Grand Imperial

Restaurants, Chinese Victoria
3 Love It
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Grand Imperial
Grand Imperial

What used to be Chez Gerard at Victoria Station has been transformed into a rather elegant Cantonese restaurant, part of the Thistle Grosvenor Hotel. It’s a stunningly renovated room, with high ceilings and tasteful decor – a blend of burnished gold, black and white. Despite the central location, it can feel uncomfortably quiet during tea service – we got the feeling staff didn’t really have their hearts in it. Which is a shame as the ‘Oriental Afternoon Tea’ (£20 per person) is rather good, despite some odd portion sizes.

We enjoyed the barbecued pork buns and black cod wrapped in fried kataifi pastry– the former hot and fluffy, the latter light and grease-free; but who could manage two of each for tea? There are also four ‘wraps’ – ‘concubine’ chicken and jellyfish on lettuce, and shredded roast duck on a prawn cracker, both better than they sound. They made for messy – and repetitive – eating. It might therefore seem like a good idea to share one tea between two – but doing so can result in negotiations over the four different chocolate dim sum, or halving the excellent green tea brûlée. A noble tea selection, as befitting for a Chinese restaurant – includes a mellow jin xuan oolong (known as milk oolong for its sweet aroma) from Taiwan.


Venue name: Grand Imperial
Address: 101 Buckingham Palace Rd
Opening hours: Afternoon tea served 3-5.30pm daily
Transport: Tube: Victoria tube/rail
Price: Afternoon tea £20 per head
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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This establishment is indeed grand as you walk in to a space with very high ceilings and marbled columns; which comes with the territory being attached to The Grosvenor Hotel. Grand Imperial use to be my girlfriend’s local and regular yum cha joint so it was lovely to try a friend’s favourite. You get all the usual dim sum dishes such as steamed dumplings, cheung fun and sui mai; however there are a few that have been done differently like the XO turnip cake; which was spicy and moreish. The peking duck pancakes were also lovely - super crispy and the meat was used in an interesting duck salad with pomegranate. A relaxing airy space with wide comfy chairs to take mum out for a nice long chatty lunch.

Tip: yum cha is a grazing and small plates sharing experience; depending on how hungry you are, I would recommend at least two to three dishes per person as you should always leave room for dessert of nice and flakey egg tarts. Yum.

Good For: families, large groups, business lunch/ dinner, celebrations, yum cha, authentic Cantonese cuisines

I went there with my girlfriend for out Valentine's dinner. The seasonal offer is great. The surrounding and service is quite good. The dim sum platter tastes good. The price is a little bit expensive but acceptable for its environment and service.