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A la Colthard/Imperial Treasure

When an old friend told me he had booked Imperial Treasure off Pall Mall for our regular lunch date he promised me “Chinese cuisine on a different level”.

Looking at the menu on its website I was not sure if he was referring to the cost!!

In fact he was right … and so was I.

The restaurant chain began life in Singapore in 2005 and soon were opening up in Hong Kong and China. They have now opened up in central London and shortly in Paris.

It’s signature dish is duck, which needs to be ordered in advance and will set you back £100, but the best I have ever tasted.

My friend was in charge of ordering and we started with dim sum – the pork and prawn was specially memorable.

The duck was brought to the table, carved, we were invited to sample the roasted skin first with sugar then the carved meat with homemade pancakes. It was scrumptious. My friend wisely accompanied it with a Bandol rose from a wine list which had nothing under £50 on it. The bones of the duck were then served with jasmine rice.

The only slight drawback was we were sat next to a family with a young baby who promptly bawled so we moved. This was executed with minimum fuss. I find in the French Michelin star restaurants I review there is a tendency for the waiter to describe a dish in every detail. This intrusion can spoil the table conversation.

In Chinese restaurants, the waiter/waitress holds back. At one I used to frequent on Regents Park canal, the manager Mr Wong remained rigid three foot from the table like a sentry but swooped in immediately for your every need. Similarly here the waitress noting my difficulty in air lifting the dim sum to my plate with chopsticks duly arrived with knife and fork.

I was curious to see what clientele it would attract. It was almost exclusively Oriental.

I guess in the same way French tourists head immediately for a steak house like Le Relais based on L’Entrecôte in Paris, well-heeled Chinese tourists feel reassured by a high end restaurant whose reputation has proceeded it. I did not see the final bill but you can expect to pay £ 100-150 per head.

It’s worth it.

About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts