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Did someone say Piper-Heidsieck rooftop champagne bar? Yes, you heard that right. If I wasn’t already excited about visiting luxury Indian restaurant, The Mint Room Bath, I certainly was now!
With restaurants in hip locations, Bath and Bristol, The Mint Rooms are a popular choice for foodies in the south west of England. And on Tuesday 29 May, we visited for an evening of fantastic Indian food and champagne cocktails.
We were invited to visit the Mint Room for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are entirely my own.
Arriving at The Mint Room Bath
Arriving around 7 pm, we were immediately taken to the rooftop champagne bar for pre-dinner drinks. Although smaller than I imagined, the rooftop bar had a high-end and somewhat cosy feel to it. It was a warm night and it was nice to be outside, although I imagine even a chilly evening would be well-spent in this heated, open-air space.
I opted for the ‘French 95’ cocktail which combines Early Times Old Reserve Bourbon, sugar syrup, fresh lime and Piper-Heidsieck champagne to create an extremely smooth yet refreshing drink. The perfect aperitif!
The restaurant experience
From the rooftop bar through to the modern and understated interior, The Mint Room Bath exudes an upmarket feel. But the premium atmosphere doesn’t stop at the decor. The staff, always smiling, ever eager to help, made us feel so welcome, assisting us with menu choices and explaining each dish as it was served.
And the menu is reasonably priced too. Whether you opt for a la carte or the tasting menu, as we did, The Mint Room is the perfect way to treat yourself without breaking the bank. If you’re feeling extra fancy, why not select the tasting menu with wine pairings, priced at £60 per person?
After receiving recommendations from the chef and other members of staff, we decided to go all out, ordering the full tasting menu which promises a ‘culinary tour’ of the vibrant country of India.
Whatever you decide, you’ll be presented with beautifully crafted dishes, ranging from authentic Indian street food bites with an adventurous twist to traditional, well-recognised curries.
What’s more, you can have complete confidence in the provenance and quality of The Mint Room’s ingredients. All meat comes locally sourced from Bath butchers, Bartlett & Sons, fish and other seafood is obtained from the Bristol-based fish supplier, Charles Saunders, and BanyanTree Foods, an Asian plantation network, supplies The Mint Room Bath with traditional spices and spice derivatives, making this an all-round local operation.
To start, we enjoyed an impressive selection of street food, beautifully presented in bitesize pieces. From the Pani Puri and Bhel Puri to the Aloo Papadi Chaat, each mouthful complimenting the next, packing a flavoursome punch.
My personal favourite? The Pani Puri, a crispy ball of pastry stuffed with chickpeas, potato and pomegranate seeds, served with a sticky and spicy mint sauce and tamarind water, which must be poured into the pastry ball and downed in one. Oh, the flavour! Oh, the texture! This was one heavenly bite I want to relive again and again!
The next course, I have to say, was my absolute favourite. Punjabi Grilled Chops with the revolutionary Aloo Tikki. Since my visit to Sholay Indian Kitchen a few weeks ago, I’ve found a renewed zeal for lamb, and this dish didn’t disappoint. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, this was the best lamb I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring.
Melt-in-your-mouth tender meat marinated in Punjabi spices and balanced out with a dreamy deep-fried potato ball filled with crushed cashews and creamy, melting brie cheese…I’m swooning just thinking about it.
Next up? A palate cleansing citrus sorbet to prepare us for the main event – four traditional curries from all corners of the country.
Served with braised rice and naan bread, the main includes a creamy coconut-based Keralan Seabass Moilee from the South of India, Delhi Chicken Makhani cooked in tomato, fenugreek and butter, Bengali Tawa Duck cooked in a decadent coconut and cashew sauce, and the rich Lamb Lal Maas, spiced with Kashmiri chillies, black cardamom, cumin, cloves, coriander and cinnamon – all my favourite things!
Personally, I found the seabass dish a bit on the sweet side, but I’m speaking purely from personal preference as my husband loved and devoured it. The duck was fantastic and completely unique; I’d never think to cook duck in a light, refreshing coconut sauce! And both the chicken and lamb dishes went down a treat – rich, buttery and full of flavour. What’s not to love?
To finish, we were presented with an artful selection of flavoursome Indian ice cream, otherwise known as kulfi. Usual kulfi flavours include coconut and mango but The Mint Room goes one step further, delivering a flamboyant combination of saffron, cardamom and pistachio served with a satisfying roasted almond crunch. The perfect end to an incredible meal!
By the time we finished our meal, the restaurant was packed with a happy, buzzing crowd – making it surprisingly busy for a Tuesday night and a good sign that The Mint Room Bath has a sterling reputation amongst locals. From start to finish, we were thoroughly impressed by the friendly, efficient service and staff’s enthusiasm for each dish, and we can’t wait to return for another feast for the senses.
Have you visited The Mint Room? Will you? Let me know in the comments below.
All photographs taken by James A Photography.