The ratio of rubbish to good Chinese restaurants in the UK is truly one of the biggest crimes of our restaurant industry. Thousands of years worth of heritage and dedication to cooking for great Emperors reduced to MSG loaded sweet and sour chicken, deep fried burnt duck and soggy noodles.
However, if you want the full Chinese Emperor dining experience, look no further than Min Jiang. Located on the tenth floor of the hotel the Royal Garden Hotel and offering amazing views of Kensington Gardens (or pitch-black nothing at night!), the restaurant focuses on cuisine from various Chinese provinces.
Starters of a dim sum selection featured a brilliant range of seafood and vegetarian varieties, whilst the soft-shell crab with salt, pepper and chilli was perfectly seasoned and simply delicious. The highlight at Min Jiang is the ‘mid-course’ Beijing duck that is freshly roasted in an applewood fired oven and prepared at your table into 3 courses. They start by giving you select cuts of skin to dip into sugar, then move onto the classic pancakes style serving and finally, we opted for the rest to be stir-fried with ginger and spring onion for mains; let me tell you, every serving proved to be a mother-ducking masterstroke of cooking skill and flavour! Our other mains included an interesting fried chicken with prawn mousse and delicious sautéed king prawns with dried chillis; a lovely combination of (incredibly) hot, sweet and sticky. The only thing we would avoid is the pulled noodles with minced pork; in all fairness, we were warned against it by the lovely waitress anyway!
As you can imagine, we were pretty stuffed by now (I think I heard something about chest pains from Bunty!), but soldiered onto some well recommended desserts. Absolutely perfectly cooked toffee bananas with ice cream and an intriguingly moorish cinnamon cheesecake with green tea ice cream. I must also make a special mention to a brilliant Chilean Sauvignon Blanc that we were recommended, which at £6/glass was also one of the cheaper wines! As well as the restaurant Min Jiang also includes an adjoining bar serving some very good cocktails.
Min Jiang is pricey, but when you appreciate the immense attention to detail in service, cooking technique and sheer perfection of flavours, it starts to make a serious case for itself – and that’s before you consider the spectacular venue!
Food – 4/5
Cuisine type – Chinese
Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £120
Wine – £6
Cocktails – £8
2-24 Kensington High Street
London W8 4PT
0207 361 1988