The last time I had a ‘pinch me’ moment was when I went to chase the sunrise at Duck and Waffle. Never was I expecting to get such a feeling when walking into Min Jiang at the Royal Garden Hotel. The London skyline view from 10 stories high took me by absolute surprise. The golden hour settling softly over the city as we slowly emerged into the dusk. There was utter silence, apart from the sound of four camera shutters closing as we papped the incredible view.
Quite rightly so. Spotting the main landmarks of London in the distance, including the Shard, Gherkin, London Eye and many others.
To calm the utter exhilaration we received as a result of the beautiful view and trying to capture the most picturesque shot, we settled down for a round of cocktails.
Katy ordered an Oriental Fizz, which was a mix of lychee juice, vanilla vodka and champagne. I ordered a Passion Fruit Martini, which is very similar to your classic pornstar martini. It was made using passoa, Mandarin vodka, fresh passion fruit and pineapple juice. Honey ordered an Okatini made using Absolut blue vodka, oka sake and fresh lychee juice. Jasiminne went for a surprise based on the bartenders recommendation.
The restaurant itself is not that big and seats up to 80 people, but I didn’t see an empty table in sight that evening. That could be why Min Jiang was one of Open Table’s top 100 restaurants in the UK back in 2015.
We started our meal with a pop of the cork. You know you’re in for a good time when you see those bubbles being slowly poured into the long champagne flutes. We were served house champagne, although it is no Laurent Perrier or Moët it was rather delish!
To pair with our champagne, we were brought over a platter of dim sum. The fillings included a various combination of prawn, scallop and vegetarian, each made to perfection. The prawns were large, juicy and succulent but my favourite was the vegetarian parcels.
After hearing so much talk about how good the duck is at Min Jiang, I was super excited to have a taste. The chef personally came to our table to carve what was a beautiful glazed and slow cooked whole duck. Slowly carving and placing it neatly on a plate to be served to us.
He carved off the skin near the neck separately for us. The concept of it is to dip the skin in sugar and eat it, allowing it to slowly melt in your mouth. Delicious!
Along with the duck, there was an array of sauces, chutneys, garlic paste, ginger slices, spring onions and pickled vegetables that were on offer to add to our duck pancakes. The pancakes were super thin and delicate, but it allowed the full taste of the filling to come through which was divine.
On finishing our pancakes, we swapped to red wine to pair with our main meal. A bottle of Domaine de la Chaponne from France. On tasting the wine initially, it was a very light even though it was medium-bodied. Apparently, it was chosen to compliment the spiciness of the food we would be having.
We were served a selection of meats and seafood dishes, including sautéed gong bao tiger prawns, diced rib eye beef in a black pepper sauce and sliced pork belly with bean curd and steamed buns. The beef was spiced to perfection and was a real winner around the table. I had a try of the prawns, but it just wasn’t for me. However, the sauce was really good. As for the pork, the girls showed how much they loved it with a clean plate – so it must have been good. The buns were so soft, light and very addicting so we had to go for a second portion. We just could not get enough!
The mains were served with a side of duck noodles and tender broccoli, balancing the meal out really well.
For dessert we had poached black sesame dumplings which sat on a thin layer of caramelised sugar and ice-cream. The dumplings were coated in a biscuit, so as you put your fork through it you could get a variety of layers. Complete with a delicious oozing of black sesame custard from the centre. The perfect way to end a fantastic meal at Min Jiang.
I would definitely recommend heading over to Min Jiang for a truly authentic Chinese meal, with great food, views and service.
Royal Garden Hotel
2-24 Kensington High St
Until next time…