Formerly a bank, The Mint (Get it? Bank, money, mint”¦) is part restaurant, part lounge. We were recently invited to visit The Mint to try some of the menu items and to check out the newly remodeled location.
If you’ve driven down Camelback just east of Scottsdale Road, you’ve probably noticed The Mint’s huge patio. What you can’t see from the road is how cool The Mint looks inside. Colorful lights, lounge seating and an eclectic mix of house music help The Mint straddle the divide between restaurant and lounge. One of the first things that I noticed when we were seated was that the music was at the perfect level to be enjoyed, and I could still carry a conversation with my fiancé during dinner.
Since we were invited guests, I let the waitress make recommendations for what we should drink and eat. I started with the Life Savings martini made with Ultimat Vodka, St. Germain, basil, fresh strawberries, lemon and ginger soda. Perfectly sweet, and I could tell that fresh strawberries were used by how fragrant the drink was.
While waiting for our food to come out, we were mesmerized by a fiber optics light show going on over the main bar. 3D images of fish swimming, people dancing and a globe spinning to the music was pretty entertaining. I also noticed a huge table in the middle of the restaurant that would be perfect for a group celebration.
The menu at The Mint is crafted by Executive Chef Johnny Chu and consists of pan-Asian cuisine, presented on small plates as tapas. The menu items that we tried were the Soup Gyoza, House Dynamite Chicken, Sugar Cane Pork and Hong Kong Flat Rice. Soup Gyoza has always been one of my favorites so I was excited to try it at The Mint. The pork dumplings were just as delicious as I expected them to be with a hint of ginger. The House Dynamite Chicken made with bell peppers, pineapple, carrot and mushrooms in a sweet spicy sauce was large enough to be a meal. It was a little spicy for my fiancé, but perfect for me (I love spicy food). The Hong Kong Flat Rice is one of the vegetarian items on The Mint’s menu and was very fragrant with flat rice noodles in a brown garlic sauce with vegetables. I had never seen flat rice noodles before. They were like little quarters of pasta, on purpose perhaps (quarters, money, The Mint”¦)? The last item was probably our favorite. The Sugar Cane Pork is made with ground, seasoned pork, formed around a sugar cane stick then rolled in panko crumbs, baked, then flash fried. These sticks of porky goodness are served with a pineapple ginger sauce. Yum.
The Mint is the perfect place to go for a celebration dinner with friends, a pre-evening out dinner or if you’re in the mood for a dinner with someone special. We’ll be going back soon for that Sugar Cane Pork!
The Mint is located at 7373 East Camelback Road in Scottsdale. See more photos from our dinner at The Mint on Flickr.