Imperial Dynasty is so far north in Bergen County that you could stand in the parking lot and throw a stone over the border into New York. When readers of (201) Magazine voted it Best New Restaurant in 2014 & Runner-Up Best Chinese Restaurant in Bergen County in 2016.
Imperial Dynasty is classy, with burgundy and gold walls, dark wood furniture and modern light fixtures that cast a warm glow throughout the room. Multi-page menus are printed on heavy matte paper with color photos. The dishes are modern and sleek; the utensils are heavy and stylish. Even the chopsticks are more sophisticated than the disposable paper-wrapped variety.
Those who crave good "American-style" Chinese will not be disappointed. Wide and freshly fried noodles arrive first at the table with small dishes of duck sauce and hot mustard. The classic soups are there: wonton soup dumplings are thin-skinned, floating in a mild chicken broth; egg drop soup in refreshingly light, not thick and gummy.
An appetizer of Szechuan dumplings in sesame peanut sauce features 10 delicate dumplings in a mildly spicy sauce, nestled dramatically in a wide-rimmed soup bowl. Crispy green beans are lightly battered and fried, served with a tangy dipping sauce. They are absolutely addictive; the plate was empty within minutes.
We asked the waiter to recomend some of Imperial Dynasty's most popular dishes; he suggested Triple Delight with scallions, a trio of sliced white meat chicken, jumbo shrimp and tender slices of beef sauteed with scallions and onions in a rich brown sauce.
It's indeed a delight, but his second recommendation was downright delectable: House Special Scallops feature large sea scallops with mushrooms, snow peas, cabbage, red and green pepper in a savory black bean sauce. The sauce is so delicious that I added a scoop of rice to the bottom of the serving bowl to enjoy every last drop.
We were delighted to see our moo shu pork assembled tableside by a waitress who spread hoisin sauce onto each pancake before adding the flavorful shredded pork and carefully folding it into a neat packet.
The most popular dish at our table was crispy shrimp with salt and pepper. Jumbo shrimp are lightly battered and fried, then tossed with salt and pepper. They are not greasy, but bursting with flavor, with a spark of salt and spice to make them as addictive as chips.
A side of sauteed string beans was stir-fried rice is flavorful and generously filled with roast pork, beef, chicken, shrimp and vegetables. Our vegetarian daughter gave two thumbs up to her pan-fried vegetable dumplings (again, with delicate thin skins) and vegetable lo mein.
Soe traditions don't change: The meal still ends with fortune cookies individually wrapped in plastic. And Imperial Dynasty does offer take-out-but the dining room is so inviting that you might change your mind and opt to stay.
written by "Joyce Venezia Suss"