Indian cuisine is at the brink of a revolution. From innovative molecular gastronomy that’s giving it an unprecedented twist, to isolating traditional Indian tastes and introducing them as elements in completely reinvented dishes, Indian food is finally breaking away from the popularised Curry - Chicken Tikka - Butter Chicken mould. Several generously talented chefs are the forepersons of this exciting revolution. One such trailblazer is the always delightful Chef Pradeep Khullar. Onto his next exciting chapter after the popular Jodhpur, Chef Pradeep has moved to Mint Leaf DXB to give the gorgeous restaurant, a much awaited culinary boost. With a completely refreshed, versatile menu, Chef Pradeep’s creations infuse influences that range from Japan to traditional recipes from the Indian grass-roots.
His strongest offerings from the tasting menu were in the appetisers and starters. The Wasabi Poori was an explosion of contrasting tastes with the perfect crisp bite to it. The Crisp Greens with Avocado and Mango Salsa had enough going for it to induce a foodgasm in anyone’s taste buds. I’d never expect a starter made of crispy leaves to have that effect on a modern homosapien! The classic Seekh Kebab was reinvented with Duck meat and coupled with Plum and Chevre Mousse, making it a stunner to the palate. The Tandoori Chicken Khurchan with Roomali Pancakes – served shawarma style - wasn’t too far behind either.
While the mains had a miss with an overtly complex Bhaji Ragout, the Red Snapper with Mangalorean Curry was divine and so was the Dal Makhani, the best I’ve had in recent memory. The Makhani felt like a warm hug on a cold, terrible day.
The desserts had a diverse offering. From Peanut Butter & Chocolate Nougat to Matcha Icecream with infused vodka and my personal favourite, the Lotus Mess, a chaotic sweet surprise. I can comfortably say that Mint Leaf DXB is on its way to becoming one of the top modern Indian restaurants in the city and I have my bets placed on Chef Pradeep’s vision for it.