I was tasked with finding a restaurant to suit my somewhat fussy culinary requirements and ensure my partner Wes was satisfied with my choice of dining experience at the weekend. He is as adventurous when it comes to eating as I am fussy; I’m afraid to say. I know what I like and I like what I know. He, on the other hand, is all about finding new foods and restaurants to enjoy and wouldn’t think twice about ordering something off a menu that would raise at least one of my eyebrows.
It’s his Birthday you see. On April 26th (tomorrow) he turns 32.
Initially, we were planning on going to Bath for a meal, however, due to logistical restraints, decided to venture into our home city of Bristol.
The problem with Wes and I when we say we’re going to out of an evening, is the fact that often we end up on something of a bar crawl and attention turns away from food and focuses more on the amount of booze we can shove down our necks for the night. Classy eh?
Not Saturday night, however. I was staunch in my opinion that we should go for a nice meal. It’s not something we often are able to do sans child. And as you’ll discover from a post I’ll be writing a little later, dining with my ‘Twoligan’ is far from an enjoyable experience.
My best friend is someone who has good taste when it comes to food and restaurants, so I gave her a little text on Saturday morning asking for some recommendations.
The Mint Room. She advised. Instantly a lightbulb went off in my head. I’d recalled Wes wanting to visit the high end Indian restaurant a year or so ago but wasn’t hopeful that at this short notice, I’d be able to secure a table.
I had a browse on their website and noticed they have an online reservation page which is handy. I requested a table for 20:45 (so we could have a few drinks beforehand of course) and was over the moon to receive e-mail confirmation of my booking a few minutes later. I’d heard through the trusty grapevine that The Mint Room is very popular so while attempting to book a table, I wasn’t hopeful I’d be successful.
Glad rags on and bellies empty we headed to our local pub for a quick drink before making the journey into town.
Now, Wes didn’t know where we were going. However, he has this rather irritating habit of always trying to guess surprises. Tomorrow when I hand him his Birthday presents, rather than opening them as soon as he receives them, he will take time to cop a feel of each gift and tell me what he thinks they are. HIGHLY ANNOYING.
He was doing this with the restaurant choice on the way into town. In fact, he even guessed it. However, luckily for me I pulled out my best poker face and steered him off course by advising him we were going to be enjoying American cuisine tonight. Stumped, he soon shut up.
After a few drinks and hotfooting it to a taxi with mere minutes to spare, I whispered in the drivers’ ear, our destination and sat back in the cab excited my surprise hadn’t been spoiled.
It was fab seeing how pleased Wes looked when we pulled up outside The Mint Room, ravenous at this point.
The Mint Room is a fabulous restaurant and bigger than I imagined. The décor is superb and the waiting staff incredibly amenable. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys.
We had a lovely table towards the back of the restaurant and Wes spent some time admiring the various old bicycles that hung on the wall. Prompting the MD of the restaurant to come over and explain a story to Wes regarding how they came to be decorative.
Service here is fantastic. Truly fantastic. There was a table of diners to the side of us who arrived shortly after we did. They were ready to order their meal before us, however, the waiter noticing we were now ready as he was about to see to them, explained to them and us that he would be prioritising us.
The popadom’s and sauces to enjoy while we were waiting for our starters were delicious and only 15 minutes into our Mint Room experience, we knew we were in for something of a treat.
I ordered a lemon sole starter which was beautifully presented. Wes ordered a Quail dish. I must’ve been tipsy at this point as I opted to try some of his Quail which is most unlike me. I can report it was very tasty.
Delicious starter of Lemon Sole.
For mains I had Masala Lamb shank and Wes had a chicken dish. I was presented with an absolutely huge hunk of lamb which literally fell off the bone. The sauce was divine and the Peshwari Naan bread we shared was probably the best I’ve ever tasted. Wes thoroughly enjoyed his main and because my eyes are often bigger than my belly, he left enough room to polish off my lamb.
I’d happened to mention, when booking the table that morning, the occasion was a special one as it was my partners Birthday. They had taken note of this and once our mains had been cleared away brought an absolutely gorgeous looking dessert over, complete with an edible Happy Birthday message and 2 complimentary cocktails.
I’m ashamed, very ashamed to admit that at this point I was so full up (I’d undone the zip on my jumpsuit!!) I couldn’t manage any more than a mouthful of the cocktail and the dessert. However, the small amount I did have was amazing. Wes certainly enjoyed it. I’m doubly ashamed to admit I also left ¾ of a glass of wine too. This goes some way to show just how full up I really was!!
If all that wasn’t enough, our waiter (who I have to say was so friendly and attentive) treated us to some petit fours that came in the form of some dark chocolate and a mint leaf encased in white chocolate. Just gorgeous.
Bill paid and me looking about 6 months pregnant upon exit, the Managing Director asked us if we had enjoyed our meal and shook each of our hands as we left, he also took the time to explain the set up of the restaurant and how he came to run the The Mint Room. A real sign of just how personable each person who works at The Mint Room really is.
I really am SO pleased I managed to get a table at The Mint Room. In all honesty, I cannot fault one single thing about this restaurant. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right and I’m already looking forward to my next visit. I might just have to starve myself for a couple of days beforehand and perhaps wear something of the elasticated variety!