Vivek Singh’s London restaurants are definitely like real-life sisters. First born Cinnamon Club (Westminster) is the overachiever with its Michelin star; middle child Cinnamon Kitchen (Liverpool St) is the cool, calm, stylish one with its Anise Bar; and the youngest Cinnamon Soho, is the trendy urban type.
MG and I found ourselves in Cinnamon Soho for dinner. Compared to the Cinnamon Club and Cinnamon Kitchen, the vibe is a lot more casual and a lot more relaxed here. The offering is quite similar though, the menu centers around modern Indian small plates.
We started off with cocktails. MG went for Burning with Passion (£10 – vodka, over proof rum, OJ, passion fruit and strawberry) whilst I went for a Garden Mojito (£9 – Bacardi, elderflower, apple juice, cucumber and mint). I thought the cocktails were a bit too sweet and not so potent. Perhaps we’ll grab wine next time.
First to arrive were the crab and curry leaf balls (£4.50) which I thought were pretty decent. I liked the balance between the sweetness of the crab and the boldness of the cumin.
MG ordered the chicken korma (£12.50 with £1 donated towards Action Against Hunger’s Love Food, Give Food campaign). I didn’t think anyone could ever make curry look photogenic, but Cinnamon Kitchen’s modern take on the Indian curry classic defied that. More importantly, the tandoori chicken breast was moist and the cashew korma sauce was not overwhelming.
I opted for the Kolkata spiced cod (£9) with mustard leaves and red onion on our server’s recommendation. The fish itself was cooked beautifully and sans the sauce, flavoursome. The curry sauce has a good spicy kick and the flavours are really strong. I liked the dish overall, but I think they could refine it a bit more so as the sauce won’t overpower the fish.
We also ordered a biryani (£14) with Hyderabadi-style lamb. Whilst I thought the lamb was cooked very well, I wanted the rice to have had a bit more smoky, curry flavours.
That said, I loved how comforting this was. It came with a Burhani raita which gave a slight kick and cream to the dish.
To mop the sauces, we ordered two portions of the garlic naan (£3) which was very yummy and garlicky – just as we like it!
We were rather too full, but for blogging purposes, we ended up getting some anyway. MG had a scoop of banana ice cream (£1.50) which was decked with some berry coulis, crumble and peanut brittle. I ended up finishing this because I really enjoyed it!
My dessert was a chilled rice kheer with honey parfait, rosewater and pistachio. Essentially, a rice pudding which I didn’t enjoy as much as I wanted. Possibly because the rosewater was too overpowering that it had that perfume-esque aftertaste.
Indian cuisine may not be my forte but I thought Cinnamon Kitchen offered decent, bold flavours and good cooking. The ambience may not be as refined as Vivek Singh’s other restaurants nor as vibey as Dishoom down the road, but hey, you won’t have to wait two hours for your food. It’s quick, easy and pretty delicious. Go for a casual curry night.
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Do you like Indian food? What’s your favourite Indian restaurant in London?