Jul 31

Gomezadams and I discovered Mint and Mustard several years ago. Consequently I am actually rather surprised this is the first review we have written. We were so excited by the concept of “Redefining Indian Cuisine” and the resulting fabulous meals that we had there.  When we first dined at Mint and Mustard, the Head Chef was Anand George who then moved on to his own restaurant, Purple Poppadum. We went back to Mint and Mustard after Chef George left; at that time it was still the same menu that he had created. The meal we had didn’t disappoint but we did wonder would Mint and Mustard just keep to that menu or would they find another brilliant chef to continue their concept of “redefining Indian cuisine”. 

Gomezadams and I were recently invited to attend a complimentary taster evening at Mint and Mustard. We were excited to go as their new award winning Executive Chef Pramod Nair and his team created a special seafood and fish menu to have its debut in June. For our special Chaakara fish and seafood taster evening we sampled about 10 dishes. Our starters included Scallops Thengapal: Hand Dived Scottish Scallops simmered in lemon zest flavoured coconut milk, Kekada Sirke: Soft shell crab in garam masala marination, batter fried, Chemmeen Porichathu: Shrimps marinated in chilli, shallots & curry leaf grilled & served with mustard & coconut sauce and steamed Salmon Cake.
All 4 dishes were stunning. The scallops were so sweet and enhanced by the delicate sauce. The prawns were succulent and meaty and the salmon was moist and fragrant from the beautiful blend of exotic spices. Gomezadams is not a fan of salmon so I sat there, like a cat in a fishmonger, hoping to snatch his salmon. Alas, he ate the whole thing with delight, much to my chagrin. My favourite dish was the soft shell crabs! Sweet but spicy, soft but crunchy!  
This was followed by King Fish Steak Vattichathu Masala: fried steaks of King Fish tossed in shallots & tomatoes served with salad and potato cake. If I remember correctly, Chef said that he used kokum in this dish which is a fruit native to southern India. It has the same souring qualities as tamarind and is often used on fish curries in that region. This dish had beautifully intense flavours and a real wow factor. Being a firm, moist and meaty fish it takes well to the deep seasoning. The fresh green salad and potato cake were a perfect balance for this dish. 
This was not the end of our meal! Next up was the Queens Silver Pomfret which is a recreation of the dish Chef Pramod prepared for the Queen during her visit to Kerala in 1997.
We also has Pearl Spot fish which is a freshwater fish from Kerala. It was coated in a shallot and tamarind sauce, wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled. This was a subtle and beautiful dish. The Pearl Spot is a sweet and creamy fish and the flavour is enhanced with the tartness of the tamarind. 
Another one of my favourites was the Nandu Masala (crab masala). The crab was earthy but tasted of the sea. The masala included roasted coconut and spices but they did not overpower the crab instead they intensified the wonderful crab flavour.  
Our last 2 fish dishes were Konju Manga Curry (tiger prawns simmered in fennel, coconut and a raw mango sauce) and Mixed Seafood Pachadi (cod, monk fish shrimp, squid and mussels cooked in a pineapple and coconut sauce). The tiger prawn curry again was delicious but the mixed seafood was too sweet for me.
Dessert was a tongue in cheek trio of ice creams, comprising Jackfruit, Rose & Vetiver and finally a Mint & Mustard. The jackfruit was definitely the best and something I would order again. The rose and vetiver was just too perfumed to be enjoyable. The mint and mustard, well let’s just say it’s a work in progress…….
What the Chef did that night was show us a beautiful myriad of ways fish and seafood could be prepared. Some dishes were subtle and delicate and others were intense and spicy. There was something for every palate at the table. Each dish was exquisitely prepared with great skill at using the variety of spices and to bring out the best of each variety of fish and shell fish. If you are a fish lover, you will not go wrong with any of these dishes. Of course, Mint and Mustard of course also serves meat dishes…..
134 Whitchurch Road,
CF14 3LZ
T: 02920 620333
Disclaimer: We were invited to attend by Mint & Mustard via their PR company and as such the meal was provided on a complementary basis.

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