I was in Dallas for the first time last month for the Gluten Free and Allergy Free Expo, and being a foodie at heart, I couldn't wait to try out some new restaurants. While several options were recommended to me, Asian Mint was the one restaurant that kept popping up in conversation with others at the Expo.
Having a gluten intolerance can make many Asian restaurants off limits. But the Asian Mint menu has gluten-free items bolded, making it very easy. Having a soy allergy (on top of gluten) can make it even harder for me to enjoy Asian food when eating out. But I really wanted to try the restaurant, as so as I always do, I called ahead and they told me that there are a few choices for me, including pad Thai, which I'm always a big fan of.
So half an hour ahead of time, I called ahead to be put on the list for a table. Why some restaurants make us do this, instead of giving us a reservation, has always baffled me. But I'm sure there's a good reason. So if you plan on going with a big party, call 30 minutes ahead of time. Otherwise, they don't take reservations. I made a reservation (ahem, listing) for four of us from the Expo, plus one boyfriend.
The restaurant has two locations, and this one is in a strip mall, which concerned me at first glance. But once inside, the ambience is very chic with a clean, green motif and colorfully lit metallic and glass panels.
While we were waiting for our table, two more ladies from the Expo showed up, so we added them to our table-listing too. Why not? The more the merrier! And now the restaurant had to be sure to treat us well. We were a gluten-free mob!
While Asian Mint is mostly Thai-inspired, they do have sushi and sushimi, some of which are gluten-free and can be ordered with GF soy sauce. They also have vegetarian options (which are actually probably vegan, since dairy doesn't seem to be used), and some good looking soups and salads.
I started with a martini (the sugars in wine have been bothering me lately), happy that they have a full bar. And we ordered some appetizers. The fresh summer rolls and chicken satay are both gluten-free, but only the rolls were soy-free. They were just as described: fresh. Fresh shredded vegetables in freshly rolled rice paper. Delicious, dipped in their peanut sauce.
Even though I do like pad thai, nothing is more satisfying to me than a good red curry. So when I saw that I would be safe eating the Asian Mint version, I knew right away that I would be ordering it. It was delicately spiced (not "native Thai", at all) and with coconut milk, red peppers and basil, the texture-taste combination was almost velvety. I couldn't get enough of it.
Another member of our party tried the chicken pad Thai which she said was not the best she ever had, but it was good for being gluten-free. Also ordered by our party was the sushi, and the gluten-free cashew chicken, each of which got a hearty thumbs-up.
The service was friendly and efficient, even when the restaurant seemed to be at its busiest. I never felt like I had to look around for my waitress. And she was very knowledgeable about the menu and how to cater to special diets.
While I am not able to do most desserts these days, the gluten-free options they had on offer looked very tempting. If you go, I hope you will enjoy one for me: flourless chocolate cake, green tea or coconut ice cream, and Thai coconut custard.
All in all, I think Asian Mint did a great job catering to gluten-free (and other allergen) diets, giving us plenty of diverse and tasty options that left everyone satisfied. We all seem to agree that it was a great experience, and we would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone on a gluten-free diet.