Superb Indian dining concept - Mint Leaf of London, Dubai
The restaurant is housed on the 15th floor in DIFC's south Tower, and as the lift opens, the dim lighting in the corridor immediately sets the mood. A hostess offers to show me around first, which I gleefully accept.
|The lounge area|
|Is a caption really needed?|
|Decor meets style|
|The ceiling - mint leaves|
|You can appreciate the spaciousness in this pic.|
|Variation on beetroot. Loved the bed of chickpeas.|
|Cold appetisers in front and the hot appetisers in the background.|
As I wait for my main courses, I engage in some chit chat with two of the waiting staff, Arika and Rethabile. I find them knowledgeable and extremely personable. I notice there are also no name badges here. Not sure if it is by design, but I see potential in this: Mint Leaf is all about making everything personalised. It works. They assist in debunking the myth of the stiff high end dining experience. But then I also have an exchange with Sam, one of the mixologists.The same impression. At various points in the evening, I chat to chefs Anand and Sirajudeen. I find their willingness to share their ideas about their art another highlight. Training department - well done.
|The colourful and flavourful variety of the main dishes.|
Next, my main courses are served.The abundance of an iftar is tastefully brought home when I see the main dishes. This is an iftar fit for a feast, I think to myself. Elegantly but simply presented I have subz punchmel (5 different vegetables) , mutton rogan josh (diced leg of lamb in brown sauce) and murgh mirch hara pyaaz (mildly spiced chicken) served with yellow dal, steamed rice and of course naan. The cashew sauce in the chicken dish makes it rich and creamy and because it is mildly spicy, balances the spicy lamb. Compliments are again sent to the chef.
Finally, my iftar dessert selection consists of fresh fruit and Phirni, a rice pudding. The latter is the only disappointment on the night. The cardamom overwhelms the dish and the sweetness of the pudding and the delicate taste of the pistachios are lost. I share this with Arika and I appreciate the manner in which the comment is received. It does not, however, detract from what is a fabulicious evening of Indian dining and chilling.
|Espresso with a view|
As I thank the staff and leave, I reflect on the exciting concept that Mint Leaf of London has brought to Dubai. I can see Mint Leaf of London Dubai attracting guests in- keeping with its concept - a venue that offers 3 destinations in themselves. Ideally, of course, a guest will arrive and have an aperitif at the bar, move to the dining area for dinner and then the lounge to enjoy an after-dinner single malt or even coffee. However, I can see guests visiting just to hang out in the lounge, for example, or to have a drink at the bar. While a number of places I have visited offer a similar concept, one of the 3 elements is usually an afterthought and a sofa in a corner amounts to the lounging area - here you have these elements fully functioning in their own right. Now add the fact that it is all about Indian cuisine and you really have a venue that is going to excite guests and then some.
Mint Leaf of London, Dubai
15th floor of the Emirates Financial Towers, South Tower, DIFC
Iftar 120 Dhs
Note: While Ramadan iftars will end soon, the a la carte menu offers equally superb dishes and value.