TAKE THE lift up to the tenth floor at the fantastically fancy Royal Garden Hotel — and prepare to be delighted. You’ll be greeted by Min Jiang, a supremely elegant spot serving some of the best Chinese food in London.
But first, there’s the view. Looking out onto Hyde Park, the restaurant shows off the capital’s skyline, which is surrounded by expanses of lush greenery. It really is something special and it would only be right to point out that there are very few dining establishments in the city that can boast such an atmosphere. Min Jiang is most certainly your best bet when trying to impress.
The view at Min Jiang
Once you’ve managed to settle at your table, having got a little carried away with the obligatory selfies, you’ll be tended to by the most courteous staff who work the busy room with ease. We started with some delicious mocktails and chose a selection of appetizers from a sizeable list of options. The Poached Prawn Dumplings were utterly delicious doughy parcels that had been soaked in a Sichuan Chilli Oil dressing, delivering a perfectly balanced tangy edge.
Steamed Xiao Long Bao came with Pork Meat and Crab – a perfectly made delicacy that was rich and warming. The dim sum chefs here really are masters. The standout star, though, was the Chilli Prawn Toast with Sesame Seeds. How could this classic of Chinese cooking be reinvented so beautifully?
Small mounds of soft toasted bread arrived at our table. Biting into each nugget revealed the juiciest prawn filling which had been lightly flecked with coriander. It was honestly a crime to have not ordered a second round.
A selection of delicious Dim Sum
A prawn and chilli dish at Min Jiang
For our main dishes, we went for Tofu with Morel Mushrooms in Black Bean Sauce, along with Smoked Crispy Chilean Seabass. The former was a steaming hot bowl of the silkiest cubes of bean curd – probably the fluffiest tofu you’ll ever eat – which was surrounded by a black bean broth.
The fish had been marinaded in fermented rice wine sauce and then fried so that the skin crisped almost to a hard shell. It was served with dainty Shimeji mushrooms that made the plate look like a little garden. Such an intricate process is only reflective of how high the quality of craftsmanship is in this kitchen.
Min Jiang at the Royal Garden Hotel
For the win, dessert has to be the Matcha Brûlée – a generous pot of dense cream that possessed just a faint hit of the nutty green tea. It was accompanied by a beautifully constructed blood orange sorbet and the whole plate was truly an eye opener.
Min Jiang is an absolute gem and London is lucky to have access to this level of Chinese cooking. We can’t wait to return.
by Derby Jones
Min Jiang, Royal Garden Hotel, 2 – 24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT
For reservations, tel: 020 7361 1988