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“Good Food, Pricey, Terrible Service, Distracted Servers, No Management” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mint Leaf

Mint Leaf
Ranked #156 of 338 Restaurants in Coral Gables
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Coral Gables, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good Food, Pricey, Terrible Service, Distracted Servers, No Management”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Was there twice in the last month. First trip, brought friends, they loved the food but the service was embarrassing. We gave up ordering wine. Evening ordering a beer was a challenge. Never could figure out who was serving us exactly, except the water bearer, who was consistent

Second trip, it got much worse. Went with the server recommendations, Mistake. Can't remember what I had, they weren't memorable but not bad. Same episode in ordering wine. House red was also loaded with sediment, I'm assuming sulfates but they did replace. Seemed that wine and beer orders took way to long to fill and only after you kind of stare someone down did they remember what you already told them. Interestingly no water bearer, hence no water refills. Apparently there was much staff commotion around the bar and in the parking lot. Our server left for 15 minutes and was mostly interested in a person in a car in the parking out front. Interesting 2 other tables of people arrived and independently left without ordering. People don't like to be ignored.

Both times the bill included the 18% tip. I didn't have the audacity to request a reduction but unfortunately, the restaurant has had the last $ out of me, my wife, my children and my friends. I'm not going back until new management in place.

The restaurant needs management in the front of the house. The food is actually pretty good. The bartender could have been the manager as he seemed to do nothing but polish glasses and laugh at the help. The owner who I have met several times needs to get the staff problem fixed. But he isn't around to talk to. One might have though the staff would have taken a lesson from him, he always used to work the room.

May I recommend the taxi ride to Coconut Grove, the food is almost as good but the service is entirely on another level, well worth the trip.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Todd58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami
Level Contributor
991 reviews
607 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 486 helpful votes
“Food is good, service is spotty”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

The food here is pretty darn good, but on this, my third visit, some of the same issues occurred as my second visit which reminded me why I hadn't gone back here in quite some time. When this restaurant first opened, the Miami Herald food critic raved about an appetizer which is a potato basket filled with chutneys - I had it on my first visit and it was delicious. Last night they had run out of that appetizer so that was a big disappointment as we had really been looking forward to it. The dish we had as a replacement was only average. Secondly, the waiters, while charming and friendly, are not able to do more than one thing at a time: for example, when our entree arrived I asked "please may I have some salt and pepper, please remember the cucumber raita we ordered and could I please have some more water when you have a chance" - the salt and pepper had to be requested two more times, the water the same, but we did get the raita so if you are prepared for that type of service in advance, you will enjoy the very good food! We had a Lamb Korma which was delicious and a Shrimp dish in a coconut cream sauce. Both were excellent however rice has to be paid for separately which is unusual, most Indian restaurants that I have visited include white rice with the meal. However, the entire evening was redeemed by a great dessert suggestion from our charming young waiter who suggested we try the Gajar ka halwa which was the scrummiest sweet dessert of grated carrots which had been marinated presumably in milk or coconut milk, and garnished with chopped pistachios with vanilla ice cream on top. It was fabulous and I am not someone who normally likes dessert but it is highly recommended.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mwooduk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
habbenb
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Food (back of house) was very good... service (front of house), seemed to lack an authority figure!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2012

I was turned onto this restaurant last year when I was asked to pick up take out for an extremely wealthy (with a $B) owner of a high end group of luxury hotels. He just happens to be Indian, so I figure if this is the place that he gets takeout to share with his Indian friends, it should be pretty authentic and good.

The menu can be extremely overwhelming on your first visit to an Indian restaurant due to the unique ingredients and dishes that most may have never heard of prior. The table next to me ordered first and seemed to be a novice like myself. Their (who was mine as well) waiter ALAIN, did a good job of describing some of the more popular dishes as well as some of his personal favorites.

When Alain came to take my order I explained that, I as well was new to the menu and style of food and asked him to go over the menu and make some suggestions. There was a platter I was interested in however, he steered me towards a few dishes he personally liked. The platter was considerably more $$ than what he suggested, so it was nice to see that he wasn't motivated by the the pricier items. His suggestions were:

Appetizer: MURG TIKKA HARIYALI $13.95... it showed up at the table as 5-7 chunks of chicken with a green dipping sauce. At first sight I was a bit disappointed. I am 6'1" 235lbs and sometimes can get confused with the concept of, "quantity vs quality". One bite of the chicken and the portion size became irrelevant. The chicken literally melted in my mouth and the sauce complimented it nicely. I actually licked the bowl clean it was that good. When I got home I googled the recipe to see how the chicken could be so velvety in texture. It consisted of many spices and a marinade that needed a minimum of 8 hours to prepare. I now understand that truly authentic Indian food uses many quality ingredients and has to take time to prepare, thus justifying the premium that they need to charge for their food. I now would be weary of Indian food that is inexpensive and comes to your table too fast.

For Dinner I was recommended the Murg Tikka Massala $17.95 and the Lamb Korma $18.95. Most items are "a la cart" which means the dishes need either rice or bread to accompany it. I ordered both, steamed rice and the Garlic/Chili Nan Bread.

The Lamb Korma was the waiters favorite. I am glad that I tried it and it was exactly how the waiter described that it would taste. However, my pallet gravitated toward the Murg Tikka Massala, which was more of a cream sauce. When I eat Italian I love a good Vodka sauce over a Marinara, so this is just a palate preference. If you are a red sauce person you will probably like the Lamb Korma.

Now for the catalyst. You can either eat these over rice or with the freshly prepared, amazingly fresh out of the oven flat bread that resembles pita bread and dip it in the sauces. Gringo style is to lay rice on a plate and pour the entree over it, and devour with a fork. Indians like the one I got take out for do not use forks. At first it was strange to see a billionaire use his hands to eat a sauce based entree. However, it is custom.. it is how they do it and after trying it... really is the best way to eat this food.

The food is extremely rich and full of subtle spices.... forget the rice... get the bread and be authentic!! Grab a pinch of the bread, dip in the sauce, get some of the meat on there and enjoy. You are going to get your fingers wet and enjoy every minute of it. If you take the Pepsi challenge and try it with a spoon and rice or hands and bread ... I am quite certain the majority will prefer the latter.

Now the service.... I am a Ft. Lauderdale resident and sadly accept poor service as the norm in Miami. My experience with service was not poor, however it could use some improvement.

I was promptly seated to a table however, I was not given a menu. I sat at my table as one waiter cleaned silverware and talked it up with another behind the bar. After a few minutes I did walk up and ask for a menu, the waiter seemed to have an oops... look, which did portray that it was not intentional however it is a huge oversight.

My waiter was extremely helpful, however another waiter did not do so well explaining the menu items to another table next to me. They were confused on what to order and may not have had the best experience... and that means they might not return.

My headline of this posts hints at the front of the house not having an authority figure. The restaurant is small, very small. So you see and observe everything. Whoever owns it seems to leave customer service to a couple young guys who might not understand how they can keep a customer from coming back even if the food was amazing. Mint Leaf could do itself an invaluable service by having a well seasoned manager walking the floor, talking to the guests, keeping an eye on the staff and recommending food to "first timers".

In the restaurant industry the "tipping culture" should weed out bad waiters and customer service personal. If service is bad, no or little tip.. I put my self through college working in restaurants and learned this very early. However, for some reason, Miami is full of good restaurants with bad service. If you don't tip bad servers, they end up either quitting or getting better... however if you tip a bad server well, he stays a bad server.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank habbenb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
663 reviews
549 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
“Sad experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2012 via mobile

Incredibly bad experience. From the very beginning, & throughout the lunch, Mint Leaf scored the very lowest grades across the board of any restaurant in my 100+ restaurant history with Trip Advisor.

    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Pineapples-a-Plenty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hollywood, FL
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Bad food, poor service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2012

Service was poor. Took forever to get first ordered item, and then it was the wrong item. Had to return it. This was after the server had checked with us twice about the item. Another customer also had their order mixed up and had to return their food. I ordered a Thali and the portion was really small. Totally not worth it. Avoid this one.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 50_US_States_2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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