Saturday Brunch Mint Leaf of London, Dubai - Dubai
Admittedly, I have had the absolute pleasure of having dinner here on two or three occasions, so naturally I thought I should see how they carry this over to a brunch. After all, a brunch is not only about food, otherwise it is just lunch!
Some talking points from the brunch
An enviable one indeed. With a lounge, bar and dining area at its disposal, I saw people sitting in all these areas of Mint Leaf. The lounge gives the best views of the Burj Khalifa while offering a more sedate atmosphere, perfect for conversation and privacy. Then, the bar has its own energy and I saw quite a few people having their brunch around the bar. For added privacy and attention, there are the private dining rooms. But what I like about these is that they are more semi private, so you never feel you are removed from the brunch. Finally, and this is where my guest and I were seated, the main dining area. A hive of activity.
Staff and service
One of my favourite aspects of the restaurant is the arrival. As we leave the lift, the hostess is waiting to guide us to our table. The two hostesses fully appreciate the role they play and engage us the moment the elevator opens. The power of first impressions is not lost on them! They are slick, beautiful and professional. The level of service continues to the waiting staff who move around the restaurant in a natural and relaxed way, as if they have been there forever.
The restaurant is chic, stylish and ultra cool. Floor to ceiling windows give views of the Burj Khalifa and Sheikh Zayed Road, depending on your vantage point. Wood used extensively gives the restaurant the warmth that makes you feel relaxed. There is an eclectic mix of guests, always a good sign for a brunch, and spotting quite a few Indian diners reminds me that the food here is excellent. Who are better judges of course? Finally, local diners ensured that this is a brunch not just for expats.
The music played such a vital role in creating a brunch atmosphere. Vinn, the in-house DJ started off with club and house beats, but nothing hard core - family friendly stuff. But then the music changed to 80s hits, and this was brilliant. Most brunches will have some variation of jazz or house music, but the 80s theme really connected with guests. A credit to DJ Vinn for really sticking his neck out there and going with this.
There are 5 courses plus a shared dessert platter. The brunch debunks the myth that set menus do not give you as much mood as a traditional buffet. Moreover, you are welcome to request more dishes if you like a particular one. Firstly, and this is my usual question, how much food can one really eat anyway?
The brunch started out with Street food. I enjoyed immensely the Masala Chana chaat. The tamarind chutney brought a sweet spiciness to the dish. From the Tandoors & Grills the standout for me was the Grilled broccoli florets with cream cheese. The aroma of the tandoori as I bit into the broccoli made me order another. From the 3rd course, the Murgh ka sule, spiced corn fed chicken, could well be a dish you order more of. That word, balance, is again evidenced in this dish.
From the 4th course featuring seafood dishes, the Achaari hamour had a perfect moistness, making up for the dry and bland Mustard & Herb Salmon. A little more spices on the latter and a shorter time in the oven and the salmon could be a winner.
Brunch ended with a shared dessert platter. Again, if diners want more, they just have to ask. But I think the portions are perfect, and a fitting way to end the afternoon.
Mint Leaf of London, Dubai has shown again what an excellent all round dining experience it offers. In a brunch culture where buffets are often filled with sub par offerings, it is reassuring to know that with its concept of a set menu, you can appreciate every dish out there and that at the end of the brunch, the dishes are not just a blur, but a distinct memory of flavours. It is a brunch that is so much more than a brunch thanks to the space it offers the guest, with four areas to suit the guest's mood, a quality set menu and service to match. What more could you want?
15th floor of the Emirates Financial Towers, South Tower, DIFC