Sunday, 12 September 2010
Imperial China - Dim Sum in the Suburbs
I'm keeping this post short and sweet. Besides, I'm not sure you want to read about the 18 different varieties of dim sum that we ordered (nearly half the dim sum menu!). In case you're wondering, I sampled a mere 13 of these dishes.
Imperial China (唐朝) in Teddington is proper old school and has everything I look for in a dim sum restaurant. However, I can't take the credit for unearthing this hidden gem, as it was my sister who suggested coming here for a family get-together. We reserved a table for 11.30am, as this was the only slot available for a busy Sunday. The dining room was near empty on our arrival but by the time we left, the restaurant was full and there was a queue.
It wasn't surprising that it was busy, as the food at this unassuming suburban restaurant is of a very high standard. The dim sum is freshly made with a light hand at the steamer and the fryer. Some of the highlights included:
蜜汁叉燒包 cha siu bao – Roasted pork buns (£2.30)
鮮竹牛肉球 ngau yuk kau – Steamed minced beef balls (£2.30)
蜂巢荔芋角 wu gok – Yam croquettes with pork (£2.50)
鬼馬炸兩 zhaliang – Deep fried dough cheung fun (£2.80)
擂沙湯丸 lei sha tong yuan – Sesame paste in peanut crumbs (£2.80)
There's a lot to like about Imperial China with its quality food, good service, wallet friendliness, and warm family atmosphere. Compared to dim sum joints in London, I prefer it to Camden's much-lauded Yum Cha and its streets ahead of anything Chinatown can offer. In fact I'd go so far to bracket it alongside Pearl Liang and Phoenix Palace as my 'go-to' dim sum restaurants.
I know Teddington might as well be on Mars for some but if you don't live too far away then I highly recommend making the trek to Zone 6. Don't just take my word for it, Ma and Pa Noodles loved Imperial China and their opinion counts for a lot.
Imperial China, 196-198 Stanley Road, Teddington TW11 8UE (Tel: 020-8977-8679)
Nearest rail: Fulwell (trains from Waterloo)
PS: To the best of my knowledge, this restaurant ISN'T related to the Chinatown restaurant of the same name.