Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant

November 15th, 2011

Location: 355 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC  View Google Map
Website: Click Here

I’m a huge brunch fan but haven’t found the right place to get bacon and eggs in Vancouver. Sounds simple, but for some reason when I try and eat breakfast out, I get greasy, limp bacon and rubbery, overcooked eggs. So, on the weekends when I stumble out of bed, I often head for dim sum. Dai Tung usually suffices where dim sum for two rings in under $20, but when feeling a bit more precious, Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant is a treat. Set in the Marine Building, it’s a grand space with huge chandeliers and old photos of luminaries who have dined here including snapshots of Mick Jagger and Arnold Schwarzenegger when they were both considerably less lined. My favourite thing about dim sum is that when dining with a group, you can sample a wide variety of options and be as non-committal as you want. Specializing in seafood they really go to town with the various combinations: shrimp and chives, shrimp and scallops, shrimp toast, and a surprising but delicious combination of shrimp and banana are some of the options. I’m sure this is not the most authentic experience, but the service is pleasant and quality of the ingredients is very high. We supplemented our dim sum with orders from the kitchen – the shrimp fried rice was light and fluffy (and not at all greasy), and the gai lan was bright and perfectly cooked, retaining its bite. Dessert consisted of what I like to think of as a Chinese donut – a sesame covered ball of fried dough stuffed with sweetened red bean paste – delicious, and as is standard with Asian desserts, not overly saccharine. Imperial is also a stellar spot for groups, offering multi-course banquet dinners. I’ve been to 3 events here over the years and they always manage to perform beautifully and orchestrate superior service. Although it’s not an inexpensive option, sometimes not having people yell in your face about chicken feet is worth paying for. (EL)

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