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New Indian/Wine Bar in Berkeley

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Thanks to everyone who responded to my post about where to eat post Berkeley rep performance. We were trying to decided between Fonda Solana and Cfe at Chez panisse and saw a new place 'Mint Leaf' that describes itself as Indian Bistro/Wine Bar at 1513 Shattuck - just near cafe at chez panisse. It looked good so we tried it and it is good.
It's recently opened and the Indian owner imports his spices directly from India - his own family makes the lime pickle. We tried Indian sald - carrots, cucumber, red onion with great dressing of lemon juice, cumin seed, mustard seed, poppy seed. Prawn Tandoori - good sized prawns , classic tandoori but servedo n grilled endive and onion which were good. Pakoras - fine nothing special. Aloo Saag served with very spicy dal - light fresh and pungently spiced
and very good mango kulfi for dessert
All of the main courses are priced 13$- $18
The wine bar manager offers a great selection by the glass and also sells by the bottle both for restaurant and retail. he has an amazing selection of lesser known wines and really knows his stuff.
Overall very nice and they are open late Serving til 10 on Fri and Sat
also have to go menu

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  1. Thanks for the post. I will have to check this place out next time I find myself in Berkeley.

    1. Great post. Have you been to Ajanta? If so, how do the two compare?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Morton the Mousse

        Are not the owners of Mint Leaf the same as Khana Peena? (or maybe I'm mistaken).

        1. re: lmnopm

          You are correct, though Khana Peena doesn't feature organic ingredients.

          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Have you tried Mint Leaf? Taste left such a bad ... taste ... in my mouth I would have to hear a number of good reports before considering it since it is the same owners. There was a recent lukewarm East Bay Express review. My remarks with the Place link got split off ... but the review is in this link
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/507445

            -----
            Mint Leaf
            1513 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 34957

            1. re: rworange

              Haven't tried ajanta so not able to compare
              just read the express review - have to say they need some editing help big time but to address the issues they raise
              depends on which table your'e at we were by the wall so had enough privacy . true if you were in the middle you could probably be overheard but that's the case in so many places i'm not sure i'd make such a big issue of it. then i have a quiet voice !
              astringent ? not our food but we've only been there once. food was probably a shade more fusion than indian but indian enough to retain its character and I liked the nuance
              Being wino we both loved the opportunity to try interesting wines and esp see how they meshed with indian which is very rare in the average indian restaurant
              will bei nterested to hear more reviews

      2. We tried the late-night (9pm-midnight daily) menu. Papadums ($2 for two) were excellent. Vegetable samosas ($3 for two) were better than average. Chicken korma, chicken tikka masala, lamb saag, and lamb vindaloo ($5 each, maybe half an entree portion, each with rice on the side) were all fine though bland and undersalted to my taste. Nothing was noticeably spicy, not even the vindaloo.

        That was plenty of food for the $25 tab, and it was nice to get the variety. The late-night menu has some god prices on wine, too, as low as $5 glass / $17 a bottle. The space has been remodeled, those weird bars and stools are gone and it's all two- and four-tops, very pleasant. Nice mellow Verve-type jazz, Shirley Horne or something like that.