London: Mint Leaf, a very modern Indian dining room

The first time I tried curry was absolutely tremendous experience. I was just a teenager living in Brazil, hungry for an exotic meal. As soon as I walked into that small cafe in the shopping mall, I was hooked. At that point, Indian cuisine wasn’t exactly a popular food choice in my country, and all I knew about curry was the instant powder packets that local street vendors sold. Even the culturally-diverse city of São Paulo didn’t have very many Indian restaurant options back then.

Once I relocated to London, I was both shocked and delighted by the enormous selection of Indian restaurants that were available. I full-heartedly welcomed the numerous dishes, colours and smells this foreign cuisine offers. As I became more comfortable with Indian food, I used favourite TV shows and cookbooks to learn some recipes on my own. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to try out some more authentic dishes when my friend Tracey invited me to visit Mint Leaf, a modern Indian dining room and bar located in Haymarket, London.

Haymarket’s Mint Leaf Restaurant was established in 2003, and paved the way for the successful Mint Leaf Restaurant Group. The business grew quite rapidly since its inception, and became London’s premiere modern Indian restaurant and bar. The decor doesn’t feel like your run-of-the-mill Indian place.  Far from it, it looks more like a funky, modern, high-end bar/nightclub and at the same time comfortable and welcoming. The clientele the evening I went were families and local suited office workers.

The bar area at Mint Leaf


The bar holds over 600 bottles and 400  different spirits


Deadly Berry

We started the evening with a cocktail from the new spring cocktail menu that perfectly paired with Chef Pandey’s menu was developed by Bar Manager Javed Sidah
and his team. The menu offers a vast selection of gin and tonics, as well as numerous fine whiskies. There were even a number of classic and exotic cocktails and “mocktails” available, created with fresh fruits, purees, and the most premium spirits at the bar. There are also plenty of beers, bubbles and fine wine selection on the menu.

The star of the cocktail menu, however, is Mint Leaf’s signature drink, the Porn Star Martini, but this time we tasted the Deadly Berry, one of the prettiest cocktail I ever had and the quirky Tikky Takka. Deadly Berry is a long and fruity drink , not overly sweet, a mix of vodka, melon liqueur and creme de mure, topped with Fresh berries and passion fruit – a real magnificent combination. Tikky Takka, was served in a fun tikky mug, a blend of spiced rum, Frangelico, banana liqueur, lime juice, chilli syrup and pineapple juice, I was expecting a bit more of a kick from the chilli. It was nice but, in my opinion, not as nice as Deadly Berry!


Deadly Berry and Tikky Takka cocktails at Mint Leaf London

Mint Leaf’s Executive Head Chef, Rajinder Pandey, is the visionary behind the restaurant’s delectable a la carte Spring menu. The chef built his vast knowledge of Indian cuisine by traveling throughout the country to study traditional Indian dishes. By using high quality ingredients and authentic flavours, Chef Pandey was able to create a menu consisting of dishes fit for the contemporary palate.

The Haymarket, London central location is perfect for film and theatre premieres, extravagant fashion shows, exhibitions at the nearby Somerset House, wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. As well as special occasions like birthdays and engagements.

The meal at Mint Leaf Haymarket

The crispy and thin Papadums and the delicious chutneys are addictive

We were offered a number of innovative, yet authentic, dishes that were inspired by techniques and flavours from all over India.

Starter (£28): Mint Leaf Grill, a very generous platter of Indian delights:
Salmon fillet seasoned with kasundi mustard, chilli and ajwain seed.
Tandoor glazed paneer tikka with carom, chilli and fenugreek.
Kebab Lamb leg spiced with ginger, chilli and mint.
Chicken supreme, kashmiri chilli marinade, lemon and yoghurt.
pan seared potato and chana dal spiced with mint chilli and ginger
Tandoori Broccoli, Grilled broccoli florets seasoned with cheese, ginger and chilli.- Amazing platter, I love the tamarind and the mild green spicy sauce
Wine from Bordeaux: 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, Deep garnet-red with  aromas of
prunes and liquorice. A robust and well-balanced wine in the palatte with
a firm, long length finish.


Murgh Tikka Makhani (£18.50)
Tandoor grilled chicken supreme in a piquant tomato, cashew nut and fenugreek sauce.
Meen Moileey(£19)
King fish and coconut stew flavoured with curry leaf, mustard and tamarind.
Jeera and Saffron Pulao Rice (£4.50)
Dal Makhani (V)(£7)
Slow cooked black lentil with tomato and butter.
Bhindi do Pyaz (V) (£7)
Cumin tempered stir fry okra with onion, tomato and mango.
a selection of  three special breads (£8.50)

a selection of three special freshly baked on the tandoori oven breads and King fish and coconut stew: the white fish was firm and flaked easily as we cut through it,  the fragrant sauce was mild with distinctive turmeric and curry flavours.

I do love okra! Cumin tempered stir fry okra with onion, tomato and mango and Slow cooked black lentil with tomato and butter- both very tasty and filling vegetarian dishes

what a delicious feast! Mint Leaf


I liked all the dishes. The vegetarian options were excellent full of flavour, textures and complexity. The Murgh Tikka Makhan was outstanding, the fenugreek gave the sauce a special character. Service was on point!

a trio of Indian desserts at Mint Leaf : from the top: Gulab Jamun, Kulfi and Ras malai

Other Mint Leaf Locations

London City

Mint Leaf Lounge was established in 2008, following the success of its Haymarket location. It is located next to the Bank of England, London, and mainly attracts a loyal clientele of corporate employees. The lounge’s extensive cuisine and cocktail menus are offered in a more intimate setting for those who value a bit more seclusion. Customers have access to a luxurious bar, champagne mezzanine, main restaurant area, and two private dining rooms. Mint Leaf Lounge is generally open Monday thru Friday for lunch and dinner, but is available for special weekend events.


Leaf of London was established fairly recently in 2014, but I was told
is quickly growing into an extremely popular location in DIFC Dubai.  I
can’t wait to try it on my travels!

Disclosure: I was a guest of Mint Leaf. All views and images ©RosanaMcPhee are my own. Apart from first image, which is © of the restaurant.

Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter and Facebook…X

Mint Leaf Restaurant & Bar
Suffolk Pl, London SW1Y 4HX, United Kingdom

  Square Meal





  1. Meeta K
    June 3, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    As an Indian I just love how my cuisine has evolved and progressed over the centuries. So many great innovative ideas. Next time in London I will have to try this out!

  2. June 3, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    Hi Mettha, I just love all the Iandian colours and flavours, I am sometimes surprised by the taste combinations, fabulous! Rx

  3. June 5, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    Have fun and I look forward to reading all about your adventure. R