Scores: Z 26/ H1
Although I have been to Min Jiang many times before this was the first time that our party could not get into the hotel straight away. This was due to a wedding progression pulling up in a very elaborate horse drawn carriage. I was thankful we were soon let past as I was starting to get hungry!
The restaurant being on the 10th floor of the Royal Garden hotel offers really good views of Hyde Park and on a summers evening it is very pleasant to sit at a table or in the bar and look out over London. I think Min Jiang is one of London’s top Chinese restaurants, although it is better at lunch for Dim Sum (see my previous review here).
Thus we decided that one of the starters that we ordered would be the steamed dim sum platter (£14.50), which contained several types including different shellfish and mushroom, all the dumplings were very good; well-made and with tasty fillings. Soft shell crab with garlic and chili (£12.90) was good, the batter being a good consistency with plenty of taste but not strong enough to overwhelm the crab. A good dish here is the smoked jasmine ribs with sesame seeds (£10.50) which have sweet but smoky taste. Another starter of warm Sichuan chicken (£10.50) was not bad; thin slices of chicken in a fairly spicy chilli and sesame oil based sauce.
The main signature dishes here is the Peking duck, here it is presented in two main serving, the first being with pancakes and for the second you have several options. We had half a duck (£32) as a middle course. The first serving of duck is carved at the table, with this you also get given some crispy duck skin with some granulated sugar to dip it in. This is something that I have never see anywhere else in the world before, I think that it weirdly tastes a bit like fresh donuts. The duck with pancakes is served with the usual hoisin sauce and cucumber accompaniments as well as more Korean type sides of garlic paste with radish and tientsin cabbage. Although this is one of the better Peking ducks I have had in London, it was not notably better than Hutong’s which I had a couple of weeks previously.
With the main choices came the second presentation of the duck which we had chosen to be spicy minced duck with lettuce wraps, this was nicely presented on mini bite sized round bits of lettuce. It was very tasty and was still very moist. Steamed sea bass fillet with ginger and spring onion (£23) was cooked perfectly and had good flavour while sautéed tiger prawns with basil in supreme stock (£19.50) were tasty enough, the prawns being good quality.
A very nice dish was sautéed Scottish scallops with tender stem broccoli (£26.80), this contained a decent amount of scallops and well cooked broccoli. Roasted chicken with ginger sauce (£20) was pretty poor the meat was pretty dry and the skin was not crispy either, a bad combination. On the other hand, grilled rack of lamb, in garlic infused soy sauce (£25) was cooked very well to a perfect tenderness and the garlic sauce was a nice accompaniment. Sauteed mixed vegetables in Sanpei sauce (£11.80) were also very nice, this dish contained quite a lot of tofu which was cooked very well and the sauce gave plenty of taste.