Open 7 Days A Week

2045 West State Road 434
Longwood, FL 32779

Corner of I-4 and W. State Road 434
I-4 Exit 94, Longwood
Lunch
Mon-Fri: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sat/Sun/Holidays: Noon - 3:00 pm

Dinner
Mon-Thur: 3:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Fri/Sat: 3:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Sun/Holidays: 3:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Happy Hour: 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Early Bird: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
 
TESTIMONIALS

Imperial Dynasty offers more than great Chinese
by Heather McPherson, Orlando Sentinel

Longwood's Imperial Dynasty has been named one of the Top 100 Chinese restaurants in the United States by Chinese Restaurant News. It came in at No. 25. Not a bad place to be from sea to shining sea.

I dropped in last week for an early lunch and was glad for my timing. By 12:30 p.m. the restaurant was packed with folks who appeared to be regulars. I opted for a bento box lunch ($10-$12). Yes, I know the bento box is a Japanese tradition, but Imperial Dynasty is an equal-opportunity Asian treasure. Besides, I'm a bit of a bento-box fiend. Once I see it on a menu, I can't look away. I think it may have something do with eating too many compartmentalized TV dinners on shaky metal TV tables as a child.

(For the uninitiated, bento boxes are food containers that range from throw-away "plates" to nice hand-crafted lacquerware. But I'm digressing from the meal at hand.)

The centerpiece of my elegant russet-and-black box was delicate and meaty shrimp tempura. At the top left were four California rolls (a beginner's sushi roll with cucumber, crab and avocado) and a large, mound of white rice. Tucked into the bottom-right slot was a simple salad of crisp and fresh iceberg lettuce and real tomatoes. Two crisp crab rangoon (fried dumplings) pinched into a nice flower shape filled another compartment, and my box was completed with a small bowl of miso soup.

For dinner later, I took away a wonderfully fiery sesame chicken and fine-but-no-surprises beef with assorted veggies (both $7.75) from the Chinese portion of the menu. Both were lunch combinations, which is plenty for me and my husband at supper. Both entrees came with steamed or fried white rice or brown rice, your choice of two California rolls, two chicken wings, a spring roll or soup (egg drop, chicken and sweet corn, wonton or hot and sour) or a side salad.

Imperial Dynasty also has a swell sushi bar, and I often forget that it is there as I am trying to negotiate the permanently busy traffic where Interstate 4 crosses over State Road 434. I am coming back soon for sushi. Unless the bento boxes stare me down like Geico's bizarre eyeballed money stacks. I must resist. I must resist.

By the way, Chinese Restaurant News, which started the competition in 2004, annually evaluates more than 43,000 restaurants in 50 states. To be included, 50 percent of the menu items must be related to Chinese cuisine. Results for the Top 100 are tabulated from a mystery-diner evaluation (60 percent), public votes (20 percent), media reviews and awards (10 percent) and an advisory-panel evaluation (10 percent).

Hooray! Chinese with no buffet
Imperial Dynasty offers good food, plenty of it

by Scott Joseph, Orlando Sentinel

Well, I guess I won't be doing this job much longer. Seems I'm about to come into some big bucks. I know this is true because my fortune cookie at Imperial Dynasty, a new Chinese restaurant in Longwood, said, "You will inherit a large sum of money." That one apparently goes hand in hand with another fortune I received on a different visit, "You will be attracted to an older, more experienced person!" I'm guessing said person will be really, really old and will be sure to have lots of money for me to inherit.

Yep, pretty soon I'll have enough money to eat at home every night of the week.

Oh, sure, there are some things I'll miss, such as finding a place like Imperial Dynasty with good quality food and people who enjoy serving it.

Imperial Dynasty has taken over the free-standing building on State Road 434 at Interstate 4 the most recently was Cara Mara (although the structure began life as a Shoney's). The first thing you'll notice when you walk into Imperial Dynasty is what's missing: There is no buffet. Yes, that's a radical departure from most of the "Chinese" restaurants that have opened in this area over the last, several years. Those places try to make up for inferior quality food by giving you as much of it as you can eat, a concept I've never quite been able to grasp.

ID serves good Chinese dishes representing a variety of regions and cooking styles, and also gives you plenty of it. Think of it as a buffet that comes to your table.

The sesame chicken ($11.95) featured large chunks of breast meat lightly coated in batter and stir-fried in a sweet sauce, served with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. The meat was tender and the crust had a deliciously sweet crunch. There wasn't much sauce to spoon over the white rice, but it wasn't missed. Sizzling four seasons delight ($13.95) had scallops, shrimp, beef, chicken and vegetables (1 know, that's five seasons) sauteed in a more ample brown sauce. The server transferred the meats and vegetables on to a hot planer table side, providing the promised sizzle. All the flavors blended well together, and the sauce was expertly prepared. It was a huge serving of food that left my dining companion daunted.

I couldn't offer much assistance because I was busy working through my velvet duck ($14.25), boneless breast meat fried so that the lightly battered skin had a wonderful crispness. The duck was served with a bowl of matchstick vegetables and a gravy boat of sauce on the side. Some assembly was probably necessary but I was content to eat the components separately. The sauce here was nearly identical to the four seasons sauce but with mushrooms and onions thrown in.

The Yang Chow fried rice ($7.95), on the other hand, was a moister, more flavorful blend of rice, soy sauce and ample amounts of shrimp, chicken and roast pork. This dish would seem to support the menu's claim that the kitchen uses little salt (and no MSG, by the way).

Egg foo yong, a Chinese version of an omelet, is one of my favorite Cantonese style dishes, although many argue it's more American-Chinese. The roast pork egg foo yong was a wonderful indulgence when smothered in the brown gravy that was served on the side. There three large rounds of omelets -- I ate one and saved the other two for breakfast. Yum.

Szechuan shredded beef ($9.25) was a bit too mild, and no one had bothered to ask how hot I wanted it. But the Szechuan name should have warranted a little fire in the mix.

There was plenty of fire in the assorted flaming appetizers ($13.95 for two) literally. The pu pu platter featured spring roll, chicken fingers, crab Rangoon, barbecued spare ribs, teriyaki chicken skewers and fantail shrimp, all assembled around a small round flaming hibachi. The food was mostly good -- especially the creamy crab Rangoon, wonton purses filled with a crabmeat and cream cheese mixture -- but the mini Vesuvius on our table was putting out a tremendous amount of heat. I've never quite figured out what to do with one of those when you're finished. Blowing on it just sends chunks of flaming Sterno over the table.

Luckily, one of the courteous staff members came to the rescue and spirited the three-alarmer away. All the staff I came into contact with were most gracious and attentive, a real asset.

There isn't much to gush about the decor; in fact the place is pretty Spartan. Yet it is tidy, and the booths and tables are comfortable enough. Oriental wines are available, as is a full cocktail menu.

I hope Imperial Dynasty is the beginning of a trend of Chinese restaurants that take care to prepare good food using fresh ingredients. I'd hate to think we have more of those darned buffets in our future. But then what do I care? As soon as my inheritance comes through, I�m out of here. Still, just in case, I'm hanging on to their takeout menu.