The Mint Room
competent, confident, audaciously inspirational masters of the art of modern Indian cookery
If you go by location alone, a trip to The Mint Room – situated as it is at the heart of an urban axis defined by a Holiday Inn Express, a Sainsbury’s garage forecourt and a car park – doesn’t initially look very promising. All credit to the Mint Room’s head honchos, then, for turning what’s ostensibly a breeze block box into a subtly glamorous, urbane experience that can’t really be likened to any other restaurant in Bath… let alone any local establishment that adheres to an Indian theme. Offering yet another twist to this singularly unique experience, the restaurant’s charms have recently been supplemented by the addition of the super-smart, uber-glam Piper-heidsieck rooftop Champagne bar, specialising in Champagne (of course!) alongside premium liqueur-based mix-up magic-in-a-glass resulting an instant instagram hit offering an ‘exclusive club member’ vibe.
The Rooftop Bar offers a fascinating vista too, and one that Bathonians don’t get to consider very often: a contemporary skyline in the Heritage City, perfect for a spot of alfresco indulgence or, if the weather isn’t playing nice, a pre-dinner drink before heading downstairs to the restaurant to embark on a far flung, non-stop exotic cabaret.
You can either dine at The Mint Room like a Maharaja (the wine list is suitably stately too) or just pop in for a simple, classic Rogan Josh and a Cobra. But whichever way you choose to do it, you’ll pay far, far less than you’d expect for the outstanding quality on offer – and gain a far, far more memorable experience than I’d wager you’ve had in a very long time. I’d wager too that you didn’t spot dishes such as Tawa Scallop, Rajasthani Lamb Chops or Panjim Crab on the starter selection last time you visited an Indian restaurant, nor Seafood Moilee, Keralan Halibut or Tellicherry Duck on the mains.
Spoiled for choice? Buy a ticket to ride the Mint Room’s Tour of India Tasting Menu (an amazing bargain at £39pp, with an optional – highly recommended – wine flight for just £21 supplement) which celebrates the massive culinary and cultural diversity of the largest subcontinent in the world. This isn’t just a Tasting Menu – this is a voyage of discovery, beginning with the kind of street food (crispy little Pani Puri puffballs that must be downed in one; Aloo Papadi Chaat drizzled with tamarind and mint chutney; ‘real’ Bombay mix) that you’re likely to encounter at any market stall from Shimla down to Kerala. Okay, I’ve ranted effusively about restaurants that put the words Street Food on a formal, sit-down menu many times. But when those words translate as a really authentic incarnation of the genre, entirely in keeping with the prandial journey you’re taking, I’m happy to break my own rules. On from this…north, south, east and west we go, on a road trip that veers from soporific coconut-based sauces and temperate, subtle spices to heady, vibrant spice hits and enticing, heady blends; from fish to meat to vegetarian and back again, each and every dish by turn sumptuous, extravagant, sophisticated and flamboyant – this is not merely grub that gives you a good time; this is good food nirvana.
The Mint Room experience can only be described as positively stellar, a sentiment aided and abetted by the kind of artful presentation that’s almost criminal to disturb. Competent, confident and audaciously inspirational, Head Chef Soyful Alom and his team are masters of the art of modern Indian cookery at its very, very best.
- Wheelchair access ,
- Free wifi available ,
- Gluten free options ,
- Baby changing facilities