Yesterday marked the beginning of  Chinese New Year and this year it’s the Year of The Dog. The Chinese New Year celebrations go on for about 23 days and so if you get the chance I would highly recommend a trip to The Imperial China in Teddington. The Imperial China is, in my opinion, the very best Chinese Restaurant for miles. If you’ve been there, I’m sure you’ll share my opinion, and if you haven’t been then you must go.

The very best time to go is lunchtime, if you can’t get there in the week it’s busy on the weekends, so booking is highly advisable, and it’s not unusual to see a large crowd of people waiting to get in – I kid you not I have seen them, and had to squeeze my way through them as I’ve got my reservation! The restaurant is generally full of all different types of people, some locals, some not, some like us who travel the short distance back to Teddington from Thames Ditton as it’s so good (we lived just down the road for many years) and it’s always full of Chinese people which is the ultimate proof in the pudding that it is truly the best Chinese restaurant for miles. It can get so busy that we have even shared a table with a Chinese couple from North London who travelled there to eat – note, the table sharing – another proof it’s the best Chinese Restaurant, I can’t think of another formal sit down restaurant we’ve needed to do that, but when the food is that good you will do it, oh yes you will!

If you go there for lunch, in addition to the amazing full menu, you can choose from a huge selection of freshly made Dim Sum, steamed, fried and grilled, the prawn and chives are to die for as are the scallops, pork and the fried prawn with salad cream – yes salad cream! I always ask for the chilli oil and chilli sauce on the side as I like it hot, but they will suggest the right dips and sauces to accompany all of your dishes of choice. There are so many mouth-watering dishes to choose from, but those are my favourite on the Dim Sum menu, add a number 23 (!) that’s the Deep Fried Baby Squid with Garlic and Spicy Salt, and you have the starter of kings. The Jasmine Tea is a lovely accompaniment to the starter too, or you can choose a glass of crisp, cold white wine or a Chinese beer.

For the main, you can choose from the vast selection of different dishes and there’s always a suggested special coming round too. Personally, I am biased towards the seafood and fish side of the menu and love the Asparagus with Scallops and the Soft Shell Crab, but my husband is always ordering something different, he likes to experiment more, and he is never disappointed. The typical favourites such as Crispy Aromatic Duck are as expected, totally on point, and you can even have a whole lobster – cooked to perfection of course, with a selection of different Chinese sauces – whichever you choose I can assure you-you will be completely delighted with it.

Dinner is of course, exceptional too, my suggestion to go for lunch is because of the fabulous Dim Sum menu they offer and Dim Sum is a lunchtime meal, but the large and varied menu at The Imperial China has an absolutely amazing selection of dishes to choose from whether it’s lunch or dinner and so I highly recommend both!

The staff are friendly and attentive and they’re fantastic with kids, we’ve been going since ours were so small and they love the food there too. If you have fussy eaters then the Golden Chicken is a big hit and the egg fried rice also goes down a treat with my daughter.

Happy Chinese New Year to you all! I do hope you get a chance to visit The Imperial China – it really is the best Chinese food you can eat – I guess you need to go and find out and I really hope you do. We’ve made some amazing memories with friends and family at The Imperial China and have dined, lunched, celebrated and eaten there as much as we possibly can and will continue to do so! Why not give them a call to book?

Here’s the number: 020 8977 8679 or visit their website and have a look at the menu, and then make that call.

Whilst I personally absolutely love good food, I’m no food critic, so here’s a review from The Guardian/Observer Food Monthly, I’m glad to see they share the same opinion as me!