Min Jiang is on the tenth floor of the Royal Garden Hotel, its picture windows offering a lovely view out over Kensington Palace and the Hyde Park Round Pond. The dining room has an attractive display of Chinese vases on shelves at the back of the room, with most tables having a good view out over the park.
The wine list features labels such as Tabali Viognier at £35 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £10, Schlumberger Riesling Les Prince Abbes 2013 at £53 compared to a street price of £12, and Natalie & Gilles Fevre Mont de Milieu Chablis 2014 at £85 for a wine that retails at £22. Even those with the means would be advised to avoid indulging in treats such as Chateau Beychevelle 1998 at an absurd £348 for a label that will set you back £80 in a shop, or Chateau Margaux 1995 at an egregious £1,558 compared to a current market value of £438.
At this lunch crab dumplings were excellent, with a very light, almost translucent dumpling, the shellfish flavoured with herbs (14/20). Sweet corn dumplings were pleasant, with good texture, though it is hard to get thrilled about sweet corn, which perhaps needed an extra flavour to lift it (13/20). Pan-fried lobster buns were lovely, with feather-light texture and tender lobster nestling inside (15/20).
Har gau, the classic steam prawn dumplings, were also excellent, light and with good quality prawns (14/20). Xiao long bau with crab and pork was the only dud dish of the meal. The outside dumpling case easily split, and the liquid centre inside did not have enough vinegar. Worse, though the crab was fine, the minced pork was a little gristly in places (11/20).
Asparagus spring rolls were good, the casing delicate and the asparagus just in season and having reasonable flavour (14/20). The star dish was char siew puffs, which featured very delicate puff pastry and nicely flavoured barbecue pork filling, the meat having a sauce with it that was subtly spicy with a hint of sweetness; this was top quality dim sum (16/20).
The bill came to £27 a head before tip, with just water and jasmine tea to drink. If you shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical cost at dinner might be £60. Service was excellent, with our jasmine tea attentively topped up and refreshed at intervals without us having to ask.
Further reviews: 01st Oct 2009