meet Modern Dallas
|Tucked into the shopping strip along Oak
Lawn Avenue just north of Wycliffe, (that’s
the Highland Park spelling) is The Mint. It’s
the latest addition to the modern food
fusion scene in Dallas. Unlike a more
traditional Thai restaurant, you will find no
kitschy décor, no fringed lamps restaurant
Asian Mint on Forest Lane, this place
|The atmosphere in the Mint is a contrast to the original location. Here the feeling is
cool and serene with a stylish edge all its own. The furnishings are sleek and simple,
with rows of comfy padded half-booths lining the walls. Wall decorations and
panels are made from real Thai silk in soothing cool colors that give the room a
calming effect. The closeness that would seem to be a liability in the Dallas area
serves to bring customers together in a shared experience. A busy evening at The
Mint is almost like dining with a room full of friends, really cool friends!
|The music on the night I visited was very ultra-lounge and the retro tunes gave the room
a nice romantic flavor, but here like the Asian Mint on Forest Lane, the food is the main
The food is billed as New Bangkok Cuisine. Thailand, sits at the crossroads of Southeast
Asia, and its tastes are influenced a great deal by its neighboring countries. The new
Thai fusion takes the best of other Asian styles and combines it with the unique Thai
sensibility to create something new, while retaining the
familiar basics of the country of origin.
I sat down with Nikky, who owns the restaurants with her husband. They started
just four years ago with the idea for the first restaurant, Asian Mint. Nikky wanted
to bring the real flavors of her homeland - modern Thai cuisine to Dallas.
|“People used to think of Thai food as too spicy and hot, but food served in
Bangkok is geared to a more international pallet,” Nikky said.
She went on to explain the basics of Thai cuisine. “Thai food is blend of what we
call four essences, spicy, salty, sweet and sour. Each dish has a ‘star’ essence
while still having the other three.”
At The Mint, the real focus is always on the ingredients, not just the spices. Herbs
also play a big part as well. Basil, ginger, and other herbs are paired with the
ingredients that compliment the main ingredient of each dish.
That subtle balance was evident in the dishes I sampled. The appetizer was
grilled Thai Fish Balls. This Nikky said, was typical Bangkok street food. The tasty
bite sized balls are skewered and grilled, served with a sweet and sour peanut
sauce, with just a hint of red chilies. The flavorful balls burst in the mouth and
are a wonderful way to start a meal.
The main course was Red Curry Roast Duck. Thinly sliced roast duck was stir fried
and served in a red curry sauce with fresh basil, tomatoes, pineapple, broccoli,
baby bok choy and baby corn. Each ingredient added its own complimentary
texture and flavor to the succulent duck. I will be having this dish again, and
|Though I declined desert, The Mint specializes in them. Nikky studied to be a pastry chef
before becoming a restaurateur, and unlike some Asian Green Tea Ice Cream cake. It
goes well with a cup of illy espresso from The Mint’s coffee bar.
The Mint also offers a very extensive cocktail menu with signature specialty martinis every
night and The Mint’s own Saki-jito, an Asian fusion take on the traditional Mojito. For non-
alcoholic drinks The Mint has their own Italian water purification system, with still and
sparking water available that is bottled on the premises.
The sister restaurant was rated one of the top 10 restaurant in 2005 and no doubt this new
addition will receive similar accolades. The Mint is a great way to experience modern
Bangkok in the midst of modern Dallas.
|Red Curry Roasted Duck
|Spice Hot Texas Roll
|Seared Tuna Salad
|Tuna Crisp Seared Tuna
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