Mint Leaf is one of the most exclusive fine dining Indian restaurants in Dubai. Why may you ask? That’s because, firstly, it’s located on the 15th floor of the Emirates Financial Towers. Secondly, it has admirable interior and you get the most amazing view of the Dubai skyline and the Burj Khalifa. Lastly, they serve a selection of authentic Indian cuisine with an innovative contemporary twist and every visit promises a remarkable gastronomic experience.
The first time we stepped inside the restaurant, we were amazed by the space that they occupy. The whole building gives the guests a 360 degree view of the Dubai skyline and Mint Leaf took advantage of that. They have the main dining area, the actual bar, an outdoor dining space and they have a lounge that extends all the way to the other side of the building and is perpendicular to the Burj Khalifa.
I think every Indian restaurant I have been to has served food with dry ice one way or another. Some do it better than others (e.g. Tresind and Carnival) and some just fail in comparison. With Mint Leaf though, I believe they do it perfectly. Not every food comes with smoke and some are just served plain and in its purest form.
We started with some drinks and as expected, it made quite an entrance when it was served. This drink is what they call the ‘garden glow’ and is a cocktail that tastes amazing and we knew that we’re off to a good start.
So before the actual starters, we had this Wasabi Poori which is kind of like a variation of the traditional Pani poori but with wasabi flavored yogurt and topped with green peas and pomegranate. I suggest you order this before you order anything else because it will open up your taste buds and it will send it to a few seconds of a roller coaster ride.
Next up, we had the starters. For real now, we tried the Nimbu Tuna Ceviche which I’m sure will make you wonder why it’s on the menu. Well, I was told by Chef Pradeep that they serve food and get the influences from all over the world but they still have that Indian flair to it so then we tried it. This particular dish looks the same but what made it different is the crispy okra chips on top. It’s so good, I’m sure everyone who tries it for the first time will love it.
And then we had the duck kabab and grilled lamb chops. I believe what sets these two apart is the way they were cooked perfectly. The meat was tender and you don’t need to exert an effort to slice through it. And the way it was marinated, it was very flavorful.
The last of the starters was the Desi Taco which of course, gave us some Mexican vibes. I honestly can’t believe that you can do something else with the usual taco but with the way they made it with the pulled chicken, drizzled with garlic flavored yogurt, and crispy potatoes on top, I stand corrected. This is an absolute must-try.
So if you thought we’ve had a lot already, you’re wrong because we’re just getting started. We took a break from eating and went to the bar and lounge to bask in the mesmerizing views of the skyline and the Burj. The place is massive, I believe people can actually play hide and seek in there. I love the interior design too and the open kitchen shows transparency and cleanliness from all areas.
We returned to our seats for more food and now it’s time for the main courses. Again, one by one as they arrive, we are just as excited to see the presentation and to taste the distinctive dishes.
First up was the Scotch eggs curry that I’m sure no one expected to see on the menu because obviously, it’s not very Indian. They are soft boiled egg wrapped in lamb mince and coated with black panko and served over kataifi nest. Honestly, it’s so good and I thought at first I wouldn’t like it but I do now.
Next was for our vegetarian friends, the tofu and lotus stem barrel. These are barrels made from a mixture of Lotus Stem & Tofu blended with herbs & seasoning, flash fried & served with curry made from Yoghurt & Coriander Seeds, flavored with Asafoetida. I love this because it was very pleasing to the taste with just the right flavor.
We also tried the Masala chicken, passion fruit curry which are chicken pieces cooked in tandoor and tossed with onions and tomato masala. It’s great as well but it looked and tasted like the usual dish from the other Indian restaurants so it didn’t stand out for me.
We also tried the Indian staples biryani, the Dal Makhani, the black quinoa and pomegranate raita and the gunpowder naan which were all delectable. And by this time we are not sure we can still carry on with the desserts.
Soon enough, the sweets came and just when we thought we didn’t have space for these, we found ourselves fighting over them.
The first dessert was the PB&C Nougat Bar, Mint Leaf’s take on snickers bar, without the richness of caramel & super cool temperature of ice cream, glazed with Valrhona ganache. The Peanut nougat accompanies it to bring the crunch & texture to the dessert.
I think our favorite would have to be this Lotus Mess, inspired by the very British Eton Mess. This is a warmer version of Lotus, which has a lot of berries, bananas & ice cream & lotus caramel & biscuits, minus the whipped cream, which only works as a filler. Not only was it presented really nicely, it’s also a sweet tooth pleaser.
All in all, this was probably one of the best dining experiences that I’ve had so far. The service was excellent from the moment we stepped into the time we were asking for the stamp for the valet parking. All their staff were knowledgeable about the products, the promotions, they were all courteous and just showed amazing hospitality all throughout.
The food was perfect, there was nothing that I didn’t like and even the drinks were just so good. The presentation of every dish was perfect and nothing was overdone. I would therefore highly recommend Mint Leaf to anyone looking for a truly exceptional gastronomic experience and I can’t wait to go back myself to try the other innovative dishes.