A kitchen can say a lot about a person. For example, the average episode of MTV Cribs tells me all I need to know about the Hollywood lifestyle; enviably kitted out yet unused kitchens, and fridges full to the brim with perfectly aligned bottles of water and Champagne tells me it’s all show and no substance. Fortunately, the semi-open cooking area at Cinnamon Kitchen is very much in use and is serving some great food!
The restaurant is rather fittingly located in the former East India Company spice warehouses and provides a ‘clean’ combination of industrial architecture with the odd bit of Indian furnishing. The restaurant also houses a separate bar area (called Anise) which serves all of the wine and cocktails that a trendy city slicker could want. The focal point of the dining room is the open tandoor grill and bar where diners can actually sit and watch some of the dishes being prepared.
Which brings us nicely onto Chef Vivek Singh’s food. Cinnamon Kitchen serves a similar brand of modern Indian cuisine seen at the Cinnamon Club, but in a less structured format. The great thing about Singh’s food is that it provides a range of unique and interesting flavours, whilst remaining unmistakably Indian; other ‘modern’ Indian restaurants take note!
There are a good range of starters and grills to whet the appetite. The Bhaditraka was a perfectly cooked and moorishly spiced lamb dish which originates from 1127AD, whilst the Fat chilli with paneer cheese was full of flavour, texture and a complete bargain at £5. We must also highlight the Yogurt kebab – strained yogurt with spices which has been grilled to provide an al dente outer and a lovely soft centre. For mains, Miss Pancake’s Saddle of lamb with a mint-onion sauce and rice was outstanding; my Tandoori king prawn with kedgeree was also well executed, although you really can’t beat a traditional smoked haddock kedgeree. Unusually for an Indian restaurant, even the desserts were good. The Banana tarte tatin might sound like heresy for traditionalists, but when it’s this delicious, you just can’t help but admire and scoff it!
Overall, Cinnamon Kitchen provided an outstanding experience. Whilst it doesn’t have the grandeur of its Westminster counterpart, prices are far more reasonable and it really shows the way for the wave of modern Indian cuisine. Also, with its all day menu, diners can enjoy a spicy breakfast, a quick lunch or a few light bites at the bar or as well as a full on dinner. Yum!
Food – 4/5
Venue – 3.5/5
Value – 3.5/5
Cuisine type – Indian
Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £70
Wine – £5
Cocktails – £8
Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise Bar
9 Devonshire Square
London, EC2M 4YL
+44 (0) 20 7626 5000