Categories: Food & Drink

Mint Leaf – A Culinary Journey Through South Asia in the Heart of London

Nestled in the financial district of Bank in London and just a short walk from The Bank of England is Mint Leaf Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.

Halal Fine Dining isn’t just a concept when it comes to the authentic South Asian flavors of this urban contemporary hub. Modern elegance best describes the aesthetics of the restaurant. As I entered, on the left-hand side I saw a huge and comfortable lounge area, whilst on the right was the main restaurant. The cocktail bar itself was the central feature of the whole restaurant, floodlit to create a warming glow and ambiance. The signature drinks are themed on the history of India, with names like Umrao Jaan and The Royal Bee, each having an interesting story behind them.

I had a pre-birthday non-alcoholic mocktail named The Hanging Garden, which represents the region located in Nishat Bagh. The Bagh, which holds views of the Dal Lake beneath the Pir Panjal mountain range, was designed and built in 1633 by Asif Khan. When Shah Jahan saw the garden after its completion, he expressed great appreciation for its grandeur and beauty. The Illusion mocktail was my personal favorite, and I would recommend it for lychee lovers. It comes with lots of crushed ice and kept me going through the aromatic and spiced evening ahead.

We ordered a selection of starters that included Malai Chicken Tikka bites and Dahi Papdi Chaat. I was hesitant to order the Charcoal Lamb Chops as they aren’t usually my thing due to their large size, which makes them very messy to eat. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the lamb chops cooked slowly on a charcoal grill and, due to their smaller size, they were very easy to eat. For the first time, I enjoyed every bite without feeling like a hungry carnivore.

We also ordered a Crispy Kekda, which was unusually different in presentation but delicious.

Our main course was derived from an À la carte menu and included a selection of curries: Tadka Daal, Okra Masala, Coconut Prawn Curry, and Butter Chicken Masala with garlic naan bread. For dessert, we had the Chef’s special selection of traditional Indian sweets, including Gulab Jamun with ice cream and Ras Malai. Expecting a quiet, low-key evening, I was surprised when the staff brought out a chocolate cake lit with a candle, cheering and wishing me a happy birthday. That final touch made my birthday a memorable event.

The restaurant also hosts private parties for groups in an upstairs area. They use seasonal British produce wherever possible, prepared using traditional tandoor ovens, charcoal grills, and tawa hot plates to create innovative and contemporary, fresh, healthy food with authentic Indian flavors, which was evident in the quality of the food.

Overall, the elegant yet relaxed contemporary vibe of the place made it ideal for an evening out as a group or a couple. The variety of mocktails added a fun element, but at the same time, you can have a good quality conversation with your loved ones in a slick yet elegant setting. It would be ideal for a birthday celebration or as a pre-drinks hub.

Tahira

Tahira Khan is our Features Writer & NCTJ-accredited Journalist. She has experience in the Wellness industry and loves travelling. She is a firm believer of authenticity and we at BMM are exactly that. Her expertise lies in travel, wellness & lifestyle. One of Tahira's favourite quotes... 'The most beautiful thing in the world, of course, is the world itself' - (Wallace Stevens)

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