Obviously the diet isn’t going too well as my number of blog posts is increasing slightly… Another sort of local of mine this time. The Imperial has had a number of re-incarnations over the years, I used to try (and fail) to get served in here has a teenager – the joys of being a redhead – I’m rubbish at lyin g, the blush factor is huge when lying about my age, it was then and still is now. It went a bit dodgy a few years ago and was very footbally, not the sort of place you’d go for a nice mid-week meal. But now, it’s under a newish ownership – I think they’ve had it for a year or so – and it’s great.
I went for the tail-end of someone’s Christmas party last year and this year I’ve been for dinner twice. The staff are so friendly, the décor is comfortable and if you don’t fancy sitting at the one and a half tables outside the front looking onto the busy New King’s Road to smoke they’ve got a lovely garden out back where they grow loads of vegetables, salads and herbs.
The first time we went we sat outside, it was seriously quiet. It was a Friday in August, and in that area all the Fulhamites bugger off to their parents’ holiday homes yaaaah every Friday (yeah,yeah, I know I’m one of them). But having been outside for an hour we had the garden to ourselves. With the rosé going down a treat we stayed for dinner. Moules to start for me were delicious and the sauce was perfect for dipping the gorgeous toasted homemade bread into.
The Cornish Crab & Fennel, Chilled Tomato & Saffron Tea was a cute dish that came with a little teapot to pour over the crab. The second time we went, we shared the meat platter of salt beef & pickle, slow cooked duck egg, lamb sweetbreads & brioche, chorizo salsa to start which was also very good and a perfect sized starter for two.
The first time I went I had the charred pork tenderloin with sautéed wild rice, broccoli, chilli & soy, coriander & spring onion which was really good. The pork was slightly pink and tender as anything (I suppose it should be, given it’s called a tenderloin) there was slightly too much soy for me which was unfortunately as it did overpower the pork – we fed this back to the waiter / co-owner who was very kind and open to feedback it seemed.
For my main course on the second visit I went for the burger as I had remembered having slight food envy last time round. Well cooked, with smoked melted cheese oozing over the top with chips and a massive gherkin quarter which I avoided. It really was very good.
But both times I’ve been it’s been super quiet, a Friday in August and a Monday in September are probably not the best judges of how busy it gets and I walked passed on Wednesday evening and it was busy. But I really really hope it stays busy because it’s a fantastic place and the owners have put a lot of tlc into the place. You should go. Definitely.