Min Jiang

Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, W8 4PT
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Date night at Min Jiang in the swanky Royal Garden Hotel is a welcome change from the modern and hip with its traditional feel and old money atmosphere – way to show your date that you’re classy. Once the delicious Oriental Fizz (vanilla vodka, lychee juice and champagne) was drained we went to the table with stunning views over the London skyline. If you’re (accidentally) here on Diwali or Bonfire night, it’s quite a show, and you can take some credit for the forethought. To start we tried Min Jiang’s celebrated dim sum, tricky but tasty soup dumplings. We followed with the signature Beijing duck, which is a real experience. The first round is expertly presented with home made pancakes and traditional accompaniments, plus their own special accompaniments (garlic paste, tientsin cabbage, radish) giving you loads of incredible taste combinations to go with the tender meat. There is also a small plate of crispy duck skin the colour of Snooki and a bowl of sugar; the skin is dipped in the sugar and eaten, it sounds crazy, but duck fat and sugar is probably an aphrodisiac. The second course of duck – can be ordered with fried rice, in a soup, minced, or (our choice) with noodles and a side of pak choi. We went home for desert, if you know what I mean (thank you sugared duck skin).