The Grand Imperial Chinese Restaurant launched last year to great fanfare. It’s housed in a corner of the Grosvenor Hotel in Victoria, one of the grand old railway hotels. There are 2 entrances, either via Victoria Station or by a side entrance next to the bus station. They have transformed the high ceilinged rooms into an elegant contempary dining room with a section partitioned off for a private dining room.
This restaurant is part the same family as the Grand Imperial from Kuala Lumpur. They even shipped over their executive chef to head up the kitchen. He has since been replaced at the beginning of this year with a chef from Hong Kong.
On the day we landed here for lunch we were hoping for some dim sum but the dim sum kitchen was closed and they had a one week old dim sum chef who was not up to speed yet.
We ended up opting for the Express Lunch menu. There was a choice of several starters, noodles or rice dish and a pudding. At £12.80 or £16 for 2 or 3 courses respectively, quite a good deal. On the ala carte menu, couldn’t help but notice some nouveau Chinese dishes like Stir Fried Lobster with Foie Gras. Hmmm?
The dining room was not very busy, even for a Friday lunch service. I guess people either don’t know that they exist or they haven’t endeared themselves too well to the neighbouring office workers. This part of Victoria is not exactly brimming with decent places to eat.
For starters, we had the dim sum platter, 4 pieces of very average dim sum. Not terribly refined as I expected. I had heard good thing but I guess the new chef was not in charge yet.We also had the double boiled chicken soup with wolfberries. Nice clear soup as only the Cantonese can do really well.
For mains, there were several choices of noodle and rice dishes. I had the Singapore noodle, sans curry powder. The portions were enormous, the noodles were too greasy.
For pudding there were 2 choices, green tea creme brulee or strawberry lychee pudding. I had the creme brulee which was very thick and heavy. Really not the right texture for creme brulee, had a couple of spoonfuls and left it. Wasn’t worth the calories.
The service was very attentive although they did get our tea order wrong. They did try.
Not the best Chinese meal and did not live up the the expectations nor the decor of the place and on the whole thge food was not much better than the local takeaway.How unfortunate as I was really wanting to like it and to find somewhere new in London with decent Cantonese food. Maybe dishes from the ala carte menu might have been better.
101 Buckingham Palace Road
London, UK SW1W