I’d never been to Min Jiang before but I’d heard plenty about the luscious views from the tenth floor dining room inside the Royal Garden Hotel. I was excited then to be invited in to try the dishes from a specially created menu to celebrate the restaurant’s 10th anniversary.
The long and narrow dining room is fairly nondescript – which makes even more of “a thing” of that spectacular view. It’s a sunny day making Kensington Gardens, and the London skyline beyond, look even more special.
We start with a Min Jiang anniversary dim sum platter (the anniversary dishes run alongside the normal menu and can be ordered individually). Four dumplings; Alaskan king crab, black pepper duck, lobster and truffle. The latter fills the air with its truffley stench. They’re soft and sticky; pure comfort food.
Wood-fired Beijing duck isn’t carved at the table which is a shame as that bit of theatre always goes down a treat. But it does come out in three parts. First is the skin, which is pure, glorious fat. It’s atop white bread and topped with truffle. Very special indeed.
Next: duck and pancakes. You can’t go wrong really. That sugary hit from the plum sauce. The slices of tender duck. More of that fatty skin to go with it. The light as anything pancakes.
The final duck dish: more slices of the stuff, but this time more delicate and dainty. No fat. No colour to the meat. It’s pail and sits in an equally subtle sauce. The flavour though – it’s quite something.
Plump langoustines have a lovely bouncy texture as they bob like apples in a bowl of fiery Sichuan chilli sauce. It’s a creeper. You think you’re fine after one mouthful then BAM! Your throat tightens and your brow starts sweating. Of course, it’s addictive.
Pud is a Malibu parfait with compressed pineapple and a chocolate and hazelnut crumb. A warm Malibu sauce is poured over which melts the white chocolate and turns the whole thing into a delicious gloopy mess. A real sweet treat.
As a first experience for Min Jiang, we absolutely loved it. I’d like to go back and order from the full menu, sitting there for a few hours eating endless baskets of dim sum admiring that view. That’s the dream.
We dined as guests of the restaurant