New Years Day is often a blur for many of us,a late start and a breakfast of ibruprofen or paracetemol, a bit of New Years Day Concert from Vienna and before you know it – it’s dark again. After the excesses of the night before it’s a chore to venture out again.
The prospect of a restorative Chinese meal however won the day over the prospect of cold Turkey , yet more stilton and the last of the Black Magic chocolates. The Maple Tree in Marple Bridge was closed so we ventured into the wilds of Furness Vale to give the Imperial Palace some business.
We have eaten here before on a number of occasions and the food is good and the service very pleasant, but Marple Bridge is nearer and has better watering holes adjacent , otherwise it’s Manchester and Chinatown. The rewards for opening on New Year’s Day seemed scant however as only another couple apart from ourselves had decided to eat here.
Despite the lack of trade, we had an excellent meal of salt and pepper spare ribs, chicken satay and Shiu Mai , followed by Singapore Vermicelli, Lemon Chicken and a Roast Duck/ Char siu pork combination in soy sauce over bean sprouts. With so few covers we probably got the kitchens full attention and the owner spent time with us, at one point bringing us a very tasty chili oil sauce.
It seems the place is for sale but for no other reason than the owners, after 23 years, want to stop working all hours for what seems a diminishing return; their margins squeezed by rising food costs, increased rates and utilities and a client base with tightening belts. A depressingly familiar story.
Don’t let that put you off – go and enjoy.