Visit to Imperial China in Teddington

This is my favourite place to eat dim sum. What’s even better is that this restaurant is close to home, so I thought it would write about this place.

I’ve noticed that after a few years of eating at Imperial China, it’s getting busier and busier, especially on the weekends. The last weekend I went, we didn’t book a table and had to wait 40 min. However, a couple of people who had actually booked a table – had to wait even longer, I think it was because they were waiting for a table for 2, which the restaurant has very little of. Ok, so the service fluctuates – as it gets busier, the staff get more stressed and the service starts to go downhill, but the food however, is delicious every time!

The dim sum menu is extensive at Imperial China. My favourite dishes are the pork puff pastries, prawn dumplings and the baby chilli squids.

The pork puff pastries are fresh, flaky and the meat inside is so tasty. The prawn in the prawn dumplings are big, delicious, and the pastry wrapped around the prawns are perfect. The baby chilli squids are on the main menu and are a bit expensive, but are definitely something worth treating yourself too, if you like squid. I love the chilli kick that the crispy squids have.

The standard of food at Imperial China, has always been better than the dim sum restaurants that I’ve been to in China Town. It’s well worth a visit if you like the little parcels of goodness. Just get to the restaurant early!

Which is your favourite restaurant? What are your favourite dim sum dishes?

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Homemade Chicken Chow Mein & Chilli Tiger Prawns

So, the general consensus is – I eat out and order takeaways far too much. After a long day at work there’s nothing worse than having to slave away in the kitchen, sometimes it’s so much easier to just order something over the phone or online. However, I need to cut back and start saving money somewhere. Therefore, I am on a mission to find easy, affordable, yet delicious recipes to cook at home.

Over the bank holiday weekend, I REALLY fancied a Chinese takeaway but decided to drag my arse to the supermarket to buy ingredients to make something at home. I decided to go for something basic – chicken chow mein and chilli tiger prawns as my side. It was surprisingly delicious and better than some takeaways that I’ve had in the past.

Before cooking the chicken chow mein and chilli tiger prawns, I prepared all the ingredients before hand as it keeps me more organised in the kitchen!

Chicken Chow Mein Ingredients

• A packet of medium egg noodles
• Sesame oil & Sunflower oil
• Skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
• 1 tsp five-spice powder
• 1 tsp chilli sauce
• 1 tbsp cornflour
• 1 chopped up spring onion
• Mixed stir fry vegetables
• French Beans
• freshly ground black pepper

Chilli Tiger Prawns Ingredients

• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 red chilli, finely chopped
• 4 raw tiger prawns, shelled and de-veined
• 1 tbsp of dry sherry
• 1 lime, juice only
• French beans
• Pinch sea salt
• 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

As you can see with the ingredients, I took a short cut with buying pre-packaged veg & ingredients – saves me a bit of time!

Method for Chicken Chow Mein

1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions then rinse under cold water and add a dash of sesame oil to stop the noodles sticking together.
2. Put the chicken strips into a bowl and season with the five-spice powder, dark soy sauce and chilli sauce. Mix well, then dust with cornflour to seal in the marinade.
3. Heat a wok and add the sunflower oil, then add the chicken and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is golden-brown and cooked through.
4. Add the rest of your vegetables, cook for 2 minutes, add in the noodles and season with a dash of sesame oil, ground black pepper and soy sauce.
5. Chicken chow mein is ready to eat!

After cooking the chicken chow mein, I went on to cooking the chilli tiger prawns.

Chilli Tiger Prawns Method

1. Heat a wok and add the sunflower oil, then add the chilli and garlic and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the prawns, lime juice and dry sherry and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the prawns start to turn pink.
2. Add the French beans and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked through. Add the salt and chilli flakes to taste.
3. Chilli tiger prawns are ready to be served!

I also had some ready-to-cook-in-the-oven vegetable spring rolls with the meal. Cheating? Yes, but I will make my own one day.

Tip – Don’t rub your eye after chopping up the chilli, it hurts.