Restaurant: Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant
Last visited: January 15, 2010
Price Range: $30-50
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Fine dining Chinese cuisine
- Popular for larger groups
- Popular for dim sum
- Popular to people working downtown/white people
- Known for seafood, I think Kirin is better
- Expensive feels more like "tourist trap" to me
- Spacious, 2 floors
- Dim Sum/Lunch/Dinner
- Dim sum 11am-2:30pm daily
- Seats 300, 2 floors, Private rooms available
- Set menus available (variety of price ranges)
- Open everyday for lunch-dinner
**Recommendation: I wouldn't really recommend anything...the food is edible, but for what they're charging...nope. There's better.
Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant has the reputation for Chinese fine dining – it competes at the level of
I came here for a very casual banquet style dinner so the food wasn’t top of the line, although it was fancier than what you would order on a regular night. We were a table of about 15 so everything was pre-orderd and portioned out for us to make things easier. The dishes we had are representable of a lower-end banquet
food, so I can’t speak for their gourmet dishes. I think most of the food we had shouldn’t even be on the menu.
Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant offers around 5 versions of chow mien and 5 versions of fried rice from low to high price points. I think they should just make 1-2 versions of each, and stick to the gourmet versions. If they aim for a fine dining audience than people will pay for it…but the quality has to be there. What’s the point of serving food your restaurant doesn’t represent? It’s very misleading.
I will only briefly comment on everything because if I wrote with my usual details you’ll be here until tomorrow.
On the table:
- The skin was crispy, but also very fatty and oily. This version had a little bit of duck meat to it too. I like the one at
- The crepes tasted too floury.
- I didn't get to try the shrimp crackers because they didn't serve them to us...I don't know why...
Stir-fried Broccoli with Mushrooms and Dried Scallop 3/6
- The broccoli was tender and there was lots of dried scallop which was great – that’s what gave it an extra 1/2 point – otherwise 2.5/6.
- It's a pretty saucy and flavorful dish - common at many Chinese restaurants.
- I don’t like how they used canned straw mushrooms and I think it really cheapened the dish. Serve it with Black Chinese Mushrooms or Oyster Mushrooms and just charge more.
- It’s a simple sauce that’s not too salty, but it’s made out of stock and corn starch.
Sautéed Sliced Chicken, Snap Peas & Squid 2.5/6
- Everything was tender, but it was lacking some veggies other restaurants would include like celery, carrots (there were a few decorative ones). This is a bit on the oily side too.
Shark’s Fin Soup with Shredded Chicken
- I don’t eat shark’s fin, so I didn’t try the soup. I used to love it, but then I went to
and visited the aquarium there, I got all anti-shark’s fin. I won’t preach on here. Shanghai
- I could see quite a bit of Shark's fin in the soup though.
- Tasty Twist Idea: Add half a shot of Crown Royal to a bowl of shark’s fin soup and it really enhances the flavour of everything. I did try a sip of the broth with it and it was really good! (It was a friend’s idea and I thought he was crazy at first)
Sautéed Crab with Ginger and Green Onion 3/6
- There wasn’t enough sauce. Parts of it were juicy and maybe it was the way they portioned it out, but it was lacking flavour.
- I did try just the ginger and green onion sauce from the “head” part of the crab and it was quite buttery and tasty. I wanted more.
Duck Lettuce Wraps 2/6
- This was a very bitty lettuce wrap filling. It was too minced up and I couldn’t tell what I was eating. I like the one at
- There wasn’t much duck, and the duck there was wasn’t very tender.
- It had a very smoky flavour overall, it really stood out and I wasn’t expecting it.
- The Hoisin sauce they used almost enhanced the smoky flavour. I don’t think they use a good brand of Hoisin sauce. The standard is Lee Kum Kee Hoisin sauce.
Soy Sauce Chicken 2.5/6
- The meat was really tender and slippery; however it was a tad on the salty side. I didn’t find that the soy sauce absorbed into the meat, it was just kind of on the outside of the skin.
Steamed Cod with Green Onions 2.5/6
- The fish didn’t taste fishy and it was pretty good, but there was a lot of MSG in the dish. It was skinless and boneless so it was very easy to eat.
Shrimp & Scrambled Egg Fried Rice 1.5/6
- The shrimps were frozen, and I think the execution was pretty poor.
- The eggs were over cooked, but at least it wasn't oily.
Soy Sauce Chow Mien 1.5/6
- Talk about laziness…mind you it was getting late, but still! Just because we’re not seeing it at the table doesn’t mean you should bring it out like this. I don’t care if you’re plating it at a separate table in the back – I felt like I was at a cheap Chinese food buffet.
- The noodles were like food court noodles. Barely any bean sprout or green onions. I don’t even think Imperial should put it on their menu. It doesn’t represent the image they try to aim for and they don’t even do a good job with the dish.
XO Chili Sauce 4/6
- I love XO chili sauce. The one here is good, but a bit on the salty side. There’s lots of dried scallop with is great.
Mango Pudding 4/6
- This was actually the best part of the dinner. It wasn’t even THAT good, but it’s because everything else was so blah that this stood out.
- It’s served with some evaporated milk and it gives the pudding a slight creaminess and sweetness.
- They use real mango in it because I literally had the stingy mango parts to mine. Not necessarily a great characteristic, but at least I know it’s real.
- It was very pureed so I had no mango chunks, although I do like mango chunks in my pudding.
- It wasn’t too sweet and I would have rather eaten 3 bowls of this and gotten full off that rather than some of the other very average to poor dishes.