Stylish Indian cuisine in the heart of the City
Where? Mint Leaf Lounge & Restaurant, 12 Angel Court, Bank, London EC2R 7HV (020 7600 0992, www.mintleafrestaurant.com)
What’s the vibe? Tucked behind the Bank of England, Mint Leaf is city slicker territory; but even on a Friday night the array of bankers fail to over-populate the 40ft-long backlit bar. Perhaps the upbeat yet warm and intimate atmosphere is owing to the stylish interiors and sophisticated lounge area, replete with slouchy booths and a Chef’s table seating four. On the other side of the partition, there’s a candlelit restaurant, overlooked by a lively mezzanine Champagne bar.
Can we expect traditional Indian fare? Well, it’s not your average curry house – that’s clear. Spanning seafood, poultry, game and lamb (as well as some lovely vegetarian dishes) the contemporary menu has so much choice we can guarantee you won’t be pining for your customary chicken madras. We loved the fact many of the plates on offer were designed for sharing, and opted for a starter platter of monkfish with chilli and lemongrass, jumbo prawns in cumin and garlic, and crisp-fried soft-shell crab.
The main course? While you could easily go on picking and choosing from the sharing menu (dishes from £6 – £26) we went for the Chicken Chettinad and Lamb Shank curries, with sides of rice, naan breads and grilled asparagus. Admittedly, eating the whole lot was a mammoth task, but it tasted so good we had to polish off the plates!
On the drinks menu? Cocktails ruled the evening. Of course, there had to be a reason for the lavish bar! With an extensive menu using blends of over 100 of the 400 spirits on offer, again, we were spoilt for choice.
How to satisfy a sweet tooth? Nothing beats the Chocolate Fondant – white and dark chocolate mousse with white chocolate ice cream. On the fruitier side, there was Apple Jalebi – apple fritters with saffron soup and green cardomom icecream – and Kashmiri Peach with Mango Sorbet – yum. All are priced from £6.
Need to know: The music at the venue was fantastic, with a live DJ spinning the decks in the champagne bar. This area can be hired for private functions for up to 70 guests but the tunes (a blend of old classics and urban) are loud enough for everyone to enjoy. With a private dining room also to hire, there’s the option at this venue (the former Natwest HQ) to go for cocktails and canapés, sharing platters or a full-blown banquet.