More about Mint in Chapel Hill
Decided to start a new thread on this place, as the old one got a bit off-track:
Lulusmom, Lulu and I visited earlier this week (Lulu is ADORABLE, btw!).
What we had:
Vegetable and chicken samosas
Those little potato pancake things (can’t remember the name, aloo ki tikki, maybe? They looked a lot like this: http://flickr.com/photos/58601723@N00...)
I had palak paneer for my main
Lulusmom will have to tell you more about the eggplant dish she had
She’ll also have to tell you about the naan, since I didn’t have any
Gajar halva, a carrot dessert, which I had to Google to figure out! (the third one down on this page - http://indianfoodsite.com/desserts.htm). We didn’t order this; it was a comp, which I thought was very sweet (literally and figuratively)! Really too sweet for my tastes, but I did appreciate the opportunity to try something I probably never would have ordered on my own.
Now I don’t know much about Indian food, so I’m afraid I can’t offer an educated opinion about it, but I can say I enjoyed it.
The vegetable samosas were spicier than the chicken ones and had a distinct curry flavor to them. I preferred the chicken, though – while I couldn’t pick out any distinct flavors (and that's probably one reason why I liked them - the ingredients all seemed to work in harmony and become something greater together), they had a very pleasant savory taste and texture to them that I really enjoyed. I would definitely order them again.
The potato pancake was just OK to me – I’ve always found these sorts of things to be rather bland in many cuisines, so these were a little better than average, being slightly spicy. But not something I think I’d tend to order on my own.
When I ordered my palak paneer, I was asked if I wanted it hot or medium, and I chose medium. Glad I did because it was pretty spicy – enough to make my nose run, anyway! Lulusmom told me my dish was spicier than hers, even though she told the waiter that she wanted her eggplant dish spicy. So I guess ‘spicy’ might be relative to the dish here. I would say that my dish was good but not great – this is one thing I’ve had multiple times in different places, so I can rate it at least in terms of personal preference. I think this one was maybe a little too heavy on the cumin. I’ve got some left over in the fridge to eat for lunch, so I’ll see if that opinion still holds up. This is one of those dishes that I think actually gets better if allowed to sit for a day or two.
The restaurant itself is very nice and definitely worth a try, I think. The goat curry mentioned in the old thread sounds intriguing, and I also love lamb, so I'll have to give those a go for dinner sometime.
Thanks for posting such a good, thorough evaluation of our lunch. I'd actually say that our mains were about equally spicy (I got the bharta), but since I had ordered mine extra spicy, was surprised at how spicy RPs normal spicing was. That said, I'm not always a fan of palak paneer, and thought it was one of the better versions I've tried. It was an enormous amount of food, we both ended up taking most of our mains home with us. I'm still not a huge fan of their naan, but Lulu enjoyed the heck out of it (and thanks for the adorable line ... I think now I owe you drinks!). I ditto the comments on the carrot dessert.
I think we were the only people there who had ordered off the menu instead of getting the buffet. Lunch was only semi-busy, but I'd say not too bad for the time/date (an early Monday lunch). I checked out the buffet and it didn't look bad, as far as these things go - I'm just not usually a fan of buffets. But there was a good variety of stuff.
Finally went by and took a look at their menu and was a bit disappointed in that there wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The same ole tikkas, tandooris, (blank) with spinach...the one dish that looked a little interesting is the Nargisi Kofta, described as grated vegetable dumplings cooked in a velvety sauce garnished with dry fruits. This is similar to a dish my mom cooks so I know how labor intensive and time consuming it is to make it. At $10 it is a real bargain. The restaurant is attractive, if a bit sparse, and the food in the buffet trays looked good so I will definitely give this place a try.
I ate dinner there last night; the food was really good to me, much better than most Indian restaurants I've eaten at (although I'm not an Indian food connoisseur unfortunately). They are a bit pricey, however, in my opinion. I had a vegetarian thali, and it was $17 (the meat thali was $19). The thali had a lot of food (I was stuffed!), plus it came with a small rice pudding. A sitar player was playing, and he was good, and set the mood. The interior of the restaurant is attractive, and the staff is good and properly attentive.