Brought B here since he's visiting all the way from Edinburgh. He's heard all about it from a bunch of us - we're nothing if not giant loudhailers once we find a place we like.
Gold Mine is an institution for most Singaporean students here, as well as SIA crew in transit. For those of us not studying in the wilderness of West London, it's a pilgrimage that must be undertaken, every time a friend comes into town demanding halfway decent Chinese food, or when the cravings for roast duck hit. Clientele here is overwhelmingly Singaporean or Hong Konger, which says volumes for the place. Reviews in Time Out and other local outlets have largely overlooked it in favour of splashier establishments, and as a loyal patron I'm torn between indignation on its part and being somewhat grateful it isn't more crowded than it already is.
The roast duck here isn't for the faint of heart or the hater of fat, because the thick, translucent layer of duck fat is what makes the duck here so sinfully good. Drenched in the accompanying sauce, it's the perfect accompaniment to a steaming bowl of rice. In all the time I've visited, quality has slipped only once when a duck I took away was undercooked, but a quick zapping in the microwave took care of the problem.
It's usually just duck and rice for me here, but an extra indulgence would be the Japanese tofu in minced meat. Mildly spicy, it's served piping hot in a claypot, and the sauce is a wonderful counterpoint to the duck, accentuating the sweetness of the meat.