If you're a foodie, there's no doubt that you've heard about The Mint Room in Bristol. A heralded Indian restaurant, renowned for its fine dining approach to traditional fare (which you can also find at its sister site in Bath), it's no surprise that it boasts numerous awards under its belt. This place had been on my hit list for quite some time, so when the opportunity to visit finally came up - I ran to book my table at the Clifton hotspot.
It's clear from the get-go that this is not your average curry house. As you walk past reception, you’re greeted with an elegant and spacious dining area, featuring calming, neutral tones and a cosy-looking brick fireplace. And while there were tall windows that let in lots of lovely natural sunshine, when day turned to night, the lights were dimmed and the vibes became more intimate.
We quickly dived into our starters - both of which set the bar sky-high. The subji ka kazana (£8) consisted of tandoor-grilled broccoli, baby corn, courgettes, mushrooms and, the star of the show, red pepper chutney. That isn’t to say I wasn’t slightly jealous of my friend’s aloo tiki (£9) - spicy potato cakes with sesame seeds and mango chutney. The audible crunch, paired with a perfectly fluffy filling, hints of fig and fragrant spices, caused me to make a mental note to come back for more.
After what felt like a luscious trailer of what was yet to come, we impatiently waited for our mains. The veg biryani (£14) was packed with delicious, seasonal vegetables, showcasing delicate flavours of cardamom and mint. But what really brought it together? The accompanying tarka dhal, a delicious take on a classic. I unfortunately can’t say much about the battajh cherrinad (£22) as, much to my vegetarian demise, the key player of the dish was duck. However, my dinner guest spoke very highly of it, especially the South Indian sauce made with 18 spices.
Moving onto my highlight of the night, we chose an unconventional route for dessert and ordered a couple of cocktails, the Cafe Chai Martini (£9.5) and A Kick Up The Godfather (£9.5). Innovative takes on timeless classics have a tendency to win me over - and the Cafe Chai Martini was no exception to the rule; the chai syrup proved itself to be such a simple yet transformative addition to the espresso martini-like tipple. The latter, as you might guess from the name, was a Bourbon-based drink with a subtle sweetness from the cinnamon and an extra kick from cloves, topped with an elegant star anise - what’s not to love?
The DesignMyNight Digest
The Mint Room is one of those restaurants where you not only eat, but you really experience each dish to the fullest. From the stunning flavour combinations and spice mastery to the oh-so-aesthetic plating, everything we ordered was a complete delight. So, if you're craving some high-end Indian eats and in the Clifton area, make sure to give this one a visit (you won't regret it).
💰 The damage: £72 for two plus service charge.
📍 The location: 12 - 16 Clifton Road, BS8 1AF.
👌 Perfect for: Family dinners and date nights.
⭐ Need to know: Make sure to book ahead - this place is very popular.