Georgian food is a real favourite in Russia and across Eastern Europe in a similar way that the British are fond of a good Indian curry. In much the same way, Georgian cuisine provides some vital flavours and spice sometimes missing from East European cuisine. So, when I noticed a Georgian restaurant in Kensington, just minutes from where I live I knew I had to visit it. My meal at Ket (also a Georgian restaurnt) in St Petersburg was by far one of my favourites during my stay there, and if I was to eat a meal half as good in Mimino as served in Ket, I would be a happy customer indeed.
Located on High Street Kensington, with its entrance lying on Allen Street the restaurant has a relatively basic facade. However, a staircase leads diners down into a basement which is anything but basic. On arrival the staff are helpful and friendly (and not simply because I somehow managed to slip off the final step and literally fall into the arms of a waiter). The atmosphere is, as to be expected, lively, with many Russians and other East European ethnicities enjoying a good night out. While the decor is dramatic and visitors cannot fail to be shocked by the large round table with giant, wooden, carved chairs fit for a feast in a forest.
The menu is not vast but contains every traditional Georgian favourite and is sure to keep every diner going long into the night, if not the next day! The starters are simply incredible and lead diners on a veritable culinary adventure. Warm Lobio (red beans with walnuts and spices), Sulguni cheese (served with spring onions, radish and herbs) and Imeruli Khachapuri (flat bread stuffed with special cheese) provide the ideal way to begin a dining expedition. As these dishes are so tasty, not to mention particularly generous in size and rich in flavour, diners must be careful to leave room for their main course! It is not easy, trust me!