If there’s one thing I really like about London that is how easy it is to meet new people. There’s always something going on, an event or a dinner, a workshop or a fair, and that’s how I met some of my blogger-friends – who run amazing food, travel and lifestyle blogs (which are also my favourite topics).
A few weeks ago we had a chance to catch up all together. We have been invited at The Imperial to taste their new menu. The Imperial is a gastropub/restaurant located in Fulham and the dinner was organized by Giulia, which you probably remember for taking some amazing photos for a blog post at the Berkeley.
We sat in a big table right in front of the kitchen so we could watch the three chefs as they made our dinner. I don’t need to say we probably made them feel like they were surrounded by paparazzi. At least, having an all-bloggers dinner means that everyone understands you, whether you need to stand up to take a pic of your appetizer, move a few glasses in order to get a nice shot or wait a few minutes before starting to eat just because you can’t find the right Instagram filter for the pork belly.
The Imperial did its part: the dishes looked absolutely stunning and were literally asking to be photographed. Here’s the ‘Confit duck yolk with hay infused egg white’. Have you ever tried a confit yolk? It’s a mix of flavours and sensations: it’s savoury and sweet, crisp and soft at the same time.
They had decided to let us try almost the whole menu and, believe me, it was delicious. You could really see an effort in terms of trying to use seasonal products and use the same products in a variety of creative ways. Vegetables were creamed, steamed, stir-fried, foamed, caramelized, used to enhance or to soften the taste of the dish, like it happened for the ‘Grilled mackerel with pickled cucumber, onion foam and egg crumble’.
Next cam the pan fried wild sea bream fillet with blackend leeks, cauliflower puree, samphire and kale foam. If you follow me you know I don’t eat fish so I had basically the same dish but with chicken. Soft, perfectly cooked and so good.
After another amazing dish, the braised pork shoulder, I really thought I couldn’t eat more. Then the glazed whole roast duck appeared and I just could not resist. It was such a beautiful, colourful platter it was impossible not to have a taste.
And what’s the perfect way to end a dinner? Of course: dessert. We indulged in this rich, creamy, thick chocolate mousse with barley foam and a barley biscuit. Wow. Do you know when you think ‘ok, I’ll just have a spoonful’ and you end up eating the whole pot? That’s what happened. It was so chocolatey and decadent, the ultimate comfort food.
It’s quite far from where I live but, since I love exploring ‘the rest of London’ during weekends, I really hope to come back to The Imperial soon – maybe for the brunch!
And they have such a lovely outside space, perfect for a party. I was quite impressed about how the new owners have been able to turn a traditional british all-booze-no-food pub into something so cozy, stylish and foodie-friendly. You can tell they really love what they do, and they’ll make you love it too.