Good Food Guide: 06 07 08 09 10 11


Best of Asian

(The Age epicture 30 May 06)


Around the corner from Carlton’s little Italy, an imposing Emperor has taken the eastern culinary throne, and is now quietly but confidently exerting his powers.

Created by the same owner behind the innovative and highly successful Mao’s of Brunswick Street, East Imperial again sees Chinese dining being reinvented, but here the distinction lies in the mature and stylish fine dining approach. The tinted windows on the beautiful corner block building screen out

local traffic, and as the heavy double wooden doors swing open you enter a delightfully tranquil atmosphere created by use of high quality fittings and enhanced by Chinese antiques. Be seated at your table promptly or, better still, linger in the elevated tearoom for an aperitif and take in the golden lotus lights or stare down one of the many life size terracotta warriors on display.

East Imperial serves a multi-regional a la carte menu complemented by attentive service and a fine selection of Australian wines at very reasonable prices. Yum cha is available daily, but weekend bookings are essential.

No. 1 Best Yum Cha in the City.

(Herald Sun 2 March 08)


Potato Prawn at East Imperial

There’s simply too much indifferent yum cha in this world, the worst examples of which are stodgy nightmares of doughy dumplings, whizzing trolleys and brusque service. Some of the former yum-cha heroes of Melbourne have tumbled off their perches recently, but along comes East Imperial to fill the void by giving a virtuoso performance of what dim sum can really be: a multi-tiered display of small bites, from excellent pork and chive dumplings to palm-leaf chicken and these little delights, with the super-charged crunch of long tendrils of fried potato giving way to the pop of the prawn. Neat, sweet and delicious.

(The Age (Melbourne) Magazine, Issue #58 August 09)

The Best Yum Cha

(Herald Sun 18 September 11)


The port is lean and sweet in the char siu bao, the lighting is low and the service swift. This yum cha dining at its most sophisticated.





Recommended & Reviewed by Christorher Hayes

(Mx and Australia’s food and drinks Guide)





Top 10 yum Cha In Melbourne

(The Age January 19, 2010)

Everyone likes yum cha, and the choice of venues, like the menu, is huge. But who makes the best? Nina Rousseau decided it was time to find out.

East Imperial
323 Rathdowne Street, Carlton 93473322
Food *****
Atmosphere *****
Noise factor ****
Trolleys Yes
Yum cha Tues-Sun lunch (dishes $5.20-$10.80)

SWISH and sophisticated, East Imperial has a loyal following, with its bright service, low lighting and sexy fit-out. Signature potato prawns are wrapped in shredded potato and fried, and the char siu bao are primo – lean, house-roasted pork is honey sweet, encased in a puffy, light dough. Come early and settle in with a nice bottle of wine.





Duck hunting (Best peking Duck)

(The Age, August 12, 2008)

Best overall experience

Each wrap, pulled together with great aplomb by the waiter, is a meaty, textural journey of the tooth. The pancakes are dry without being floury. In spite of the duck not being presented whole, or carved at the table, the event was so effortlessly refined that it scored highest for the overall experience. While the duck pancake wraps were good, some of us felt the meat had a slightly liverish quality to it.