You know what the best brunch is? Chinese brunch. Specifically, dim sum. Oh yes.
Recently, we took out Henry’s parents for dim sum, and we went to basically the fanciest dim sum place in Montreal: Restaurant Impérial. We’re not exaggerating about the fanciness – Impérial is in one of the newer buildings in Montreal’s Chinatown, and the restaurant itself is high on up, giving way to a spectacular view of the city. It’s not often that any Chinese restaurant boasts access to a sweeping cityscape. Because Impérial does so, on this front it definitely lives up to its name.
Of course, you can’t eat the view. The food is, in the end, key. So, what do we think about the food? Well…
It’s good, and often tastes of better quality than most other places we’ve visited in Montreal!
[Mariam: Unlike Henry, I’m not a big fan of all Chinese food, but I am a BIG fan of dim sum. And Imperial has some of the best sesame balls I’ve ever tasted. Usually, sesame balls are filled with red bean paste. Here, they put in custard. Who’d have thought? It was exquisite.]
[Henry: So exquisite that you started by talking about dessert first? 😛 ] [Mariam: Yes. 🙂 ]
Getting back to the rest – as we’d said, it often tasted better than other places. Here’s a case in point: The siu mai (pork dumplings). [Mariam: Every other place I’ve had them, they were considerably more greasy. This one was much less so. I don’t usually eat meat, but this was quite something]
We also had a dim sum staple, the har gao (shrimp dumplings). In fact, we like these so much we ordered two servings right off the bat (see above). The shrimp in the dumplings were solid and springy, and the skins of the dumplings didn’t shred upon contact [Mariam: Just the way I like ’em!].
[Henry: I ordered some seafood spring rolls too, and they were delightful. They were very crispy, which is to be expected. They did use a tangier-than-usual mayo for the filling, and it made for a pleasant surprise. It feels as thought that other places I’ve visited which serve these rolls put no real thought or effort into the mayo, whereas here, a conscious effort was made to make the mayo stand out.] [Mariam: I had a bit of a different reaction to this one – it was very good, but much too rich. I could only have one piece.] [Henry: More for us! 😛 ]
The chow mein was simple and unremarkable. Just a solid plate of fried noodles. Still, it was a hit with everyone at the table – after all, it’s hard to say no to noodles fried with soy sauce…
We also ordered a fair amount of Henry’s mom’s favourite: The cheung fun (shrimp or meat wrapped in a big flat rice noodle). In particular, we got the beef cheung fun and the shrimp cheung fun. Both were liberally drenched with lightly sweetened soy sauce. It was all fresh and filling 😀 .
Finally, we ordered Chinese rice dumplings and sesame balls. Since we already jumped the gun and talked about the dessert above, we’ll just stick with the rice dumpling description here. [Henry: I have to say, they really put some effort into this dish. The meat and sticky rice were pretty well-seasoned, and the size of the dumpling certainly felt bigger than what I’m used to. It was deeply satisfying to eat it, and I found myself wanting more when I was done. That’s rare for me, when it comes to this dish.]
[Mariam: When we were all done, I took a little walk around the restaurant, since it was the first time I’d come here. Imperial is certainly well-decorated, and the owners really got the contractors to make it look nice. There’s a real sense of care and design here. It’s definitely impressive.] [Henry: There was decoration? 😛 ] [Mariam: Very funny 😤]
Any which way, if it’s good dim sum and a lovely atmosphere that you want, Restaurant Impérial is the place for you!
Where to find Restaurant Impérial:
Address: 6th floor, 998 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2Z 9Y9
Phone: (514) 379-4664