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|Address:||Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT|
|Tel:||020 3544 7970|
|Price: £48.00||Wine: £23.00||Champagne: £59.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3pm 6-10.30pm|
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Having always been a largely ground-floor and subterranean diner was poor preparation for today's lunch, which was the highest I've yet had in London. I need to do this more often. Great views of Hyde Park, a pleasant airy room (in an unprepossessing building), crisp linen and being the only bloke on a table of four was a cracking start to (yet another) working lunch.
I'm a fan of Chinese food, but have always been a bit suspect of “posh” Chinese restaurants, as most of my experiences have been along the lines of “same grub as the cheaper place down the road but at twice the price”.
Obviously, there have been exceptions to this, but Min Jiang really stands out. Everything we had was better or bigger or different to anything similar I've had before.
We started with a selection of dim sum, grilled dumplings and sticky tofu with honey & sesame (oh that's truly special), followed by the wood roast duck. Your veggie correspondent felt it was incumbent on him to park what few principles he has ever had and try the duck. Glad he did – very nice, but not enough to set him back on the protein path any time soon. Never mind, the chorus of satisfied noises from the rest of the table was enough to prove that they were more than enjoying it.
Then there was a main course. No, really. We had more – tofu with morels in black bean sauce, egg fried rice with edamame, noodles, a chicken dish (OK, I'd stopped concentrating) and the duck came back for a second serving, diced on a teeny lettuce “wrap”.
Service – cracking: not to intrusive, but always there. Wine – that's a hell of a list, with some pricey numbers on there, but worth an exploratory journey.
All of which makes me realise that there's more to Chinese food in London than Gerrard Street, and I should certainly be dining up as well as out more often.