Awesome food, quick service, beautiful ambiance.
The tiger prawns are some of the best I have ever had.
It is a rare gem in the city and I would gladly go back !
Being Chinese myself and never being a fan of Chinese food outside of Chinatown or my mother's house, I cringed when my boss suggested taking a client out to this local plush restaurant for a spot of lunch.
If I'm going to be honest, i was taken aback by the deco when I first walked in. It was genuinely well designed and hid the fact that it was probably an underground wine cellar or some sort of bunker years back, with the ambient lighting, spaciousness and the table layout.
The food was disappointing. We ordered the mixed starter to nibble on first (for around £10 per head) and out came 3 ribs, 3 fish cakes, 3 veggie rolls,3 butterfly prawn, 3 chicken satays drenched in peanut satay sauce. My parents used to run Chinese takeaways (one of the better ones I'd like to add! :p) so I guess I had a benchmark. To think that this set starter was 300% more expensive and giving you 300% less food than in a takeaway, it was greasy as hell. Let's put it this way, none of us finished our food despite the "wannabe-minimalist"/tight cooking.
So onto the main course (that was interluded by 4 different waiters/waitresses coming to ask us if we wanted another drink...) Blackbean Chicken, Oyster SauceSirloin beef, Garlic Brocolli, Garlic Sugarsnaps, Chilli Prawns and boiled rice.
The rice was OK but considering the price they stamped on it, I felt somewhat cheated as it ended up as a very small tired looking pathetic pile on my extremely large plate.
Main courses? Well, not bad, but not fantastic. All I could think about was the price hike they had on these dishes when there was clearly nothing spectacular about it. I could probably cook these dishes with very little difficulty and I'm not the greatest of cooks. The ingredients were fresh, but I'm 90% sure the sauces came from a jar they probably bought wholesale from WingYip/SeeWoo supermarket (look them up if you want to start cooking Chinese Cuisine at home ;) ) as the flavours were a little too familiar to the ones I had at home.
Anyway, after the fifth visit of "do you want any more drinks" we paid the over-inflated bill and left.
I suppose if you're an overpaid banker in the city and fancy a spot of lunch in a pretentious overpriced Chinese, this place is perfect. But if you enjoy your Chinese food are looking for something more exotic steer clear - this is a pretty restaurant with takeaway standard food.
Maybe I need to come back when it's not a corporate function type thing.
It was just okay. I've been to another restaurant in this restaurant group's... group... and it's really good (Gatwick Oriental), but I found Imperial City a little lackluster by comparison.
Crispy Hoisin duck starter is definitely a highlight.
You think you like Chinese food, just wait til you've tried this place it is fantastic. Imperial City is located in part of the old Royal Exchange Building in Cornhill near Bank Tube Station in London.
From the modest street level entrance you will be suprised at what awaits downstairs. The restaurant is set in a vaulted brick cellar, the ceiling of which has been painted in the most tasteful of fashions. Even the ducting for the air conditioning is adorned along its length with golden dragons. There is a beautiful water feature and many bonsai-style trees. Even before you have had a chance to view the menu you know that this is going to be a treat.
The waitresses and waiters are all immaculately turned out, dressed in traditional dress. It is from this that my collegues and I came to nickname the place - Imperial Slity due to the high spilt skirts of the ladies! They are all very pleasant, although tend to the efficient, especially at lunchtime when they do try to get people through the restaurant - having said this, one is never rushed and time can be taken at leisure.
You will not be disappointed by the food here. There are always set menus ranging in price, and often a seasonal set menu which changes throughout the year together with a huge a la carte menu.
The set menus offer good value for money and there is always enough food. The lobster is always to die for!
This is not a cheap place to eat, although if you go for one of the set meals (other than the special) I think that it is increadibly good value for the City. For wine expect to pay about £11.50 for a bottle of house, or £28 for champagne.
As you might exect, being right next to the Bank of England and in the heart of the City it is frequented by City-types. It is ideal for business lunches and the tables are far enough apart to give you some degree of privacy. In the evening client entertaining is still the name of the game. If you are feeling particularly extravegant or wish for a greater degree of privacy they do have a private dining room seating up to 16 people.
I would always book before going as it is extreamly popular (with the possible exception of Monday lunch). In common with most of the city it is only open Monday to Friday 11.30 - 9pm. You can book on 020 7626 3437.
This restaurant is well worth a visit and is a rival to most Chinese restaurants in the area.
Ken Hom's place is a little cut above a standard chinese restaurant. Similar dishes, similar atmosphere but just everything a little bit nicer and lower on the salt and MSG influence.
Price wise you do pay twice what you would at most Chinese Restaurants. Set menus offer a nice range of dishes and no duff dishes to report.
All in all a nice treat for a better quality chinese but maybe not worth the premium every time.
Very average, nice enough room pretty good service but the food was only ok, and expensive.
Not your average Chinese restuarant, but then not your average prices either. Well worth a visit, and some of the dishes are a little more unusual than the standard fare, but the bill can rack up if you are not watching it. The set menus are a good option if you are watching the pennies in the current environement. Still worth a visit.
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