We were going for dinner with some of my colleagues and, as some of them are from India, I proposed to go to an Indian restaurant, to get their opinion about it. Mint came immediately in mind. The first time I discovered it was for a press dinner, back in November 2012 (check the review of Mint here). I remember that I loved the food and that the reviews of my fellow bloggers, especially Malini from the Restaurant Fairy, who is from India, were really good.
Prepared by Chef Gary Sikka, the food was delicious and, according to my Indian friends, fairly authentic. The only negative that day was the private room, that, can hardly accommodate the 10 guests they advertised...But hey, the food made us forget that. At Mint, they offer a large menu that would satisfy the vegetarian as well as the non-vegetarian with so many mouth watering dishes that it is hard to choose. We decided to share several dishes and I definitely missed some as far as photos were concerned... For appetizers, we got:
Vegetable samosas, made with potatoes and peas. They were heavenly, crispy and not spicy, but smaller than what I am used to. I really liked eating them with the tamarind sauce that added a nice sweetness.
Papri chat, a snack that I understand is normally street food. It is crispy fried dough wafers and potatoes topped with chutney and spices. Well, you know what we say: everything fried is good; this definitely was...
Jhinga Balchao, or shrimp in a spicy pickled sauce, a specialty from Goa. This is the kind of spicy dish that you cannot stop eating, even if your mouth is on fire.
Then was the long awaited chilly fish or spicy fish tossed in bell pepper, herbs and spices. This is the dish that I still remembered from the first time I went to Mint. But, this time, it was not crispy. Don't get me wrong: it was still delicious, had a nice spiciness, and is a dish I definitely recommend.
Then we went for the tandoor specialties. We ordered the paneer shashlik or cubes of paneer skewered with bell peppers and cooked in the tandoor oven. I was wondering how it would be, especially after I tried paneer in Delhi, at Bukhara, a dish that I wish I could find here in the US. At Mint, the paneer was pretty good, although not the same as the one I tried in India.
The second tandoor dish was the fish tikka, that was marinated in yogurt and spices. Another great dish.
We then tried few vegetarian dishes. The first one was the Diwan-e-Handi or assorted vegetables, paneer, baby eggplant, cooked in coconut, herbs and spices. It was good, although not my favorite dish.
The next one was Malai Kofta, that are paneer dumplings in a rich cashew sauce. I was familiar with this dish that I really like, especially the creamy sauce.
But the best vegetarian dish was for me the Dal Makhni, a traditional Punjabi preparation of black lentil simmered overnight on a slow fire with onion and garlic.
I could have eaten the entire bowl of it, loving its richness and creaminess, perfect with the different naan breads we ordered or pulao rice.
For the non-vegetarian dishes, we got:
Chicken Tikka Masala, that are cubes of tandoori chicken cooked in a fenugreek flavored tomato sauce. This is my benchmark dish for Indian restaurants: if I like it, it is a good sign...And I loved it.
Chicken Jalfrezi or cubes of chicken cooked in a delightful spiced onion and tomato curry, combined with pieces of fresh tomatoes, onions and bell peppers, served with lemon rice. I'll be honest: I do not remember this one...I might have missed it with all the dishes we had!
Lamb Shahi Pasanda, a lamb cooked in a mild cashew sauce, a Kashmir specialty. Between the delicious taste of the lamb and the sublime creamy sauce, I was in heaven.
Malabar Shrimp, shrimp cooked with coconut milk and spices. A great dish with perfectly cooked shrimp and a very tasty and creamy sauce.
I should mention that I drank a mango lassi that was perfect whenever the food was too spicy, that was in fact only restricted to couple of dishes.
Last was of course dessert. I went for my favorite: the gulab jamun, these milk balls that are deep fried and bathed in a sugary syrup. They were good, but I wish there was more syrup in it.
This was a great dinner at Mint: the food was good, as was the company. I would certainly go back for some more delicious Indian specialties.
Enjoy (I did)!
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