Review: Alaska King Crab at Imperial Court Beijing Cuisine

by gigi on May 24, 2011

My post on Alaska king crab is so far past the season that I considered scrapping this post altogether. But since we ate other items at Imperial Court to supplement the main dish of Alaska king crab, I decided to stick with it. When I originally called my mom to ask if she’d like to go for Alaska king crab, she took it upon herself to scour the newspaper and see if there was a new place that we could try out. She stumbled upon Imperial Court, which seemed to be reasonably priced so we decided to check it out.

Imperial Court

First came a standard cold plate appetizer. It wasn’t as varied as some of the other ones I was used to and the flavours were pretty standard with what one would come to expect.

Imperial Court

Then came some Peking duck. As you can see, the skin had a bit of a sheen but it was not too greasy. The skin was crispy and pretty flavourful and I tucked a piece in the warm pancakes provided and a generous dollop of hoisin sauce and a chive sprig. Nothing spectacular about this dish either but I thought it was quite well executed.

Imperial Court

The first Alaska king crab course finally arrived in the form of steamed crab legs with garlic sauce. There was a lot of garlic but surprisingly, it did not overwhelm the delicate flavour of the crab. Even though our dinner was towards the end of the season, our crab was still quite meaty and had a sweet and fresh flavour. Our server took the plates of steamed crab broth away to use for a noodle base in one of our later dishes.

Imperial Court

The tofu, shrimp, and cuttlefish hot pot was pretty good, especially when paired with rice. It was not too sweet and I really liked the generous, meaty chunks of tofu. The prawns had a nice bounce and were not overcooked, which I appreciated.

Imperial Court

The dishes were starting to come quite quickly so in my haste, the only picture I have of the pea sprouts with mushrooms is the blurry picture below. The pea sprouts were very tender and the mushrooms were all quite tasty. I wish there wasn’t so much broth/sauce though as I would have liked a slightly drier dish.

Imperial Court

I’m not usually a huge fan of the free range chicken and although this was slightly juicier than what I was used to, I found the chicken a bit tough and a little too salty for my taste.

Imperial Court

Finally, the second duck course came in the form of lettuce wraps. The duck meat was diced up along with celery, carrots, zucchini, onions, and some other crunchy veggies. There seemed to be way more veggies than duck meat in this dish but I did like the crunch of the veggies. The filling overall was a bit on the bland side so I added a little extra hoisin to my lettuce wraps.

Imperial Court

After a long hiatus, the next Alaska king crab dish also arrived in the form of baked seafood rice right in the crab shell itself. Although impressive looking, I found the rice to be pretty bland and lacking in flavour. I had once had a version of this but the sauce was made Portuguese style, which I thought went really well with the rice. I didn’t end up eating very much of this rice.

Imperial Court

I really should have taken a picture of the cod steamed with soy sauce and chives before the server took the fish apart as it looks a bit depressing below. However, I can say that the fish did taste better than it looked. :) The meat was quite tender and the light soy broth used is one of my favourite types of preparation for this type of fish.

Imperial Court

Our last dish of the evening was also our last Alaska king crab course. The broth from the steamed garlic legs were used to make the broth for the yee mein noodles. Because the flavour from the steamed broth was so delicate, I found that it was a bit lost on these noodles overall and resulted in a fairly bland dish.

Imperial Court

Overall, I would say that we had an ok meal at Imperial Court. Surprisingly, a lot of the dishes were quite bland so I’m not sure if it is because they don’t use as much MSG as other places. :) I also found it interesting that we had come primarily for the Alaska king crab but most of those dishes were pretty lacking and below expectations. Even though we came on a weekend evening, the restaurant was not busy at all so perhaps other people have come to the same conclusion as us.

Details:
6360 No. 3 Road, Richmond
Tel: 604-270-6169

Summary:
Food: ★★☆☆☆
Service: ★★½☆☆
Price: $$$

Imperial Court Beijing Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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