I would probably never have considered visiting the Mint Leaf of London in DIFC if I hadn’t learnt that Michelin-star worthy Chef Pradeep Khullar had moved there from Jodhpur at the Al Murooj Rotana. The man is an artist, a modern-day culinary Ustad – where he goes, I follow.
I always thought this Mint Leaf was a branch of the Mint Leaf in Jumeirah. It isn’t. It so happens that this one is the real thing, a branch of the original of the same name in London. Located on the 15th floor of the Emirates Financial Towers (south tower), the Mint Leaf is dressed in a Savile Row suit rather than Kurta Pyjamas. It portraits an elegant, international image of fine dining Indian cuisine. My first thought was, what a perfect venue it was for a business lunch. Or, get a table at one of the expansive windows, and it turns into the ideal spot for a romantic dinner.
Chef Pradeep has gone to great lengths to differentiate the new menu at the Mint Leaf from Jodhpur, difficult considering the excellent job he had done there. If anything, this new menu encapsulates much of his creative style yet is more mature, more balanced. Freed of the constraints of the past, this is Pradeep slowly stretching his wings, realising his true (limitless) potential. And as such, it all starts and end with OMG!
Everything is amazing. Standouts for me were the to-die-for Grilled Lemon Prawn starters, served with a Saffron Aioli drizzle.
So were the perfectly cooked, succulent, tandoor roasted Lamb Chops.
But my favourite of an extensive tasting session was the Crusted Red Snapper, Mangalorean Curry. It is, without doubt, the BEST fish curry I have had in all my 52 years.
Also, the Dal Makhani; I would be content sitting at one of their windows with a bowl of this slow-cooked, aromatic, creamy black Dal with nothing more than a roti and my thoughts (twisted as they are) and memories – beautiful.
Do not leave Dubai without trying either the Dal or the Mangalorean Curry. In fact, do not leave Dubai without trying the Mint Leaf.
Service is exceptional, professional yet genuinely friendly. I felt welcome from the minute I stepped in, treated with the warmth and familiarity of a returning regular. There was none of the snobbery associated with (too) many fine dining restaurants. The Mint Leaf also has a full bar, and a menu of signature cocktails and mocktails – Hmm. Making a reservation is a good idea. The Mint Leaf of London featuring Chef Pradeep, an irresistible culinary proposition, and well worth a detour.