Among the top 10 brunches I have tried - Mint Leaf of London, Dubai

The experience starts on the Ground floor as we are are shown to the elevator and soon after, we reach the 15th floor. The well-drilled hostesses offer a warm welcome and show us to our seats.

My guest is emphatic that he does not see the point in paying a lot of money for Indian cuisine when the chaat shop that litters areas like Karama will easily satisfy a craving for some spice. As the waiter introduces the brunch  and we are offered a glass of Prosecco, I am tempted to say, "You were saying?" but I choose to leave the matter. After all, that was kind of what I thought the first time I tried high-end Indian dining. And on the 15th floor of the Emirates Financial Towers at DIFC it is high end on another level. If you have not tried it, Mint Leaf of London Dubai offers a restaurant, bar and lounge experience that takes the Indian experience beyond your expectations. 


This 6-course set brunch really gives guests options. While we are seated in the main dining area, I see guests in the semi-private dining rooms, the bar area and lounge. 

Dishes

The key for me is the portions. This is conducive to  a three-hour experience,so small, well thought-out amounts are the way to go. The first two courses will please vegetarians immensely. The highlights from 4 snack or chaat dishes vegetarian are the Masala chana chaat, with that fantastic juggling of sweet and spicy flavours thanks to hot spices and tamarind. Then, there is also the highly enjoyable South Indian sweetcorn & cheesecakes, with extra texture courtesy of Japanese panko crusted mustard seeds. You will also recognise the use of curry leaf!

South Indian cheesecakes and Tandoori broccoli
But meat eaters should not despair, although it must be said that this probably the first brunch I have been to where there is equal respect afforded to both meat lovers and vegetarians as Courses 3 and 4 offer a surf and turf selection. 


The third course is intriguing because it offers chicken cooked two ways - of course the Classic tandoori chicken tikka, so beloved by many diners and the Zaffrani malai chicken tikka. Both have a unique quality and appeal to me on different levels. The subtlety of flavour in the latter is contrasted with its spicier counterpart. However, the contrast is not limited to flavours because the classic tandoori chicken is also served on the bone. How good is it? I end up ordering another. 



As for the surf-inspired platter, the salmon is the  clear winner. Prepared in the tandoor, the Scottish salmon is given an intensity that will surprise you, knowing the way you usually enjoy salmon at most brunches. 


On the entertainment front, DJ Vinn pays his tribute to the 80s and 90s, which as I pointed out on a  previous visit to the Saturday brunch, imbues the brunch with a definite and unique character. No jazz here. No house here. I love that he genuinely enjoys the music. It makes his choices believable and not contrived or done for commercial reasons. 


The drinks selection emphasises the value for money in this brunch, and although I find the Prosecco a bit dry, the Chilean Antares Sauvignon Blanc, one of two wines on offer, hits the right note. I recommend starting with  the Prosecco and switching to the wine later. 
Make sure to try some amazing cocktails. 

The penultimate course, the curries, continue to offer something for both meat and vegetable eaters. The Black dal, of course, steals the show. Creamy and indulgent, a perfect dish. Next, and I can't believe I am saying this, but the rice is beautiful. Rice nicely cooked can be the highlight of any meal, and here is only surpassed by the dal; it is fluffy and fragrant, and even better on the tongue. Finally, even though the lamb in the Lamb mushroom bhoona,is somewhat over-cooked, the chili garlic mushroom sauce redeems it.



Chef Vivek and his team have done it again. His contemporary rendering of classic Indian dishes without losing the essence of the dishes makes for a special experience. Richly flavoured dishes stylishly presented left my guest feeling rather sheepish after his bold declaration at the start of brunch. Mint Leaf of London Dubai's success is in the fact that Chef is faithful to the flavours of the dishes that we have come to know and love. The brunch is a winner because of these factors as well as  a value for money price that cannot be downplayed. So, as we leave, I ask my guest for his thoughts. His next question says it all: "Do they do a la carte as well weeknights?" I think he gets it!

Mint Leaf of London, Dubai
15th floor of the Emirates Financial Towers, South Tower, DIFC
Map: http://bit.ly/1reZEDD
+971 4 706 0900

Brunch
Soft package 195 AED net
Wine and malts 320 AED net
Prosecco 375 AED net
Disclaimer: I visit restaurants and hotels in an attempt to look at the entire product to take service levels to where they should be. I visited Mint Leaf of London, Dubai courtesy of the restaurant










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