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I love Chinese food, but I have to admit to always having seen it as a bit of a dirty treat. After a night out on the town, popping into one of those all-night ones in Soho, or even ringing for delivery while still on the tube, to be delivered (hopefully) minutes after my return home. The MSG, egg fried rice with more egg than rice, unidentifiable meat products… I love it. Therefore, when invited to review Min Jiang, I was mainly excited by the thought of a restaurant on top of the Royal Garden Hotel overlooking Kensington Gardens. In such a venue I was expecting beautiful settings, an amazing view, excellent service… and maybe a nice Sweet and Sour Pork. And for the most part, I was right. The service was friendly, efficient and yet unobtrusive, we were greeted with cocktails in the bar which made the most of the fantastic view and the décor was tastefully understated. The food, however, was eye-opening. I started with scallops, which were steamed and served on a bed of fine noodles and a subtle soy-based sauce. Presented on shells, the sight of them alone made me realise I had

underestimated the quality of the meal to follow, and eating them merely confirmed by how much. It was a delicate blend of flavours that really made the most of the meat – one that is all too often easily overwhelmed. Similarly, my companion had been concerned when ordering her Crispy Fried Squid with Chilli that it might be too spicy, but again the chilli was expertly combined with the batter so the base flavour of the flesh was allowed to express itself perfectly.

While, perhaps, the price might prohibit this from becoming an every day eatery, if you are keen to try gourmet Chinese food in unpretentious, beautiful surroundings, the quality and general experience of Min Jiang means I can think of no better value restaurant in London. I shall certainly be returning…. William Dugdale Min Jiang at the Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT. Tel: 020 7361 1988. E:

Min Jiang’s signature special is woodfired Beijing Duck, and it was no sacrifice to opt to try this as our main course. The whole duck was bought to our table for preparation, and proffered in several ‘servings’. The crispy skin was presented in thin slices as amuse-bouches, and the prime cuts from the outside of the duck were presented to be eaten as pancakes with a variety of sauces. The waiter was happy to answer any questions on the cooking process, and even tips for combining the sauces in particularly pleasing ways with the duck, such that the final effect was something so superior to the duck pancakes I have eaten in the past, that I wish there were a different way to describe them. The remainder of the duck was shredded and stir-fried as per our selection from several choices, and served up with rice and black pepper sauce. While this was in itself a lovely dish, it did seem slightly anti-climactic after such an interesting and well presented build up.

These days, luxury is a much-devalued word. Some people, however, refuse to compromise on standards.


Mehek Indian Restaurant

45 London Wall, Moorgate London EC2M 5TE Telephone: 020 7588 5043/7588 5044 Facsimile: 020 7588 5045 Email: Website:

If you are one of them, then you'll find Mehek has been created especially for you, where fine dining is truly exquisite, and where sumptuous cuisine and some of the world's finest wines are served in exclusive surroundings. After all, your parties and events are too precious to be left to chance, and too important to expose to indifferent service or inferior food standards. So isn't it time you came on board?

Now you can experience luxury without compromise

Some of the acclaims for Mehek: Multiple times winner of the AA Rosette Awards, winner of the British Curry Awards, BCA no.1 in the City, Best In Britain Awards, Safety Thirst, City of London Safer Pub & Club Awards, TopTable Gold Award, and numerous recommendations by restaurant guides, newspapers and magazines.

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Profile for Urban Life Magazine

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...