It was a busy Friday night when we visited modern, elegant Mint Leaf Restaurant located in the heart of the West End in London and serving divine, mouthwatering Indian cuisine and some of the finest cocktails we’ve ever enjoyed!
Mint Leaf Restaurant is ideally located in Haymarket in the centre of Theatreland, only minutes from Piccadilly Circus. The restaurant is in the basement of the building yet oozes elegance and luxury from the moment you begin the descent into the restaurant and bar. The restaurant and bar are elegantly decorated with dark wood panelling, Indian statues and whilst the restaurant itself is quite dark and atmospheric, the tables are well lit creating an intimate dining experience. The atmosphere of the restaurant is intimate and luxurious. We were greeted warmly from the moment we stepped into the restaurant and well looked after through our entire experience with Mint Leaf.
Mint Leaf offers a cocktail master class where you are given the opportunity to learn, create and drink a mixture of Mint Leaf’s signature cocktails! The stylish bar is 22 metres long and is the perfect, elegant location to mix up a storm of delicious drinks!
We began our night at Mint Leaf with a cocktail master class where we created a mixture of traditional, exotic and signature cocktails all with the help and guidance of bar manager, Javed. Javed and his bar staff were friendly, knowledgeable and specialists at their craft! They are passionate about the hospitality industry and love their cocktails!
We were quickly handed beautifully presented, delicious Bellini’s whilst we learnt interesting facts about certain spirits and were asked our preferences and favourites before we began our cocktail mixing! Javed tailored the workshop to suit our preferences of spirits and flavours!
Over the next hour we became masters of cocktail making under the supervision and assistance of Javed and whilst we really enjoyed making the cocktails, we loved drinking them!
We really enjoyed the cocktail master class and would certainly come back with a group of friends to do it again, it was the perfect start to an incredible night at Mint Leaf.
We were then whisked away to our table in the restaurant where we met our waiter, Remmie. He looked after us impeccably throughout the night and asked all the right questions to determine our tastes and the amount of spice we enjoyed. His recommendations were the perfect dishes to our liking and his friendly, attentive service throughout the night really made our night special.
Up first was a plate of fresh papadums with delicious mango and tomato chutneys. At the same time Javed brought us over our bottle of red wine. We had requested a French red wine, and the Chateau Laulerie bottle of 2013 Merlot was soft and fruity with a slight hint of pepper, this paired perfectly with our meal.
The large menu is wide ranging and very unique featuring traditional Indian dishes along with more modern Indian dishes. We learnt that they use a traditional tandoor oven, griddle, tawa plate and open grills which is how Indian food is traditionally prepared. The varied menu proved quite difficult for us to chose from the many incredible options and so we asked Remmie for his suggestions and assistance in choosing our courses.
Dan opted for the Lamb Seekh Kebab for his entree, which was lamb leg kebabs spiced deliciously with ginger, green chilli and a mint sauce. The flavours were mouthwateringly intense and the spices worked incredibly well together. I chose the Zafrani Jheenga, Madagascar prawns that were flavoured with a citric blend of lemon, onion seed and saffron with a side of freshly grated beetroot. To say that they were one of the best foods I’ve ever eaten would be an understatement. The generous sized prawns were cooked to perfection and the succulent flavours combined divinely in your mouth leaving you savouring every single bite. My mouth is watering just thinking about them!
The entrées were delivered to us quickly, and it was evident that every aspect of the dish was created using the freshest of ingredients. The generous portions were presented beautifully on their plates.
Remmie provided us with a few recommendations for our main courses based on our questions and likes, along with some regional information about the dishes and ingredients. Dan told him that we are currently planning a trip to the south of India and asked if any of the meals on the menu were traditionally from southern India. We were delighted to hear Remmie was from Goa, a destination on our trip and he recommended the Meen Moileey. Meen Moileey was a king fish and coconut stew flavoured with the ideal mixture of curry leaves, mustard and tamarind. Large pieces of delicate king fish flaked apart when touched into the mildly spiced, mouthwatering curry. It was an ideal choice and perfect recommendation from Remmie, leaving us even more excited for our upcoming trip and the Indian cuisine we will try in India.
I decided on the Murgh Tikka Makhani which was tandoor grilled chicken in a tomato, cashew nut and fenugreek sauce. Very traditionally Indian this is one of the most popular choices in Mint Leaf and I was very pleased with my choice. Juicy, succulent, tender chicken served in a wonderfully spiced and flavoured, medium heat sauce. It was an excellent combination of flavours and heat.
The portions were excellent sizes leaving us full and very happy at the end of our meal! Remmie recommended we share rice and a selection of breads including plain, garlic and cheese stuffed naans. The steamed rice was light and fluffy, perfectly cooked and the naan freshly baked and the perfect accompaniment to our meals.
Mint Leaf also has a lounge and restaurant in the heart of the city where you can enjoy sophisticated dining, relaxing cocktails and excellent music. (See more here: http://www.mintleaflondon.com/city)
The food was impeccably cooked, beautifully presented and without doubt the best Indian food we’ve had the pleasure to dine on. The service was top notch, individual, friendly and attentive and nothing is too much trouble for them. I highly recommend Mint Leaf to anyone visiting London who is looking for a wonderful dining experience, delicious food, beautiful cocktails or just excellent Indian food – you won’t regret it.
We certainly will be back.
Mint Leaf Restaurant & Bar
London SW1Y 4HX
020 7930 9020
The Aussie Flashpacker was invited to review Mint Leaf London.