Mod­ern clas­sic

DIFC’S Mint Leaf of Lon­don of­fers con­tem­po­rary lux­ury fare in­flu­enced by well-known In­dian clas­sics

Virtuozity - - Fine Dining -

Mint Leaf of Lon­don re­cently joined the ranks of posh Lon­don restau­rants to set up a new eatery in Dubai, but few have made the tran­si­tion as stylishly as this place. Perched on the fif­teenth floor of Emi­rates Fi­nan­cial Tow­ers in DIFC, the lux­ury In­dian restau­rant of­fers stun­ning views of Down­town Dubai and the Burj Khal­ifa, but they’re jux­ta­posed against a warm and wel­com­ing in­te­rior that’s con­tem­po­rary but still suc­ceeds in nod­ding to­wards clas­si­cal In­dian in­flu­ences.

There are dark slate and henna-in­spired carved wood interiors, and large com­fort­able chairs that seat visi­tors at cosy, in­ti­mate ta­ble places.

On the de­sign front, then, Mint Leaf does ex­cep­tion­ally well. And those de­sign chops are car­ried through from the main restau­rant to a bar area, which also has a discreet and com­fort­able smok­ing room tacked onto the side. The pri­vate din­ing rooms pull off the same trick, but nat­u­rally they’re more in­ti­mate. In the main din­ing area, there’s an open kitchen which show­cases the dy­namic culi­nary tal­ent of the chefs on staff.

And what a tal­ent they have. Mint Leaf of Lon­don is more than a sim­ple In­dian eatery—its culi­nary style, like the in­te­rior, is mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary, with ideas and in­flu­ences sim­ply bor­rowed from the tra­di­tional In­dian fare. For ex­am­ple, the La­sooni Jheenga—roasted tiger prawns, gar­lic puree, and green chut­ney—of­fers a siz­zling in­tro­duc­tion to other items on the menu. Light but with an in­cred­i­bly com­plex kick, the dish per­fectly il­lus­trates the re­la­tion­ship that Mint Leaf de­vel­ops be­tween past and present.

There are clas­sics on the menu—such as the Murgh Tikka Lazeez, which is a clas­sic chicken tikka curry—but to opt for them would be a wasted op­por­tu­nity. There are far more in­ter­est­ing things on of­fer, such as the Fish­er­man’s Prawns—black tiger prawn with lemon­grass, kaf­fir lime and gar­lic. Or else the Bhoona Hi­ran, a seared loin of veni­son with red onion and co­rian­der naan.

An­other thing that shouldn’t be over­looked at Mint Leaf is the dessert menu. The restau­rant’s sig­na­ture dish in that depart­ment is the Mint Pot. Fi­nally, be sure to give the drinks menu a look-in. Mint Leaf em­ploys a skilled som­me­lier and mixol­o­gist who has con­cocted a se­ries of spell­bind­ing cock­tails.

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