The Imperial Seafood Restaurant | 123 Eagle Street, BRISBANE CBD QLD 4000

I found out about the opening of The Imperial when I was frantically searching for places to dine in Hong Kong. Yes, the trip won't happen for another year, but I'm very particular when it comes to holiday planning and we usually start planning well in advance.

So as I was saying, I was drooling all over my keyboard while day dreaming about eating some freshly steamed lobster and scallop dumplings at Lung King Heen when I came across the opening a brand new riverfront Chinese restaurant, which is literally located one block away from where we live. I turned to the other travel bunnie and straight away, he knew, we had to go there. ASAP.

And that's how we ended up in front of The Imperial on Saturday night. Greeted by a cheongsam (a.k.a. qipao) wearing hostess, we were led into the lavishly decorated restaurant, which was practically empty, so we easily scored a window seat that offered a pretty good view of the Story Bridge.

After having browsed the menu, which for a Chinese restaurant has surprisingly rather limited options (but you would definitely not miss the hefty price tag of $5,500 for a bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild), we ordered a Sichuan koushui chicken ($16.80) for entrée. As for mains, it was sweet & sour pork ($29.80) and crispy duck with plum sauce ($38.80) with jasmine rice for two ($4.50 each).

I must admit that I felt pretty unsettled when I saw the price for each dish. Having been to so many Chinese restaurants in Brisbane, The Imperial is indeed the most expensive around. I suppose with its prime location, it's has to make money somehow. So inevitably, I expected good food and I had no complaints with the food that I got. The sichuan koushui chicken served cold, had the perfect balance of the spiciness from the sichuan peppercorns and the smooth peanut and sesame paste, with a hint of Chinese cooking wine that came through the tender flesh. It was a great appetiser. The mains were presented beautifully, especially the sweet and sour pork. It was served in a carved-out pineapple and the bite-sized pork morsels were coated in a very tasty sauce. But my personal favourite was the duck. The crispy skin on the outside was wrapped around the succulent meat and I found it difficult to put my chopsticks down.

We finished the meal with their mango pancake with ice cream ($9.50) which was the most disappointing dish of the night, in terms of presentation and taste.

It was a nonetheless a wonderful night but as much as I enjoyed the food, I really don't see us returning anytime soon. After all, it was just Chinese food and I can think of a dozen places that can serve up some delicious dishes at a more reasonable price.

Total Bunnie Dollars Spent: $113.90

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  1. I suppose I was expecting a lot more from this place. They made a massive deal out of the fact that they had 3 chefs from Hong Kong and that the cuisine in China is rapidly evolving and this would be reflected in the menu. Then I get sweet and sour pork in a pineapple. Really? That's contemporary cuisine? (Min you, I twetted the heck out of the photo and got some good laughs...) I'll be interested to see how this place goes as it's aimed at the high end of town but whilst the fit out and views are lovely, they need to do a lot more work on the menu I think. Thanks for the review.

    1. I agree with you on this one. I didn't mind the fact that the sweet and sour pork was served in a pineapple, but I must admit that I was expecting top quality Chinese cuisine, given how much they raved about their chefs and not to mention the price that they charge for each dish. I wasn't willing to pay over $80 for a peking duck two ways. It's nice for the CBD to finally get a fancy Chinese restaurant, but I think they still need to make lots of improvements.

  2. If you like delicious seafood in pleasant atmosphere with beautiful Brisbane river view, The Imperial has it all!

  3. Thank you very much for your support even when we are newly open.
    As a very tiny staff who witnesses the change of the Restaurant, I would like to express our keen determination in improving food and service level in providing excellence to you our precious customer.
    Our chef from Hong Kong make new dishes frequently from now on and our waiters (incl me) are improving serving skills day by day.
    If we would have a opportunity to have you to come back, please call us and ask for our newly researched special Imperial 4 Small Dishes (one of those is drunk chicken as I remember) for a try.

  4. Will you be trying the yum cha ?

  5. Don't bother trying dim sums... my partner and I tried twice and both times were horrible! Even if they had a promotion it's defo not worth it. Super oily, highly priced, service was unprofessional...