We visited The Mint Room on a sunny Thursday evening and were instantly wowed – this is easily one of the most stylish eateries in Bristol. We passed the bar and sumptuously decorated waiting area on our way to our table, which was beautifully set with bowls of floating candles and fresh petals. The decor is authentically Indian but still eclectic, with rustic bicycles on the walls and chandeliers alongside modern light fittings.
The cocktail menu was far too enticing to ignore, so we perused the menu while sipping perfectly blended libations; a Mojito for me and the fantastically refreshing Kachumber Kicker for my partner.
The helpful staff suggested that we try the seven-course tasting menu, which showcases the fine regional Indian cuisine that The Mint Room is known for – we were promised a lighter bill of fare than we were used to in standard curry houses, and eagerly agreed. Proceedings started with poppadoms, which were lighter than air, followed by a superb amuse-bouche that gave an insight into the gastronomic delights to come.
Next up was cumin and curry leaf tomato soup with potato fritters and coconut foam. Over our visit, every dish we tried was fresh, with delicate but superb flavours. The tasting menu proved to be the perfect choice for me, as a fairly cautious diner, as the focus was on flavour rather than heat. The tandoori-grilled monkfish tail in cashew nut, almond and yoghurt marinade was a real stand-out dish, and the Cornish lemon sole was perfectly crisp and light. The fish dishes were followed by a sharp and tangy lemon sorbet palate-cleanser, which readied us for the main meat dishes. The charming staff brought over bowls of saffron and cumin rice, heavenly yellow lentil dahl and garlic naan to accompany the spicy, peppery free-range chicken and slow-cooked lamb. The lamb, which was my favourite dish of the night, was tender and served in a rich, hearty sauce of caramelised onion, fresh tomatoes, ginger and coriander. Dessert was, thankfully, a light and refreshing affair. We were served honey-glazed pineapple with rose ice cream before rounding things off with peppermint tea.
Our experience at The Mint Room couldn’t be improved on; every element of the dining experience was memorable for all the right reasons, from the attentive yet unobtrusive staff and the elegant setting, to the stunning food.