|Siew Mai was luscious, generous and yummy.|
Sunday with great weather, end of summer. I saw the cars lining up parked on the side road of Stuart Street. The building is eye catching, with a classical Chinese pavilion style with a beautiful tiled roof and lion statues at the main entrance. The restaurant has a rather small car park at the back, but rather not sufficient for its needs at this rush hour. We parked a block away from the main strip of King Georges Road and strolled to the front. We could see the Princes Highway across the junction. The place was chock a block, most people who were waiting for a seat sat in an inner rounded pavilion, whilst there were mainly small tables for lunching. Welcome to Cantonese yum cha in the suburbs.
The Imperial Peking has been in business for many years - its custom has been mainly mainstream Aussies, although it is located in a region of greater Sydney that has many Asian demographics. Service is fast, although there is not much room for use of food trolleys. Yum cha goodies come out as the kitchen crew dictate, but it is always useful to look at what people are eating and the trays being held by wandering staff. There are around 40 items available at lunchtime, ranging from deep fried, steamed, sweet to roasted. Noise is part of the fun and ambiance, but the turnover of tables is reasonable and the food offered keeps moving. Although there is no nicely dressed up lady to greet us at the place where customers first arrive, the guy who coordinates table seating is quick footed, although at times arriving guests may not be able to find him.
We enjoyed the char siew bao, the siew mai and the stir fried vermicelli. Some of the other items were pretty ordinary on the bite. We asked for beer but that did not come, so we dropped this. It was a rather busy time for the staff, especially those having to clear tables for the waiting guests. Unlike in Din Tai Fung, we could not see the kitchen. By the time we left, albeit on a quick lunch, the dessert items had not come out to be served - never mind, maybe next time. The Chinese tea blend served was pretty average.
A private dining room is provided upstairs, seating up to 40 guests. Weekly specials at dinner time cover mud crab, beef and fish offerings. The dessert range for evenings is good, including sweet almond dumplings, crepe Suzettes, Bomb Alaska, toffee banana and mashed bean cakes, with a choice of liquors and liquor coffee. Peking duck, honey king prawns, duck with noodles, Mongolian lamb and beef fried rice stand out in their rather retro menu, but this is what the market here wants as well.
For more adventurous diners, there is the Imperial Beggar Chicken, a whole chicken wrapped with lotus leaves and enclosed with dough for baking; the Peking Picnic chicken, an alternative from the usual roast chicken; and Mermaid's Tresses, essentially a careful and pretty presentation of scallops placed on cabbage.
The Imperial Peking is located at an important junction between King Georges Road and the princes Highway in Blakehurst NSW, southern Sydney. Its address is 979 King Georges Road.
Opening hours for yum cha are from 11am to 3pm daily from Mondays to Saturdays, with from 10am to 3pm on Sundays. Also open for dinner from 530pm to 10pm from Sundays to Thursdays and on public holidays, with Fridays and Saturdays opening from 530 pm to 11pm.
Contact by telephone +61 9546 6122
A surcharge applies per person on public holidays.