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I know, I know! We don’t have enough steak joints on the blog. I love a good steak but I have always struggled to find one in Cambridgeshire that really excites me. I have had quite a few bad experiences with steak, mainly because I fork out good money only to be left feeling like it didn’t quite meet my expectation. With that said, I was very excited to try Mina Steakhouse. Located on the prestigious CB1 development, right next to Cambridge station, Mina has only been open a short while and most of that time was during lockdown, so I was keen to see what it had to offer as it feels like it’s been open forever but also feels quite new at the same time.
As the name suggests, Mina offers a wide range of steaks, from fairly standard ribeye and fillet to more extravagant wagyu and colossus tomahawks. There are also lamb shanks, lobster, burgers, and an exciting list of starters. They even have a kids menu, offering child friendly meals like fish fingers and chicken nuggets, so you can bring the family.
Being Bangladeshi owned, Mina is a halal steakhouse, offering no pork options but they have everything else you could possibly want. They also do a selection of tandoori inspired dishes adding an exciting spicy twist to some iconic dishes. One particular dish caught my eye which was the tandoori cooked tomahawk steak.
For their full menu see here.
The restaurant has a very modern interior that gives off a nightclub feel. I can really see this being an exciting place for a Saturday night, especially with the option to have shishas outside. The club vibe was reinforced by a wide selection of cocktails and mocktails, as well as a selection of draft and bottled beer, spirits, and champagne.
Sean ordered a mojito and I had a ‘Stella unfiltered’ which was served on draft and came to 5%. I had never had Stella unfiltered before but I must admit, I found it very smooth with a reasonable depth of flavour for a mainstream premium beer. Stella won’t keep up with craft beer but it served me well enough for the evening. It was presented in a rather fetching frosted glass. I will likely order this beer again.
They had one of the most interesting starter menus I have ever seen. Frankly, I could have picked everything off this part of the menu but we decided to be sensible and limit ourselves to the ‘dynamite shrimp’, ‘atomic wings’, and something called a ‘surf and turf burrito’. I was really keen to try ‘crispy chicken tacos’ and ‘BBQ beef short ribs’ but I guess I will have to save these for another day.
The dynamite shrimp is absolutely superb. These are juicy deep fried shrimp in a crispy batter served with the “chefs special dynamite sauce”. Sean and I were in agreement that this was our favourite dish of the starters. What sold it for us was the succulent and juicy texture with the batter, giving it a crunchy pop. Marvellous!
The atomic wings were also impressive. Being someone who has been described as ‘asbestos mouth’ by his wife, mainly due to my ability to eat incredibly hot dishes without flinching, I must admit, even I felt a kick with these. Portions were generous for £7.95 too. I have also been told that Mina Steakhouse does the occasional hot wing challenge, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
The ‘surf and turf burrito’ was another stand out dish. This came to slightly more than the other starters, hovering around the £10-11 mark but it felt more like a balanced and robust meal in its own right. This was charred flat iron steak, garlic butter prawns, chorizo, parmesan cheese and avocado all wrapped up into a generously sized burrito. This had a wonderful crunch to it and was quite filling. This is another example of the generous starter portions offered on their menu and is something I could really see being a great lunch to eat on the go.
Mina doesn’t just offer well presented high quality food in a stylish interior but they also like to put on a bit of a show. As we all know, ‘the first bite is with the eye’ and they aim to take this motto to the next level. We ordered some lamb chops and rib eye steak for our mains, which was presented with a display of dry ice that created a smokey fog across the table.
The char grilled lamb chops were another generous portion this evening. They were absolutely slathered in a delicious sauce on a bed of chips. The orange and yellow sauce gave the lamb chops a real vivid colour which pierced through the fog as it crept over the food.
These lamb chops were not as tender as some other restaurants but I could tell that this was not what they were going for. This was finger food that you could pick up and share between a table. They were big, juicy, and fun. The sauce really brought it together which perfectly accompanied the chips and chops alike. I would really love to know what the chefs ‘special sauce’ is because it was delicious!
The colour in the lamb was just about right. As you can see from the photo they were thick and meaty. There were four in total that we shared between the two of us. As they were not overly tender they held together well while eating.
I ordered a rib eye steak, as it is one of my favourite cuts. All steaks at Mina are 30 day mature grass fed Irish beef. I won’t go into the details of the extra health benefits of grass fed beef but it was delicious non the less.
The steak was garnished with garlic butter and thyme with salad and chips. It came with a side of pepper corn sauce and mushroom sauce. We were a little disappointed with the pepper corn sauce which was far too runny to stick to anything but Sean was hooked on the mushroom sauce. I was not a huge fan of either but the sheer quality of the succulent, tender, and very flavourful steak was enough to carry it on its own. That’s how you know you’ve sourced your steaks well, when you don’t need anything else with it.
As mentioned previously, the team at Mina likes to put on a show. This isn’t reserved for one single gimmick but was constant throughout our dining experience.
We were brought out a dessert which consisted of biscoff cheesecake, beautifully presented with strawberries, white chocolate, covered in a dome of candyfloss. This was then lit up in a fire which melted over the contents inside to give a slight glaze of sugar and a visual show.
What I loved about this was the way it brought people together in the restaurant. People were asking questions, joining in with the experience, and started conversation. I feel that something like this is perfect as a dessert as it’s about this time you start to feel a little tired after a big meal and something like this can jolt you back with a shot of excitement.
After the candyfloss was melted we were left with a sugar glazed cheese cake with a ring of candyfloss to pick at. The strawberries and white chocolate makes this a multicoloured rainbow. The cake itself was delicious and the entire experience was a visual delight.
We ended the evening with a shisha outside. I am not a smoker but I do enjoy a good shisha once or twice a year. There were also other people outside enjoying them while watching the world go by. One of the things I like about the CB1 development is how quiet it is for the centre of Cambridge. There are only buses and taxis allowed on the roads in the development so there is very little traffic making the experience very relaxing and tranquil.
The entire evening at Mina Steakhouse was superb. It is a real challenge to find fault with any of it. Sean and I both look at things very differently and often disagree on issues of food but we were both on the same page that this was one of the best dining experiences we have ever had in the city.
The food was great in every sense of the word. It was delicious, beautifully presented, and with a wide selection on the menu that I could revisit several times and still find things I want to try. Prices are about mid range but you quickly notice where your money goes during your time there.
The staff were faultless as well as incredibly warm and attentive. Every time a glass was empty they were ready to refill it without me feeling as if they were always lurking behind me. It’s an incredibly hard balance to pull off but they managed it. The young lady serving us through most of the evening had an extensive knowledge of everything in the restaurant, including where the food was sourced from. This was very reassuring.
I could see Mina being the perfect place for a birthday or a Saturday night…and if lively nights aren’t your jam then you can always relax outside with a shisha. There is something for everyone. Mina may be my favourite steakhouse in the city.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Mina experience from start to finish. So many things stood out as exceptional, but it’s not hard to pick what I enjoyed most of all. The level of customer service was absolutely outstanding, the staff showed themselves to be friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. I’ve not experienced this level of service anywhere for quite some time, and they really are a credit to the business. Drinks wise, the mojito was really well executed, refreshing and delicious. Amongst the food we ordered, the Gunpowder Shrimp starter was very good indeed, with a really satisfying texture that was somehow soft and crunchy at the same time. The ribeye steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, allowing the fat to render and avoiding the common issue of a lump of inedible fat in the centre. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it cooked using the reverse sear method but can’t be 100% sure. But however it was cooked, they nailed it. I’m not big on desserts but I thoroughly enjoyed the biscoff cheesecake. You might think the little fire show would be style over substance but it actually distributed a delicious and crunchy sugar glaze across the dish which added some much needed crunch to the soft and smooth cheesecake. I will definitely be back for more some day!Sean
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