REVIEW: Mint Leaf of London
The most impressive thing about Mint Leaf of London is, without a doubt, its' design. Dark, dramatic and contemporary, the Indian restaurant-cum-lounge is punctuated by interesting spaces such as hanging chairs, a glass ‘private room’, henna artwork and a small terrace dominated by views of the Burj Khalifa.
Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of Mint Leaf’s downtown location, and the twinkling lights of the city act as moving artwork. In-keeping with the innovative interior, the drinks menu is similarly fresh. Creative cocktails have that ‘Dubai’ twist, garnished with ingredients like gold (what else?).
Given the modern first impression, the food menu is strangely classic. Lamb Biryani, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Lamb Rogan Josh are amongst the traditional dishes that would look at home on a take-away menu. The waiter assures us that everything is a bit special, and points out some of the more unusual options such as crispy soft crab shell with garlic mayo and a balsamic reduction. Although we’re pleased to find the food is fancier than it sounds, there’s also something nice about being in a swanky restaurant with generous portions. There's no danger of leaving hungry.
Those looking for something with a little more edge should opt for the street food menu, served in the lounge. A range a small dishes like prawn skewers, tawa king fish and papadi sev chaat, bring the lively flavours of everyday India to cosmopolitan diners for just AED125.
The north Indian classics have been altered to fit the city’s elegant residents – poppadums roasted instead of fried, in case you’re watching your figure. And although the food is fantastic, the highlight of the whole experience is the presentation. The interiors, the view, the way the dishes are plated… everything is simple, rich and chic.
Three dishes to try:
Chooza Khada Masala
This roasted on the bone baby chicken is served covered in spices and herbs, with a dry latpati sauce.
As one of the signature dishes, you know it’s good. The lemon grass scented black tiger prawns cooked with kafir lime leaves & garli almost taste like a Thai food.
Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake
A mixture of eastern and western cooking techniques produce this weird and wonderful cheese cake. Served with mango and banana compote on a slate – because plates are so yesterday.