A few years ago, my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary and decided to toast the occasion at Mint at The Taj Hotel in St George's Square. That night, we enjoyed tasty starters and shared a delicious mixed grill but we both were surprised and delighted when the attentive staff spoiled us with a complimentary "happy anniversary" plate of treats for dessert.
The newly revamped terrace at Mint Restaurant.
Since then I have never forgotten Mint, so when the opportunity presented itself to go view the restaurant’s newly refurbished terrace, I was keen to take a walk down memory lane and to see if anything else has changed in the meantime.
Location, location, location
Situated conveniently in the heart of the Cape Town CBD, Mint offers diners an intimate space to enjoy delectable business lunches, drinks and supper with friends or colleagues after work or, like us, celebrating those precious milestones.
Situated right next to a room where they used to mint coins, hence the name, the restaurant (which is part of the Taj Hotel) is built on a site originally occupied by the old Reserve Bank and walks out onto St Georges Mall – its terrace, the perfect setting for those looking for a spot to peacefully observe the hustle and bustle, vibrant, pulsing energy of the Mother City.
Inside, the golden, glamorous light fixtures immediately catch one’s eye as well as the impressive floor-to-ceiling wine rack housing a variety of delicious local wine. Classic wooden tables and chairs compliment the soft shade of green paint on the walls and add to the intimate, romantic ambience.
I thought it was kismet when our waiter led us to the exact same table we sat at last time right next to the revamped terrace. We gazed out at the space, which is updated with comfortable, modern patio furniture and cantilever umbrellas that offers a decent amount of shade without the hassle and annoyance of a centre pole. Unlike before, the area has been cornered off by white wooden trellis panels to provide more privacy and boasts a functional dark wooden deck that adds to the resort-like look and feel the terrace now reflect.
Table for two
We were treated to a freshly-made sushi platter that paired well with the ice-cold glasses of L’Ormarins Brut Classique Rosé sparkling wine, which we were offered by our host, Athi Mbemba who is the assistant director of food and beverage at Mint. Next, Chef Mark Lawson personally, served us Tandoori for Two, a dish made for sharing and presented in a copper tandoori pot with hot coals burning underneath.
Basted beef sirloin, basil marinated prawns, chicken chermoula, lamb teriyaki meatballs and the most delicious apple and plum pork belly we have tasted in a very long time, were generously cubed on copper skewers and sizzled as it was placed on the table before us. (Note that normally guests have a selection of three items when ordering this from the Table for Two menu.)
For dessert, a silver three-tier serving tray filled with sweet tea-time treats were served to share. There were mini chocolate brownies and white chocolate truffles, petite coconut ice squares and lightly toasted meringue kisses, which I thought was the perfect way to end off yet another memorable visit to Mint.
The new terrace sure does impress but, ultimately, it’s the restaurant’s charm, scrumptious meals and fantastic service that stays with you.
Juanita Pienaar was a guest of Mint Restaurant and RedLip PR. You can view their menu here and their Table for Two specials here.
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