So you’re not in the mood for fish and chips you say? How about Chinese? Not just any Chinese, Min Jiang Chinese (traditional dishes from China’s gastronomic provinces). It’s on 10th floor of the Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel. Before dinner we enjoyed cocktails in the restaurants’ bar. The classic, muted furnishings really stood out, as did the Lichitini (vodka, lychee liqueur, and fresh lime). Talk about refreshing! OMG!
As we were escorted to our table for dinner, I noticed that all of tables potentially have an amazing view. A view of what I wasn’t sure. Unfortunately, it was dark outside so the view consisted of my reflection in the window, which, well, wasn’t half bad that night since I was having a good hair day, and my new dinner jacket – d’gorgeous! I’m just sayin’! I’m looking at the man in the mirror, gonna make a difference, gonna maaaake it right. My star gazing however was cut short as the theatrics of eating was about to begin.
We started with an assortment of Min Jiang’s signature dim sum, and fried squid topped with sea salt. There was something very special about the steamed pumpkin dumplings. OH, so good! I never know what to order as I tend to order what I’m familiar with, and what’s the fun in that? So I simply asked the chef to bring me what he felt I should try. Maybe I should have put some guidelines on my request because the food just continued to arrive. From braised pork belly in a scrumptious rich sauce to beef with lemon grass to stir fried King Prawns with Macadamia nuts. But the real reason one comes to Min Jiang’s is for their legendary wood-fired duck. One of the chefs brings the duck to your table and carves it in front of you.
First comes the choice crisp skin near the neck of the bird, which we dipped in fine white sugar. Um, it was alright. Skin really isn’t part of my diet plan anyway. But the finest cuts of the duck were so flavorful and juicy. Ultra thin homemade (I’m still a little unclear at who’s home though…) pancakes were served with accompaniments of shredded spring onions, cucumber, hoisin sauce, minced garlic paste, pickled radish, and zesty pickled cabbage, which was a refreshing foil for the duck. We enjoyed every bite. I was so completely stuffed but a meal could not be complete without a dessert. Fresh mango cream with Sago pearls and pomelo and Min Jiang Sichuan pancake with Cornish vanilla ice cream. Absolutely sinful.
The next time I come here I will come for lunch or for an early dinner before dark, so I can see the spectacular view of Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.
2-24 Kensington High Street
London W8 4PT