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Village Food & Drink

Mint condition

Posted on February 21 2009 at 1:46:09 0 comments

Stuffed pepper

Sally Oldaker discovers a world of choice at The Mint Lounge in Bromsgrove.

Having visited The Mint Lounge twice before and enjoyed the delights of the Tuesday night buffet, it was now time to sample the a la carte menu – and what a choice there was!

In addition to the classic favourites, there is an array of more unusual dishes and specials from across the Indian subcontinent and beyond, not to mention the many and varied sides and sundries.

After we’d settled ourselves in the comfy and stylish leather chairs and admired the minty-themed decor (my two companions had not yet had the pleasure of dining here), we were able to peruse the menu at leisure over papadoms and drinks, the latter brought along with us since The Mint Lounge is unlicensed.

The ever-attentive staff were on hand to provide glassware and open our wine (although our choice of screw-top bottles negated the second action…one of the advantages of a bring-your-own venue is that you can, if desired, make a saving on booze).

The crisp papadoms were served with a delightful tray of accompaniments: thick, sweet mango chutney, refreshing raitha, onion salad and an excellent red-coloured pickle of some sort (we did mean to check what it was so we can have it in the future).

After demolishing that little lot, we had finally reached a decision on starters. I picked the stuffed pepper while one companion chose sheek kebab, the other opting to save room for the mains.

The succulent, tangy pepper was packed with deliciously juicy minced lamb, flavoured with various spices, and the twin kebabs also proved extremely tasty –  both dishes were also beautifully presented, with the legend “Mint Lounge” piped across the plates in sauce!

When it came to the main dishes, my fellow diners could not be persuaded to abandon their usual favourites – chicken balti and chicken biryani respectively – but this was a useful way to gauge The Mint Lounge’s performance against other eateries, and it certainly came up to scratch.

The balti featured tender chicken in a robust, not too spicy sauce, while the colourful biryani was particularly flavoursome with the veg served at just the right texture.

I had chosen the Afghan chana, one of the chef’s specials, and was very impressed: the tasty chunks of lamb, soft chickpeas and sour-ish lemony taste contributed to an unusual and enjoyable dish, served with fluffy pilau rice.

The large portions meant we’d slightly over-ordered on side dishes, but it was great to sample these delicious extras. At the staff’s suggestion we had picked the chana sag, a fabulous dish of chickpeas and spinach which went perfectly with my main course, while the smooth tarka dhall was also excellent.

The whale-sized naan breads (one plain, one keema and cheese) were perfect, with one companion going so far as to say the keema and cheese variety was the best she’d ever had.

Sadly we didn’t have room for dessert (there’s a choice of ice creams and Indian puds), although one diner managed to fit in a cappuccino, and the trio of After Eight mints at the end was most welcome.

All in all the meal had been a great success, and my two friends were definitely converted to The Mint Lounge cause – we shall return in the near future, and I look forward to sampling more of the specials on offer.

* The Mint Lounge is open every evening from 5.30pm till late, and also offers a takeaway service – free delivery on orders over £12 within a 3-mile radius, or 10% discount on collection orders over £15.

The Mint Lounge
33 Birmingham Road, Bromsgrove
01527 558900

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