Min Jiang (Kensington): where you get the best duck in London

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreMin Jiang is one of those Chinese restaurants I’d take friends to impress (particularly those from Asia). Because in my opinion, it serves the best duck in town. I’d even go as far as saying theirs is better than the usual London favourites Gold Mine and Four Seasons (the latter having been rather disappointing over the years in terms of food and service).

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreLocated at the 10th floor of the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, not only does this restaurant serve great food, it also has immaculate views of the city via Hyde Park.

dsc00539-2-2 dsc00540-2-2Watching London from ten storeys up (or higher) during golden hour is a moment I wish everyone could experience. As the city winds down from work hysteria, this magical glow seems to blanket the capital with a certain sense of calm. It’s breathtakingly beautiful.

And actually, so are the cocktails at Min Jiang.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next Shore(From L-R): Oriental Fizz (£12.50 – vanilla vodka, lychee, champagne) for Katy; Passion Fruit Martini (£10 – Passoa, mandarin vodka, passion fruit, pineapple) for Aftab; Okatini for me (£12.50 Oka sake, vodka, lychee); and a surprise concoction for Jasiminne.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreOnce we were at the table, we were briefed about Min Jiang’s new Duck & Champagne menu. Their renowned Beijing duck is offered with a bottle of Louis Roederer bubbly in half (£80) or whole (£99) portions.

dsc00549-3The Theophile Roederer non-vintage brut was a fairly good aperitif. There’s a floral hint on smell and a lovely full-bodied taste. It’s well-balanced and rather zingy enough to whet one’s appetite.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreTwo steamed dim sum platters (£15) appeared and they could not have disappeared sooner (er, after photos of course). Selection included har gau, pumpkin and mixed seafood, crab meat dumpling, and pork and prawn siu mai. Each parcel was exceptionally delicious and distinct. A beautiful start.

And then we got to the famous Beijing duck.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreMin Jiang usually requires 24 hours notice if you want their duck. To me, it’s a testament of two things I stand for: fresh produce and less waste. The duck usually comes in three servings: skin, then the breast for pancakes, then you have a few options for the rest.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreThe crispy, fatty, salty duck skin is served with white sugar for dipping. This may sound like all sorts of sins combined, but is absolutely right on the taste.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreThe theatrics of duck carving is truly fascinating. Here’s our chef du partie slicing the bird.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreEt voila! Sliced duck ready for eating served with condiments including pickled daikon, ginger, garlic paste, hoisin sauce, spring onions, cucumber and plum sauce. We wrapped these in steamed pancakes and it was just a melt-in-your-mouth party.

The rest of the duck was served with noodles. I usually ask the leftovers served in minced lettuce wraps, but this was yum too.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreMin Jiang still definitely serves the best duck in London. It’s juicy but not fatty, rich in flavour but easy on the belly. Please take someone special here. Because it’s so good and you can’t miss out!

As if that wasn’t enough, we sampled more of Min Jiang’s dishes.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreBut first, we sample a 2014 Domaine de la Chaponne Morgonne. It’s fragrant and medium-bodied, which complements the rich spiced sauces of Chinese cooking.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreIt wouldn’t have been a Chinese treat without pork belly. Sliced pork belly with beancurd and steamed buns (£20) came for another DIY treat.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreThe pork is soft and tender, and the beancurd gave it a much needed texture.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreThe beef with black pepper sauce (£24) was another winner. My gosh, that rib-eye was so good and the sauce wasn’t overpowering at all. The beef was so moreish we ended up asking for more steamed buns to eat it with.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreThe Gong Bao prawns (£22) were tasty too, but possibly my least favourite of the night. There’s a visual mindf*ck of heat due to the abundance of dried chillies on the plate but it wasn’t as fiery as I had hoped.

Min Jiang by The Girl Next Shore Min Jiang also gave us some gai lan stir fried in garlic sauce (£10). Because 5-a-day. Haha!

Min Jiang by The Girl Next ShoreFor dessert, we had the black sesame dumplings (£8) coated in peanut crumbs. I love me a good black sesame dumpling and Min Jiang’s didn’t disappoint. Sat on a bed of caramel brittle and what I thought was peanut ice cream, this was a dessert I devoured with gusto.

Verdict

I still think Min Jiang’s best offering is its duck, paired with that fantastic view of the city. Compared to other famous London duck restaurants in town, this place is slightly on the pricier side, but I promise you’re paying for so much more. Service is commendable and food is so much fresher and better. If you like good Chinese food and fab views, this is definitely the place to go to.

Pin for later:Min Jiang by The Girl Next Shore

Min Jiang
Royal Garden Palace Hotel, Kensington High St, London W8
I was invited to review but ave spend pp is £60pp
Min Jiang - Royal Garden Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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14 Comments

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      12th September 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Awww we’d’ve had a quacking helluvatime! x

  1. 12th September 2016 / 7:19 pm

    You have me gunning for Chinese food right now and what fantastic views!! xx

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      12th September 2016 / 7:52 pm

      I love that place for the duck and the views! So pretty!

  2. 12th September 2016 / 8:27 pm

    I really love duck served like this! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it.

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      13th September 2016 / 9:51 pm

      Thanks for the reco Angie! I’ve not been in yonks and just about remembered how delicious this was! x

  3. Erin
    12th September 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I went to the Four Seasons again recently and was so disappointed by the quality and service – this looks incredible! I love duck, I might need to give this a try – it looks divine! Erin xx

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      13th September 2016 / 9:53 pm

      Right? Service at the Four Seasons Bayswater is already meh, but service at the branch in Chinatown is unheard of.

      DO try it, Erin it’s soooo goood! x

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      13th September 2016 / 9:53 pm

      So, So, So, So good!! x

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      15th September 2016 / 6:32 pm

      It was very good, Tiffany! Hope you get to try!

  4. 14th September 2016 / 10:26 am

    SO gutted I missed out on this review, freaking love me some peking duck BUT then again I did have this meal for lunch last week now that I am living and breathing the Chinese way :D:D:D Looks like an awesome meal, glad it was so yummy! Love AP xo

    Andrea’s Passions

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      15th September 2016 / 6:32 pm

      Hahaha I think you living in HK tops this. Please please please have many meals at Yung Kee and Kam’s for us! x