Sunday, 27 April 2014

Imperial Chinese Restaurant

 Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

This is the first time I have been to Imperial Chinese Restaurant since the new owners have been on board.  In the past, I have found it to be a family styled Chinese restaurant with a solid reputation.  However I am disappointed with my experience under the new management.  I don't want to go into a rant so I shall keep my opinions succinct and as objective as possible.

The main reason that it was a disappointing dining experience was the quality of the food.  We ordered a free range steamed chicken as my brother in law who had previously dined there not so long ago recalled it to be a succulent juicy bird.  What we got was best described as odds and ends of bits of gristle, skin and bones.  We ordered a whole chicken but upon inspection, our bird was distinctly missing vital parts of its anatomy, namely the breast bit.  It seemed like it comprised of several backbones hacked into shards.  Half of the dish was inedible as it was just a plate of bones and skin.  The disappointing part was the management's handling of the feedback.  He was rather defensive and stated that a free range chicken is suppose to be lean.  Yes, that is true, free range chicken is low on fat but it would not be totally devoid of meat ie musculature.  The chicken parts he gave us had barely any discernible flesh.  Also a free range chicken is implicitly a happy chook which makes for a tasty chook.  Our chicken parts looked like it had served a life sentence in a gulag.  It did not have the nice yellow colour that is typical of free range hens.  The manager went on to suggest that we ate all the meaty breast bits to then only complain that there was no meat.  I think that accusation left more of a unpleasant taste than the chicken itself.  Humph!

Chicken Skeletor

 In the end, the manager offered to charge us half the price for the chicken.  The plate of bones was originally $46 and we paid $23.  The manager also comped us a plate of coconut and green tea jelly at dessert time.  But our feathers were already ruffled (pun intended).

Comped jellies

The pork belly with preserved vegetable hot pot was really salty but we were hesitant to raise this as we did not want to appear like universal whingers.  Plus we were so hungry, we ate it anyway.

Xtreme salt - pork belly hot pot

We had ordered fried rice for the kids with the specific request of 'no peas'.  The waitress taking the order was a touch irritable about it but scribbled away on her pad and we were left with the impression that our request was duly noted.  Lo and behold, the fried rice came with peas and most of the kids refused to eat it.  This lack of regard would suggest that any allergies, food intolerances would not be catered for here.

Fried rice riddled with peas
To be fair, there were a few dishes that were done fairly well but it was hard to appreciate the good dishes because the poor dishes were so appalling.  The fairly good dishes were: the spicy calamari;  seafood and tofu hotpot;  seafood basket.

Calamari - stock standard execution but compared to the other dishes, it was considered good
Pei Pa Tofu - good

Seafood hot pot - ok

 Seafood basket - done v well with a julienned potato basket, the way I like

Comp soup - it was ok - no major objections. 
On the up side, we were not charged for tea.  So there were a few positives but the negatives were just too big to overlook and I am sorry to say that I will not be going back.  I do appreciate that it is a cheap eats restaurant so I was not expecting red carpet service but I have been to other cheap eats places and they were cheap and cheerful and friendly!  The staff at this place varied from apathetic and surly.  By the bye, we were all still hungry but due to the inconsistent quality of the dishes and the desire to leave as soon as possible, we decided not to order more.

If you are seeking Chinese restaurant for the family, you may wish to check out our reviews of Peninsula; Walrus; Gold Leaf Burwood; Mei Jing and East Empress

Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Until next time..

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