Top notch Chinese experience in London
I was never a fan of going out for high end Chinese food in London, simply because I always fail to spot much difference to the cheaper versions in taste but massive difference in cost. But I'd heard many great things about Min Jiang and judging from the menu it seems pretty promising, so off I went with a group of friends. Located on the top floor in the Royal Garden Hotel in High Street Kensington with great views of Kensington Gardens, Min Jiang serves traditional Chinese food with a mixture of regional cuisines rather than singly focus on certain types.
|Views from Min Jiang|
We pre ordered the famous wood-fired Beijing duck as suggested by the restaurant, well what can I say? It was absolutely wonderful, the crispy duck skin in granulated sugar served in the traditional way of pancakes with sweet sauce, shredded leek and cucumber was the best yet I've had in London. The skin wasn't overly oily and had great aroma and meaty flavours. The duck meat also worked really well with Min Jiang's own dressing of garlic paste with radish and Tientsin cabbage. The second serving of the duck using fried noodles with sliced duck on the other hand was a little weak, too much oil and lacked the elegant flavours I expected from a high end Chinese restaurant.
|Fried noodles with sliced duck|
The sautéed tiger prawns with basil in supreme stock was mellow in taste, not overly rich with a very settled taste from the earthy notes of the basil and Chinese mushrooms. On the other hand the clay pot tofu with wind dried sausage was totally the opposite, packed with rich flavours from the salted fish sauce with the sausage and vegetables really gave it a nice contrast in texture to enhance the tofu.
|Sautéed tiger prawns with basil in supreme stock|
|Clay pot tofu with wind dried sausage|
For the meat course, we had the sautéed rib eye of beef in Sha Cha sauce and clay pot venison in spicy Sichuan sauce, both were executed brilliantly, the beef was of high quality, soft and tender with the Sha Cha sauce really adding great depth of spices and richness into this traditional Chinese dish. The venison dish was a pot of explosive flavours, great robustness with the sweetness and spiciness perfectly balanced.
|Sautéed rib eye of beef in Sha Cha sauce|
|Clay pot venison in spicy Sichuan sauce|
For the rice dishes we had the house special Min Jiang seafood fried rice with salted fish, it was fried rice of the highest order. it was well fried with a great balance of flavours and the diced salted fish gave it a nice touch of texture. Egg white fried rice with blue swimmer crab and asparagus was also lovely, a good amount of crab meat added a nice softness to the dish.
|Seafood fried rice with salted fish|
|Egg white fried rice with blue swimmer crab |
To sum it up, apart from the noodle dish, Min Jiang gave me by far the best traditional Chinese food I've had in London, using prime quality ingredients with top notch cooking skills. Unlike Places like Hakkasan which has been engineered to adjust Chinese food to suit the western palate, Min Jiang pays tribute to traditional Chinese cooking and retains the essence and characteristic. If you are seeking high quality traditional Chinese food in a luxury setting, look no further than Min Jiang.
£48 per head with tea
Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High St, London W8 4PT