(Photos : ©Barefoot in Luxembourg)
I don’t know about you, but my memories related to eating at Asian restaurants are mostly related to my university years, where with 10 euro I could get Chinese dinner for couple of days and I was not complaining about the quality of the food received not questioning about it contents. Since then, I have always considered certain kind of Asian restaurants most likely to be post hangover dinner or take away food. Peppermint Restaurant definitely went over and beyond my – wrong – idea.
The restaurant is located in Bonnevoie, just a short walk from the train station. It has some bright windows on the street where – surprise! – you can see the kitchen. I feel it is a great presentation, something like saying “we have nothing to hide, look before you try”. While most of the restaurants show up their main interior décor on the street, they went for a totally different solution. The entrance hallway has pastel tones and you have this relaxed feeling while the waitress is guiding you to your table to be walked through a sensorial spa more than a restaurant.
The main restaurant room kept the same pastel, relaxed tones with lovely terrarium vases hanging from empty frames. An amazing idea I would definitely copy at my place. We visited Peppermint Restaurant on a Saturday night and the restaurant was busy but not packed, still maintaining a very zen aplomb and being everything but noisy.
The menu is not extensive but offers some very interesting dishes, travelling mainly between Malaysia and Vietnam. My Tamarind Soup Saigon Style has been so far the most incredible culinary highlight of 2019: a plain appearance compensated by an explosion of taste and different consistencies, finally concluded by a pleasant, prolonged spicy note. My suggestion would definitely go for the most exotic dishes on the menu: the restaurant offers as well very traditional items like Lemongrass Chicken, that are extremely good in their execution but “already seen”, while their special dishes, like the Peppermint Prawns or the Vietnamese Black Pepper Beef, will surprise your palate.
The wine card is unexpectedly competent for an Asian restaurants, with several great European labels. If you want to feel more local, Vietnamese beer is still the best option to accompany their spicy dishes.
Finally a positive note as well as in terms of service: smiles were not added up to the bill and our waiter was really keen explaining us in details dishes we had questions about.
Peppermint restaurant is a great example about how to be surprised by a neighbor small restaurant, which, in this specific case, offers you an unforgettable atmosphere, a kind service and, above all, an amazing exotic food proposal.
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