My new favorite dish

Saturday, September 15th, 2007 | All Things, Eats

At Imperial Palace in Flushing — no connection to the Vegas hotel and casino, home of the “dealertainers,” celebrity impersonators who deal blackjack.

This Cantonese seafood restaurant is extremely popular, and considered one of the best in Queens’s Chinatown — a standout even among the crowded slate of Flushing eateries. 37th Avenue, just three blocks north of the Main Street subway station, is also home to the original soup dumpling purveyor Joe’s Shanghai and in the evenings, the spillover of waiting diners fills the sidewalk.

As expected, service is no-nonsense and extemely brisk. Less expected: the last time we were here, the servers began clearing the table around us while we were still in the middle of dessert. The food, though, makes up for a multitude of service sins. Among our dishes tonight: Chinese fried chicken. Very different from Korean fried chicken, and I imagine from Japanese fried chicken… though I’ll be able to confirm the latter in a couple of weeks.

IP fried chicken

Lamb chops — very tasty, if unusually spiced for typical Cantonese cuisine. Is that a whiff of cumin, I detected?

IP lamb chops

And my new favorite dish: the Dungeness crab steamed with sticky rice. It’s one of Imperial Palace’s signature dishes; a scan around the room revealed a lotus leaf-lined bamboo steamer on almost every table. The preparation seems simple enough, but every ingredient melds together beautifully: the savory juices of the large crab (or alternatively: lobster) steep into the glutinous rice, which is tossed with rice wine and topped with generous handfuls of chopped scallion and fried garlic. Divine!

IP crab rice

There are 3 Comments ... My new favorite dish

September 25, 2007

how soon are you willing to go back? I am very desirous to try the crab dish.

September 25, 2007

Holy moly, that sounds good.

September 25, 2007

It *is* good! But why take my word for it? Field trip to Flushing?

Go for it ...