October 6, 2004
The Imperial is located in the historic Marine Building on Burrad Street in the center of the business area of Vancouver. The Marine Building is lovingly restored and has some great architectural details.
The restaurant has a wonderful panoramic view of Burrard Inlet from their elegant, chandeliered dining room. But, I have to admit, the lighting in the restaurant was bad - it was very bright and harsh for such a nice place. I have a friend from Hong Kong who gave me a piece of advice - look for really bad lighting in a Chinese restaurant and you are sure to find a great meal. Going on his word, his theory sure worked here.
Everyone was already seated and the group could not have been friendlier. Everyone at our table was soon talking about everything from travel to politics. It was a great group to share a meal with; I was sitting between Idler and Artnletters.
The waiters would bring each dish and announce it, and then divide it up and serve it. Tony had ordered in advance. It was a great way to go, as none of us had to look at a menu, and we could all just concentrate on our conversations and meeting new people.
The food was so good and there were ooohs and awwws at every bite. The course I remember the most was the first one - the Peking Duck. It was tender and moist and served with a thick plum sauce and a Chinese pancake. It was delicious. We had soup, fish, sweet and sour pork, and a lot more. I read that the chefs here are all trained in Hong Kong, and that most of the dishes here are Cantonese. I know I liked everything I tried, but I am embarrassed to say I can't remember each course, as we were so busy chatting with the staff and other guides.
This was a great meal and a great way to start out the weekend. Nobody had to worry about what to order, as the food just showed up. I got to try a lot of new things and some old favorites - it was like magic, just showing up!
From journal Meeting IGO UGO North of the Border