Dinner at the Imperial

The name certainly evokes a certain grandiose appearance about it, but the Imperial Hotel is definitely a tad dated, situated beside a dilapidated mall from a bygone era. The restaurant itself seems like any other typical hotel restaurant, serving both Chinese and Western cuisines. There’s a band playing in the background, seemingly unfazed by the lack of guests in the establishment, but at the least the waitstaff is enjoying the music. That being said, the setting is definitely very comforting and probably the fanciest looking restaurant I’ve been in Miri.

I always hesitate when I encounter a Halal Chinese restaurant. Both Halal and Chinese don’t usually go together, and we definitely love our pork. Char siew, roasted pork, braised pork belly with pickled vegetables, you name it. In any case, I reckon it’s worth giving the benefit of the doubt. And honestly, I wasn’t disappointed.

If you had to visit this restaurant just for one dish, this is probably It. Hands down, the best dish of the night. Deep fried salted egg squid, with just a hint of chilli, and comes with a sweet Thai Chilli dipping sauce. Probably the best rendition of the dish I’ve had thus far, encrusted with a layer of salted egg and perfectly crunchy. Having both salted egg and squid in a dish! Definitely giving myself a future heart attack with this one.

Deep Fried Salted Egg Squid
Deep Fried Salted Egg Squid

The restaurant also did a decent Thai style midin, which was tangy and had good texture.

Thai style Midin
Thai style Midin

Another standard Chinese restaurant dish, which is the ubiquitous fried yam ring with stir fried vegetables. This tasted pretty decent as well.

Fried yam ring with stir fried vegetables

It’s not pictured here, but this restaurant does a mean “ngau yoke hor” i.e. rice noodles with beef.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dishes in this restaurant, and the setting was definitely quite comfortable and a great place for celebrating birthdays or other joyous occasions. Plus, how often do you get serenaded on at restaurants in Miri! That being said, the main draw for me was the utterly decadent deep fried salted egg squid that just clogged my arteries. Oh well, I suppose I’ll at least die happy and content.

Location: Imperial Hotel. Bahagian Miri, 98000, Sarawak, Malaysia. +6085 431133. Website.

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