Imperial Treasure International Restaurant

The garoupa congee is incredibly full-the best chain restaurant fish congees

Senin, 6 September 2010 | 12:39 WIB
Oleh : Laksmi Pamuntjak

1st floor, Wisma 46 Building
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1
Jakarta Pusat
Tel. 574 4888

If the line “We were accurate with one another that weekend” from the poem of a friend of a friend can be applied to my recent experience at Imperial Treasure then hold that thought. Nothing, they say, beats the grub of a good Chinese restaurant and this place reminds you of just that one late weekend lunch.

While the food follows large chains’ grand scale operational manuals of shelling out some 101 dishes with nary a worry, you can almost rest assured that all 101 will be truthful and precise, and satiety is synonymous with safety. With Imperial Treasure, there is even a shimmering quality about the cooking that goes beyond mere accuracy.

The garoupa congee is incredibly full-bodied — one of the best chain restaurant fish congees in recent memory. One almost can’t fault the dim sum — unlike most “santri” versions, the vegetarian dumplings are bursting with flavour, so are the Peking style dumplings in spicy hot sour sauce and the fried seafood roll with salad sauce. The freshness of the chicken feet in spicy black bean sauce reminds you why chicken are always hung in shop windows with their feet and heads still on—the feet darken with time. And one mustn’t forget the siew mai — so plump yet so moist — and the lotus seed paste steamed buns, as light and smooth a paste as you can ever find.

But the real stunner is the claypot eggplant with minced chicken and salted fish. Nothing, you’ll notice, not even the spicy salt crust sensation, gets in the way of a well-behaved eggplant. Add to that the House Fried Rice — which sits pretty and poised even though it can barely contain its treasures—and the restaurant’s marvellous mainstay, crispy aromatic duck. After food this edifying, décor and service almost seem pointless. The space, formerly occupied by Crystal Jade, is noisy but not clamorous, the service can be indifferent and on Sundays nabbing a table is next to impossible unless you’re willing to come early or queue. But don’t expect narrow aisles choked by roaming carts – this is a big, spacious place and in the end there’s always room for everyone. Reservations recommended.

Price range: Around Rp 400,000 for 3 (for lunch—mainly dim sum), around Rp 600,000 for 3 (for dinner) 
Operating hours: Mon – Sat 11:00 – 15:00 (lunch);
Sundays/Holidays 09:00 – 15:00 (lunch);
Mon – Thu 18:00 – 22:30 (dinner);
Fri – Sat 18:00 -23 :00 (dinner)
Dress code: casual
Atmosphere: noisy banquet-style Chinese
Alcohol: yes + wine list
All major credit cards accepted
Reviewed: September 2007