A new spin on eclecticism

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A new spin on eclecticism

And a new star at Mint Leaf of London, DIFC, promises a taste of good things. Will the menu getting a reboot work in the cluttered Dubai dining scene?

by

Sushmita Bose

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Published: Fri 29 Sep 2017, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 29 Sep 2017, 2:00 AM

I'd reviewed Mint Leaf of London a few years ago, when it had just opened. I remember giving it a positive review; but then, I'm a sucker for desi. Mint Leaf served London-style 'balti' cuisine... and the food was excellent. Then, recently, Chef Pradeep Khullar - formerly of Jodhpur restaurant in Al Murooj Rotana - moved to Mint Leaf. Now, I've also reviewed Jodhpur earlier, and have, like a legion of others, been thoroughly taken in by the affable and incredibly competent chef who makes it a point to personally take his guests through the culinary journey he so painstakingly curates. Chef Pradeep has become a brand in Dubai, in a fairly short period of time. But what did he have up his sleeve now? I was eager to find out.  
It's 'electic' food, I was told - a word that somehow struggles to find a right fit. Anything can be 'eclectic', depending on how one 'perceives' it. But as I popped crisp paani pooris filled with wasabi-flavoured yoghurt and topped with green peas and pomegranate into my mouth, it was as if I were entering the fifth dimension. This was eclectic alright. The wasabi gave a real kick, and seemed to leave my taste buds delightfully wracked (I know that's an oxymoron) open to savour flavours. It set the tone for the meal - which was wondrously 'eclectic'. I'm a fan of 'eclectic' now!

TASTE
It's like mixing apples and oranges and being amazingly creative about it. You can have Rara Mutton with Foie Gras, Black Quinoa Raita, Masala Chicken with Passion Fruit Curry, Duck Seekh Kabab with Plum & Chevre... get the drift? Food quality is excellent. Top marks!

AMBIENCE
Mint Leaf is a beautiful property, combining the mix of a ritzy lounge with the discreetness of a fine-dining restaurant. Rich colours, dim lighting and a general sense of "eclecticism" prevails. The view is stunning... so try and snag a seating area close to the glass wall.

SERVICE
Very effective. The waiting staff is attentive, and well-versed in the newness of the menu and the nuances of the changes. Given that Mint Leaf has a strong customer base in any case, helping them appreciate the finer points of the new menu is critical.

PRESENTATION
Nice enough but not spectacular. The Dal Makhani with Homemade Butter, for instance, looked pretty much like it would in any other fairly upscale desi joint. Most of the smaller plates have a distinctly European, fuss-free-yet-great-serving-style feel about them.

VALUE FOR MONEY
Not quite value-for-money, but, hey, this is the price you pay for innovative cuisine and a great ambience. Don't sulk that the Malai Corn Cake with Stewed Garlic Greens costs Dh75 - enjoy the entire experience. And do check out their business lunch options: reasonably priced.

Where: Mint Leaf of London, 5th Floor, South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, Dubai
For reservations: 04-7060900
Avg cost for 2: Dh450-500
sushmita@khaleejtimes.com



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