Sunday, 10 October 2010

Restaurant Review: Café Mint, Surry Hills

On a rainy Thursday night I stepped off Crown Street and into Café Mint and I haven't been able to stop enthusing about this place since. The restaurant was full, so we were seated at the bar to have drink and look at the menu while we waited for a free table.

The décor doesn't give you any clues, but when you look at the menu, Café Mint is definitely a Moroccan restaurant. The friendly and knowledgeable staff were happy to answer all of my questions about some of the different dishes on the menu. They clearly knew their stuff and I wondered if they might be the owners.

The side dish of spiced chickpeas, spinach and dates was heavenly! Easily the favourite dish of the evening the chickpeas were perfectly tender, the spices gave a rounded flavour and the dates a lovely finish of sweetness. I've got some dried chickpeas in my cupboard and I'm definitely going to try and recreate this dish, although I'm not sure if I'll succeed.

Next came a selection from the mechoui. The mixed grill brings you a selection of ras el hanout chicken, merguez sausage, lamb kofta and grilled steak. It was a nice selection and a great way to taste virtually the entire grill offering on a single plate. I don't think the grill was cooked over charcoal as there wasn't quite the smokiness that you get from cooking over coals.

Our main course was rabbit, sucuk, olivers and bulgar wheat. Unfortunately the rabbit was a bit dry and I couldn't help jealous glances to the duck tagine with lentils at the next table which looked fantastic.

I have an idle dream that I'd like to open my own cafe / restaurant one day. Café Mint comes pretty close to what I'd try to achieve. A small place with a great atmosphere, good service, friendly and knowledgeable staff. Most importantly they had reasonably priced, lovely food. It's not trying to be pretentious, just an honest local joint.

Cafe Mint on Urbanspoon


  1. Such beautiful looking food. Love Moroccan! The duck tagine sounds great.

  2. Hey Ritchie, loving the new photography. Much better dude.

  3. Thanks. I'm beginning to learn a lot more about my camera settings and how to control them. White balance makes such a lot of difference!

    Also trying to think about composition a lot more. Still lots of work to do though!

  4. That chickpea dish DOES sound so delicious! I love dates and spinach as well so that would be just perfect!

  5. Ever since you told me about this place last Friday I have been thinking about it ever since. Loving the look of the chickpeas!