When my parents were in town we decided to try Mint and Indian restaurant on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. We made a reservation for 7:00pm on a Saturday night and we are so glad that we did. The place was packed! We waited a few minutes as they cleared off a table. The wait and people sitting at the bar continued to grow as we ate. The room is nice but basic with cream walls and mission style wooden chairs and white table clothes. There is a sitar player near the front door who adds nice ambient music.
We started with Assorted Vegetarian Platter which included a Samosa, Aloo Tikki, Vegetable Palora, and Cheese Pakora. The samosa skin was a bit thick and bready and the potato filling was a little bland. The cheese pakora (made with paneer) was delicious! I really liked the use of the chick pea flour batter since it added a rich, nutty flavor to the paneer.
For dinner my parents had a few vegetarian dishes. They tried the Daal Makhani which are red lentils cooked in butter and creamy sauce with fresh spices, the Nargisi Kofta which are grated vegetable dumplings cooked in a cream sauce garnished with dry fruits, and the Gobi Tawa Masala which is cauliflower cooked with potatoes and cumin with special home made pounded spices. All of the dishes were very well prepared and tasty. The Gobi Tawa dish was the most straightforward with a simple cumin preparation. The Daal Makhani was very satisfying with a nice creamy texture. The standout of these dishes was by far the Nargisi Kofta. The sauce was lovely!! It was rich and creamy with a hint of nuttiness and spiciness. It was an excellent balance of flavors. Often these types of dishes are too creamy and rich. The spice and nuts in this version nicely balanced the entire dish! The kofta (vegetable dumplings) too were light and delicate without being dense or breaking apart in the sauce.
I ordered the Seekh Kebab which is minced meat skewered and roasted in the Tandoor. The kebabs were excellent! The meat was well spiced with herbs and perfectly well cooked with a nice crust on the kebab but the meat inside was tender and moist. G ordered the Raan which is a leg of lamb marinated in ginger, garlic and whole spices cooked on a slow fire. We expected some nice pieces of lamb but mind you they bring out an entire leg of lamb! It was huge! It is served in a cream sauce, very similar to the typical tikka masala sauce. The lamb was delicious!! The meat was incredibly tender and nice spiced by the marinade.
We finished our meal with two Kulfis (Indian ice cream). We tried the pistachio and the mango kulfi. Both were very rich, made with full fat cream and milk. But, more importantly the flavor was wonderful! The mango was full of mango puree and had nice mango sweetness.
Overall, our dinner at Mint was wonderful! The food was delicious and the service attentive. We will surely be back for a nice Indian meal.
504 W. Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516