Edinburgh has a habit of losing good dim sum chefs almost as soon as they get them. First gust of that cold Winter North wind through Auld Reekie and the chefs flee back to warmer climes i.e. London. So we’ve learnt not to get attached to any new dim sum restaurants that start up because the deliciousness is usually fleeting. But! The Imperial Palace seems to have bucked the trend and has continued to produce good dim sum for well over a year now. Joy! At last, we don’t have to travel south to indulge in a decent dim sum frenzy (although when in London it would be remiss not to…).
Hubby and I probably hit up Imperial Palace at least once a month, either with the whole family or just the two of us or with visiting friends. Like this Saturday when we were there with one of my besties who was over visiting from California, and who is no stranger to good dim sum.
We ate our own body weight in delectable bites of steamed and fried goodness, and then some, all washed down with a lovely pot of green tea…
Hubby is a sucker for Char Sui Bau, and the ones at the Imperial Palace do not disappoint with pillowy white buns that are hot and steamy and slightly sweet, breaking open to reveal the treasure of sticky chinese barbecued pork inside. I was told that these are the Chinese equivalent to Yorkshire Puddings in that you stuff the children full of them and save all the really good dim sum for the grown ups! Unfortunately, that trick doesn’t quite work with Hubby. Possibly because we all dive into them too!
I’m a total dumpling addict, so we had Har Gau (a little bit bigger than the perfectly bite sized ones you get in Hong Kong but just as tasty) which I can’t eat without lashings of chilli oil, as well as Shanghai Dumplings which come in a basket of nine… NINE!!! I will actually give up other stuff to have these and can’t leave until they’re all eaten, such is my addiction (don’t judge me!)
The Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf was perfectly sticky and perfectly flavoured with the rice infused by the leaf. I don’t always recognise the meat inside it so left a rather large bit that seemed to be mostly bone to one side, but I’m sure it added to the flavour of the rice.
We had Beef Cheung Fun as well, which really is best described as chinese cannelloni! The Imperial Palace ingeniously serves the sweet soy sauce separately in its own bowl which negates the otherwise frustrating and futile attemps to spoon any of the sauce off the flat plate the Cheung Fun is served on with a big chinese spoon. Best eaten as soon as it arrives though, otherwise the rice noodle gets really claggy when it cools down.
And finally… Prawn and Garlic spring rolls, which were Hubby’s particular request. They make a nice change from the usual spring rolls, but I find them quite garlicky so can take them or leave them (definitely leave if there are still Shanghai Dumplings to eat!).
There wasn’t a hope in hell of us finishing off with noodles or the tasty little egg custard tarts, so we paid up and rolled out and in the direction of home.
We’ll be back 🙂 As will I, properly, once Autumn kicks in – am really rubbish at summer type food plus it’s been crazy busy of late, but after such a damp squib of a summer I’m ready for those colder nights and the comfort food that goes with it!