As far as views of London go, the sight from the top of Min Jiang in High Street Kensington, which stretches out across the park towards the London skyline, is pretty impressive.
Despite not being that high up, the hotel restaurant it’s ideally situated and a perfect viewing spot for Kensington Gardens.
Starting off with a refreshing lychee martini and a fragrant mojito I was instantly impressed by the whiter than white crisp tablecloths, gleaming clean decor, and immaculately trained waiters giving just the right amount of attention without becoming annoying.
We went for the half wood-fired Beijing Duck (order before you get your drinks as it takes 45 minutes to cook) which was the right mix of juicy, slide of the fork tender flesh and crispy, salty skin.
It was by far the best thing I’d eaten in a while especially when mixed with Min Jiang’s signature toppings such as; shredded leek, cucumber, garlic paste and crunchy sugar (it works). The rest of the duck was then bought out in a plate – we went for it minced in a spicy sauce and lettuce wraps.
This is probably enough for most people but as we were feeling pretty greedy we also went for the delicately fragranced dim sum filled with blue swimmer crab meat and a plate of very delicately crisped squid which lacked the greasy after taste or rubbery squelch you normally get left with.
Our main was a deeply blackened cod fillet which easily flaked away from the bone and was cooked with a subtle hint of ginger and a juicy succulent texture. To mix with this one we also tried a sticky rib eye beef dish with a thick deliciously rich black pepper sauce.
Finally – as with mine and Hugh’s standard track record – we ‘forced’ down two puddings – a chocolate hazelnut cake and a slightly odd creamy mango dish, which out of all the dishes on offer were the least impressive.
The clientele was largely made up of suits, salmon trousers and people staying at the hotel so we were pretty out of place but if you can look past that it’s a great view on offer with dishes, in particular the duck, which match the sights.