On a recent Tuesday evening we made the trip down to the Fulham end of King's Road for dinner at a lovely gastropub and restaurant called The Imperial, which has just celebrated its first birthday. The decor is beautiful: a classic Victorian pub with high ceilings and large windows brought to life with modern interiors, chic statement lighting, exposed bricks and rustic, wooden tables. And, most importantly, some jolly good food.
We started in the bar area with cocktails, where I had a flute of Champagne topped with raspberry purée, before sitting down at our table opposite the open plan kitchen. The brand new Head Chef Jason Lee Cole and Sous Chef Ollie Quelch (both ex-Jamie Oliver's 15) have devised a spring menu featuring seasonal British produce.
For starters we shared the light, fresh confit duck yolk, hay-infused egg white, pickled wild mushrooms and chive puree along with pan-fried chicken livers, beetroot tartare, apple and creme fraiche. As the clocks had just gone forward a few days earlier, we celebrated the bright evening light with a summery bottle of pale, dry Comte de Provence rosé from La Vidaubanaise, with delicate notes of strawberry and peach.
For mains, I ordered the deliciously rich chicken supreme with jerusalem artichoke purée, sprouting broccoli and haricot bean salsa. For sides, we had some incredibly more-ish truffle polenta cubes covered with flakes of parmesan - definitely need to try replicate this at home - and JB ordered the pan-fried wild sea bream fillet served with blackened leeks, cauliflower purée with samphire and kale foam. Every single dish was flavoursome and (mostly) healthy and it's great to see a modern British menu in keeping with the seasons. And lots of veg purées! For desserts we halved a pot of ice creams and sorbets: vanilla, barley (which I'd never had before) and pear and cinnamon. All delish - thumbs up, Jason.
The Imperial is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there's a pretty walled garden filled with herbs, comfortable sofas and heaters for al fresco dining during the summer months.
The Imperial, 577 King's Road, London SW6 2EH