As my stay in Shanghai started drawing to a close, I had all this travel planned, which correspondingly meant that I had very few days left in Shanghai, which correspondingly meant that I had very few meals left in Shanghai. I’m glad that my friends Bernice and Ginger recommended trying Imperial Treasure. Sprawling across the fourth floor of the glitzy Yi Feng Galleria (near Rockbund and the Peninsula), Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine (御宝轩) is a upscale Cantonese restaurant by way of Singapore, where the Hong Kong-born owner started the business (the year-old Shanghai location is Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group’s 18th restaurant). Imperial’s elegant black marble foyer & hallways, its white-clothed tables, and its excellent, patient service (on par with that of, say, Din Tai Fung and Fu 1039) all provide a comfortable backdrop to the food. The culinary concept and the elevated standards themselves are not necessarily new in Shanghai, but Imperial has taken on both with outstanding consistency.The below is an amalgam of two visits, one with three very hungry people and another with a group of eleven (only slightly less hungry), so we ate quite a lot, but among the dinner selection, I felt like we hit most of the basics, at least in terms of categories.
We started dinner with a simple but flavorful roast meats platter (138RMB for two, 188RMB for three) – juicy bites of smoky roast goose, sweet chashao pork, and cold braised beef shank.
We came with big appetites – none of Imperial Treasure’s main dishes disappointed. We got a phenomenal crisp-skinned chicken, with meaty, succulent bites beneath a thin layer of crunch – both the normal version and the deluxe, mushroom-and-sticky-rice-stuffed version (which requires advance order) are worth their price tags.
Among our favorite seafood dishes were sautéed crab with turnip cake (market price) and fried shrimp-stuffed salt and pepper squid. Ever thoughtful and detail-conscious, Imperial provided disposable gloves for the hands-on crab lovers among us. The sweet chili shrimp was delicious as well, despite the unappealing photo – the sauce in particular was great on rice.
There are more luxe seafood and a whole array of other, equally tasty things on the menu, like a roasted suckling pig (pre-order necessary). We haven’t yet braved the weekend crowds, but Imperial Treasure’s main draw is what we hear to be an excellent dim sum, of which many dishes are only available on weekends.
Imperial Treasures Fine Chinese Cuisine / 御宝轩