After a busy Spring, I decided to take it easy this summer and spend more time in London, exploring the city, catching up friends and of course eating out. I eat out in London a lot and one of the best meal I had in the last two months was a Chinese feast at Min Jiang in Kensington. This restaurant, on the 10th floor of The Royal Garden Hotel, was a wonderful discovery and I am happy to share it with you.
I was invited to Min Jiang along with three travel bloggers to sample the restaurant’s signature dishes, but also to celebrate an important anniversary: the day of our visit was the 8th of August (08/08) which marks eight years since the opening of Min Jiang. As fellow blogger Hayley (A Life of More) explained to me before dinner, 8 is regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture, representing fortune and prosperity.
The evening started at the bar where I chatted with the girls, enjoying the view and drinking a refreshing Min Jiang Phoenix cocktail (Raspberry Puree, Grenadine Syrup, Champagne).
The obvious, striking thing about Min Jiang are the views of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, and beyond that, the London skyline. I have never seen the city’s skyline from the west side, as most of the skyscrapers (with public access to the top) are on the east side.
Because the bar and restaurant are spread across a long and narrow room, there are east-facing windows running across the length of the restaurant. Every table enjoys the same stunning London view.
Our dinner featured six courses from North China, Sichuan and South China, all available on Min Jiang’s A La Carte menu.
My knowledge and understanding of Chinese cuisine is very limited, so it was great to have a choice of set menus featuring different regional dishes. I find Chinese food intimidating, especially when restaurants have long menus and it’s hard for me to know what I might or might not like. I am happy to report that every dish I had at Min Jiang was delicious and I would happily order it again.
Steamed Dim Sum Platter (South China)
We started the dinner with a glass of Champagne and a selection of steamed dumplings with vegetables and prawns.
Legendary wood-fired Beijing Duck (North China)
The wood-fired duck is Min Jiang’s signature dish. It is prepared meticulously by chefs from Beijing according to an ancient recipe in order to offer diners an authentic experience. A whole roasted duck is presented to the table before the chef starts to thinly slice it.
The meat was juicy and delicious, with a crispy skin. I ate it wrapped in thin Chinese pancakes, filled with leek, cucumber and sweet sauce or Tientsin cabbage, radish and garlic paste.
Sautéed Gong Bao Tiger Prawns (Sichuan)
The next three dishes were served all together as a main course. I started with the spicy prawns stir-fried with chilli and cashews and glazed with gong bao sauce.
Diced Rib Eye of Beef with Black Pepper Sauce (South China) and Sliced Pork Belly (North China)
The pork was served with crispy pork crackling and small steamed buns to fill with the tender meat and cucumber.
Min Jiang Sichuan Pancake with Cornish Vanilla Ice Cream (Sichuan)
We ended our meal with sweet red bean paste pancakes and ice cream, as well as mango tarts coated with white chocolate to celebrate the restaurant’s birthday.
I enjoyed every dish I tasted at Min Jiang and I am looking forward to visit the restaurant again. The set menus range from £48 to £88 per person, so dinner at Min Jiang is not going to be cheap, but the quality of the food, service, the ambience and the location make it worth it.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are my own.