The Mint

1414 Douglas St. in Victoria, BC, Canada 250-386-MINT

Last night was a close friend's stagette party and we couldn't have picked a better place to start the evening. The Mint is a great place to drink, unfortunately it’s a restaurant. Yes, I’m being flip, it’s not that bad. In fact I really like going there. Their selection of beverages, including wine is good and I really like the atmosphere and service. I just wish they’d re-design the menu.

The menu has a Nepali theme, not all of it though, just some of it. Plenty of curries and the like. I love curry. I don’t love their curry. It's good – completely adequate, but if you’re going to be a non-south Asian restaurant that features curry, my opinion is that it has to be outstanding.

When the Mint first opened they had great antipasti platters, with fixed selections or a build your own option. I liked this idea. The selection of ingredients was good, with a number of interesting or slightly unusual choices.  They’ve done away with that of course, and reduced the antipasti to four choices all of which are very similar to one another and somewhat pedestrian. We had the Mediterranean platter ($12.95) last night – hummus, tzaztiki, olives (mostly kalamata with a few Moroccan sun dried), some dolmades (from a tin), sliced tomato and bread. It reminded me of something I’d throw together if guests dropped by unexpectedly. 

On the bright side, we ordered the Wildfire tapenade ($9) starter. It was very good, a nice warm appetizer with tapenade, tomato and chevre on baguette rounds. I had a similar dish once before with tapenade and tuna, which was also very good.

The Mint is a great place to go – I like the atmosphere a lot, I just wish they’d work on their culinary competencies.

 Reviewed: August 5, 2005