A long overdue return to La Mint brought back memories for me last week. I had a wonderful evening sitting in the same chair you did ms_victoria no less! Needless to say, they remembered us.
The surroundings have lasted the four years since opening very well, the place is beautifully lit, with a huge water feature.
The superb French Vietnamese cuisine here banished the last gasp of winter from my palate. On the left is a Mint and Lemongrass Mule ($15). Now I've heard wind of mules only being mules if it's based on ginger beer... I reckon they taste great with ginger ale too, a little softer if you ask me.
Bright, sweet and fruity, a Saigon 9 ($15) cocktail endears with vibrant colour and fresh mint.
Matching it stride for stride, huge Mango Prawns ($26) look and taste superb, set off by the first ripe, fleshy mango cheeks of summer. I'm of course jumping out of order, but this really is the perfect place to remind your mouth that summer is just round the corner!
As a complimentary amuse bouche we tried the Papillotes aux deux Fromages ($8) which were crispy wonton skins filled with Camembert and cream cheese, I prefered the Camembert. They're getting fans so they will be on the new menu, coming very soon for the warmer weather.
Enoki Beef ($12) sees finely sliced scotch fillet wrapped around enoki and shallots. They’re lovely...
...but when the Escargot à La Mint ($15) arrive, I am captivated by dipping my crusty roll into the tasty blend of baked snails with chilli, tomato and butter. If you are a bit of a novice at snails, you use the tong like objects to hold the shells, then with the prong you tip the contents into the groove the shell is resting in. The “high class” Pascal Bouchard Chablis ($52) from France complements them perfectly.
From then it’s a blur of great dishes, including the lightest Oxtail à la Bourguignonne ($25) in town.
Sensual slivers of braised Basil Eggplant ($18) are well balanced by garlic and chilli.
The fresh and fabulous La Mint Pudding ($12). I’ve pined for this dessert since having it here nearly four years ago; bitter melon makes an awesome green jelly that is cooling to the mouth.
Owner/Chef George Lai’s thirty years of French and Vietnamese cooking experience really shines.
Chilli use overall is restrained, but George’s sublime home-made island chilli sauce means you might NEED that pudding. Little dips!
Whilst I was more than happy with the pudding, we got a little trial of the Flambe Ice Cream ($17) and it is great. Think coconut crust, and of course fire on the table!
Another wonderful night at this restaurant, makes me look forward to the next time...
62-64 Riley Street, East Sydney
Ph: (02) 9331 1818