Serving fine Indian cuisine with fresh European influences in the
heart of London's Piccadilly, this high profile restaurant is one of
the largest and most celebrated in its sector - and we were there from
SINCE opening in May 2003, Mint Leaf has become one of London's most
fashionable dining venues with its stunning design and unique approach
to gourmet Indian cuisine.
Sited in the basement of a former banking hall just off Trafalgar
Square, the restaurant's inherent darkness is maximized with ingenious
use of colour, texture and light creating an atmospheric cocoon far
removed from the metropolis outside.
Dominating the front of house is a 16 metre long cocktail bar and
a tandoor cooking area, used primarily for breads and kebabs, adding
a sense of theatre to the on-looking 200-cover restaurant.
Working closely with Indian cuisine specialist, K K Anand (previously
with Bar Spice and The Cinnamon Club) Nelson Catering Equipment's brief
was to create a complete restaurant kitchen from a single, open area
of 100 square metres. Anand's philosophy is to marry the best of freshly
available British and French ingredients with long established, traditional
Indian cooking methods thus drawing on a culture to create something
new rather than attempting to replicate it.
Cooking styles can vary greatly throughout India, but with the comprehensive
capabilities of the 15 chefs, each a regional specialist, the possibilities
are endless. Therefore, it was crucial that the restaurant kitchen
design should accommodate all the equipment needed for each to explore
his full repertoire with no restrictions on both planned cooking and
future menu development.
After much deliberation a 5 metre long central island was devised
which contained everything from gas ovens, a griddle, salamander grills,
a Chinese-style wok cooker, 18 open burners and two charcoal-fired
Nelson took Mint Leaf's specification (less the tandoors) to Falcon
Catering Equipment with the view that an entire, bespoke, cooking suite
created by one key manufacturer offers many advantages to the client
such as a uniformity of operational features and easily-managed and
efficient maintenance and service agreements.
Following a very smooth and successful kitchen installation by Nelson,
Mint Leaf now offers three, carefully devised menus; the 'house' menu
that is available every day at lunch and dinner, a fixed price pre-theatre
menu of quick to cook dishes and an extensive bar menu available right
through until midnight. In addition, a specially created dish is produced
each day to enable KK to gauge customer reaction to new concepts and