good about this place is that they don't rush you out!

    To read the complete review, please go to
    chopstix2steaknives.blog…

    • Qype User 2478an…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 13 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    1/3/2010

    I've dined here a couple of times, once on a company function when we hired a karaoke room and on another occasion with friends.

    From the outside the Imperial China appears extremely small however after you've walked through the entrance from the street, over the small arched bridge and paused to look at the koi carp in the pond you will then be shocked by the actual size of the restaurant. Downstairs you have the main floor of the restaurant, upstairs you have 3 floors of karaoke rooms (8 in total) with a great seating area on the top floor.

    I would definitely recommend this venue, I'm a veggie and there were lots of options available with even more for my meat/seafood eating friends. I've never heard anyone complain about the food, the service is pretty good too and you definitely get value for money!

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