It’s very rare that I would dine at restaurant which exclusively caters Indian cuisine. Mainly because it is a cuisine which my taste buds have been accustomed to growing up and that my origins are Indian along with the fact that ‘mom’s food is the best Indian food‘ I have tasted; but all that’s about to change with the opening of Mint Leaf of London in Dubai, minus the mom’s food bit of course. 😉
Surpassing and captivating the palate of crowds at their first location in London, the modernistic take on Indian cuisine has made its mark and is on a mission to do the same in Dubai as well.
Location, location and location.
At first, I was taken back by the 15th floor location of MLOL situated in The Emirates Financial Center but I stood corrected as the elevator doors opened and I walked into one of the most magnificent spaces I have recently viewed after Qbara in Wafi.
MLOL offers a panoramic view of Dubai, mainly The Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Road and much more which is truly enchanting, even for one who has seen the view multiply times.
The restaurant is divided into three prime sections: the bar, a lounge and dine-in area with an open kitchen view. A dimly lit yet dusky henna inspired décor sets the perfect tone with the backdrop of the bustling Dubai city lights.
The bar is fully equipped with custom drinks prepared, severed and named after the trusty bar tenders whose creativity skills are taste worth with each sip of the Sam’s ginger beer which was on par, fresh and a ginger-tastic taste.
A look at the lassi options, I was marveled – an exclusive take on the traditional Indian yogurt based drink, the lassi‘s at MLOL introduces ingredients such as bee pollen, smoked BBQ and more.
A bite of the adraki lamb chops on a bed of baby pressed potatoes kick started the culinary journey at MLOL, with the tendering achieved from the yogurt based marinade coupled with the intense flavor palate of the ginger and fresh coriander. A must have dish at MLOL.
MLOL takes the simple, yet famous Indian street food concept “chaat” and creates the flavorsome aloo chaat – crispy fried baby potatoes paired with the tanginess of the tamarind based chutney mellowed with the sweet curds.
Varieties of mains are on offer, from traditional favorites to the chef inspired dishes. My tasted buds savored the fishermen prawns, a gravy dish – the freshness of the sizeable tiger prawns released its flavors to the red, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves with garlic based curry paired well with the combination of breads such as naans and chili naan.
The murg methi malai – succulence of the chicken gravy with fenugreek leaves, cream and chilies was a humble dish with tamed spice level while the rara gosht, a leg of lamb cooked in spiced lamb mince was dry albeit with a lasting aroma and taste.
The modernistic take on the cuisine in evident throughout the menu, either by the use of ingredients or the serving style as with the lamb biryani cooked in a “potli” or a bag made of dough which baked and crisped to retain the heat and the saffron flavors soaked into the individual rice grains.
Indian desserts are the talk of the town and my sweet tooth can never resist the saccharine and ghee based desserts. At Mint Leaf, desserts are innovative, such as a classic take on tarts introducing flavors such as lemon, coconut and saffron – absolutely delicious. While the potted mint leaf, coconut brownie with butternut sauce and raspberry compote was a revelation on its own a perfect end to the Mint Leaf of London in Dubai experience.
Mint Leaf of London, Dubai.
15th Floor, South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, Dubai.