Advice Ordering at Imperial Palace in Queens
Headed to IP next weekend with a group of 6 for a celebratory dinner. Big eaters but some more adventurous than others. Based on great info in other posts and articles online I'm eyeing the following:
Soup: winter melon, pork with mustard greens, and/or clam casserole vietnamese style
oysters with xo sauce
crab with stick rice (should we order 2?)
sizzling sable or steamed fish
clams with black bean sauce
pork chops peking style
deep-fried chicken with minced shrimp
golden bean curd
snow pea leaves with garlic
Would welcome any thoughts/suggestions on the above. Also since it's a celebration, would anyone recommend any of the seafood specials/upsells, or is there anything else we should ask for?
IP often has interesting mushroom/mountain yam (not sure of name in Cantonese) dishes. My advice is too look at the placard mounted in Lucite atop every table. Interesting dishes on that small list...would try to inquire as to which seafood is best that day, rather than decide on order in advance.
snow crab three ways order in advance for certitude:
me - "Snow Crab with glutenous rice - seemed a touch spicier than usual and fantastic
with the snow crab
Snow Crab stir fried with scallions -simple and great
A Snow Crab steamed custard (probably with tofu and eggs) - served last of the trio to
show just how unbelievable food can be"
Lau Oct 4, 2009
"i was actually going add a review to this b/c i had the same snow crab special a few weeks ago with my GF's family except i only had it cooked in the glutenous rice and with the custard...its really excellent although be careful as it costed $160
the rice dish has so much crab (more crab that rice), the meat is very sweet and good. The crab was 4 lbs. The steamed custard is exceptional with the rice, its very light and has this really light soy sauce that i think may have some type of seafood sauce in it that was really good"
- soup: i'd go winter melon
- crab rice: you can order one and then just order another if you need
- fish: go with the steamed fish, but tell them you want a really good fish, its worth it to spend more money on a better fish as the meat is much better (price: ~$50 vs $20-25)
- clams with black bean sauce: skip this, their version isn't good
- deep fried chicken with shrimp paste: i'd skip this for the fried chicken with sauce. the chicken with shrimp paste sounds really cool, but i find the regular fried chicken is better
- snow pea leaves with garlic: i think their version with the egg white crab meat sauce is better although not everyone agrees with me, so you're probably fine either way. i find their garlic version a little saltier and more heavy handed.
- fish and bean curd casserole: as others mentioned this is a good dish, definitely worth ordering
- other stuff to order:
1) lamp chop: its definitely one of the best dishes there; highly recommend this dish and its not gamey at all if you're wondering (see my post below)
2) fried stuffed tofu with dried scallop sauce (see my post below); btw not sure if by "golden bean curd" you mean this
re: crab 3 ways - this is very good if they have it, but its expensive. i got a 4 lbs alaskan king crab and it was $250, so just be aware of that (obviously no reason to separately order crab rice if you get this)
Crab rice should take a while to cook in order for the crab flavor to infuse into the rice. If the crab rice comes out soon after ordering, the kitchen may be taking shortcuts in its preparation. So if you order a second one only after the first one comes out, it may end up as a very long meal.
re: The Cookbook Addict
well the regular crab rice isn't nearly that expensive i want to say its like $25-30
the crab i ordered was a very good quality Alaskan king crab that was like 4 maybe 5 lbs i can't remember cooked 3 ways, they don't normally have this, but should def ask. i dont think you should get more than 5 lbs, i think you're going to find that this is a ton of food that you're ordering.
i know this is going to seem a sacrilege, but i was there recently, enticed back by the recent nytimes review, and ordered just about everything on your list, plus a few more, like duck and fried fish. i'd been a few years ago, but hadn't ordered the large ticket items and thought that in order to give it a chance to shine i should order what's made them famous. but i found just about everything kiind of humdrum, plain, unmemorable, and some dishes bordering on plain mediocre (esp the sablefish). the flavors weren't particularly distinct or subtle, the presentation was a bit slapdash and the overall preparation seemed haphazard. in a word, the food was bland. also forgettable. and indistinct. and nothing like what we'd hoped for or had been led to expect by the endless encomiums in the press. we were there with 8 people and ordered a lot of food. the service was good and the room was packed (on an early saturday evening). but it definitely wasn't good enough to merit a return trip. 2 mediocre visits in 2 years to me doesn't argue for a go to place. i'd hardly say this is great food. it's clearly an 'event' to go there. the place is packed with folks who clearly want these menu items, but whether or not the food is really and truly well prepared is another matter. hate me for saying it, but this seems to be a point of view rarely expressed here.
no such thing as sacrilege if you didnt like you didnt like you, you definitely shouldn't feel compelled to like something and every restaurant is capable of having off nights or you may not just like the style of food, but either way if you didn't like it there is nothing wrong with that
what specifically did you order?
we ordered the oysters with xo sauce, the sablefish, the crab with sticky rice, the clams with black bean sauce, some little fried fish that were finger sized, the chicken and shrimp dish, the duck, snow pea leaves and maybe one or two other items. the preparations were indistinguishable from our earlier visit, so i don't think it was just an off night. perhaps that's just the way it tastes and it simply wasn't to our taste.
ahh well i think you may have had some ordering issues as you missed most of their best dishes and ordered some that i think are pretty mediocre there:
- oyster w/ xo sauce: i'm less enamored with this dish than others, its not bad, but nothing special
- clams with black bean sauce: they don't make this dish well which is why i told the OP not to order this dish here, its not good
- chicken with shrimp paste: order the chicken with sauce (see my post), i think its much better
- sable fish: i assume you got the sizzling one? order the steamed fish i ordered in my post its much better
- duck: i assume you're talking about their peking duck? they don't make it well there, it kind of sucks
- fried fish: not sure ive tried that dish there
here's my post, i think the dishes i ordered are kind of a "best of" type of deal, not everything is good
Thanks again to all those who responded! We ended up having a great time and delicious food, highly recommend. My fellow diners weren't feeling adventurous and the waiter was uninterested in telling us the specials, so we ended up ordering the winter melon soup, crab with sticky rice, snow pea leaves with garlic, pork chop peking style, house special lamb chop, crispy fried half chicken, lobster with ginger and scallion and sizzling sable with black bean sauce. Everything was super tasty except the sable, next time I would definitely get the steamed fish like people on the board recommended. With beers this feast worked out to about $40 per person.