The restaurant will open on St. James’s, as reported by Hot Dinners. The group’s diverse portfolio — which runs 23 restaurants — covers a range of Chinese cuisines: Michelin-bothering haute cuisine, specialist, single-dish outfits, regional loci, and more casual operations. Peking duck, congee, Teochew cuisine from the east of China, Cantonese cuisine, and steamboats all guide individual restaurants. London, for its part, is expected to be long on fine dining: its name will be Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine.
Imperial Treasure joins world-famous Taiwanese dim sum chain Din Tai Fung and global hotpot chain Hai Di Lao in opening a London restaurant this year or next; it also throws recent comments from restaurateur Alan Yau into sharp relief. Speaking on a panel on regional Chinese cuisine this month, Yau said that opening restaurants had become a “hobby,” and presaged a bleak future for Chinese fine dining — and cuisine at large — in the U.K, owing to challenging market conditions and a shortage of skilled chefs. Imperial Treasure’s opening appears to controvert Yau’s statement, at least in part: it’s clear that global restaurant groups with investment and acclaim are able to countenance, and finance, a move to London. By contrast, the Hakkasan group that Yau sold in 2008 is reportedly making losses of over $100 million, following a high valuation at point of sale — which would bear out his prediction to some extent.
In Imperial Treasure’s case, that acclaim comes in the form of Michelin stars and 50 Best listings: one Michelin star in Singapore at its Teochew fine dining restaurant; two in Shanghai for its fine Chinese cuisine restaurant, and one in Hong Kong for another fine Chinese cuisine restaurant. The Asia regional arm of the controversial World’s 50 Best Restaurants list has placed its Singapore Peking duck restaurant on its list 2013 - 2015.
The London restaurant will be 8,500 square feet over three floors, and was signed to a 25 year lease in 2017. Speaking at the time of the let in March 2017, Imperial Treasure chief executive and founder Alfred Leung said:
We are very excited to be opening our London restaurant in 10 Waterloo Place, St James’s. We were searching for a location and size that reflects our brand and aspiration. When we identified this world class opportunity, we were very pleased to work with Barings Real Estate Advisers to introduce the very fine Chinese cuisine of Imperial Treasure to London’s residents and visitors.
The group’s website reveals plans to open another European restaurant in Paris, focused on Shanghai fine dining. More soon on the London opening.
02/10/2018: This article was amended to correct an inaccuracy regarding Alan Yau’s connections to Hakkasan and HKK.