The concept of dining out has changed over the decades, as eating out is no longer solely just about the food, but also about the overall experience that a restaurant can offer. We as a nation are more frequently visiting restaurants so to rejoice with friends and family, to celebrate special occasions or to try and impress that notable someone on that awkward first date. This is why we yearn for restaurants to offer an opulent or trendy setting that is accompanied with impeccable service and of course great food.
One such venue that strives to deliver on the above is Imperial Lounge and Restaurant located in Croydon, South London. The interior is scintillatingly elegant in decor and palatial in size, making it a perfect venue for all occasions, such as weddings or birthday parties. Plus it also offers a hard to find commodity these days, free parking. The restaurant specialises in fine dining Indo-Chinese cuisine, prepared by Chefs that have come from some of the finest hotels in India.
The menu boasts a diverse and vibrant array of dishes, and it is therefore advisable to invest in a pair of trousers with an elasticated waistband, so to let the indulgence begin.
From the starters we first ordered “Tai Pai Paneer”, which was prepared with green and red peppers, and a spicy and tangy sauce. The paneer was cooked well, with a crispy outer layer, and soft middle. The peppers added some sweetness and the sauce provided a subtle trace of heat. However, even though we did enjoy the dish, it did require more spices and seasoning, so to provide a greater depth of flavour. Price: £7.95 – Worth a Try
The “Shredded Chilli Lamb”, which were stir fried sliced lamb, were juicy, moist and tender; texturally perfect. Although the flavours were pleasant, it did lack that promised heat from the chilli. Price: £7.95 – Worth a Try
The “Chicken Lollipops”, were chicken wings, marinated in spices. The wings were phenomenal; sensationally succulent and soft, with a sweet and spicy glaze that delivered jubilation with each bite. Price: £6.95 – Highly Recommended
The “Non Veg Platter”, which is recommended for two people, consisted of gilafi seekh, malai tikka, machi sarson, lamb chop and mug ka chop. The platter is visually impressive and piquantly satisfying, as it provides different flavour combinations and textures that will appeal to a range of divergent palates. Price: £19.45 – Recommended
Finally we ordered the “Aromatic Crispy Duck” served with plum sauce and quarter duck, accompanied by 6 pancakes. The duck was crispy, with a hint of oriental spices, but the superstar of the dish was the plum sauce, as it was sumptuously sweet with a delicious hint of heat that truly delivered ecstasy to the taste buds. Price: £10.95 – Recommended
Due to our gluttony over the starters, and even with my elasticated trousers on, we could not make space for the mains. But with a medley of magnificent mains, it was too hard to resist at least one, so we chose the “Murgh Makhni (Butter Chicken)”, which was prepared in a lightly spiced tomato and cream gravy. The superb succulent and tender chicken had the glorious taste of the tandoor and the gravy was sweet and creamy with the right balance of spices. Price: £8.75 – Recommended
Imperial Lounge and Restaurant will dazzle your senses from the moment you walk in. The venue is steeped in history, visually beautiful, exemplary service and the prices, taking into consideration the portion size and the fact that it is a fine dining restaurant, is extremely reasonable.
There is a lot of choice on the menu and one visit to Imperial Lounge and Restaurant is never enough. So, whatever the occasion, Imperial Lounge and Restaurant has pretty much got you covered.
Imperial Lounge and Restaurant
Address: Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon CR0 0XZ
*Disclaimer: We were invited to review the restaurant