Cinnamon Kitchen

The younger sibling of the juggernaut Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen, which opened in 2009 has not only gone from strength to strength, but also further established the Cinnamon domination of fine Indian dining in London.  Following on from the Club’s pioneering modern Indian cuisine, Kitchen is a lighter, funkier and more casual venture with an open grill, a handsomely designed bar, Anise and fantastic food.

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Whilst I may not hide my affection for both the Cinnamons as a result of having worked there and been involved with them for numerous years, working on one of the cookbooks, being part of the opening team at Kitchen and many exciting adventures, the truth is that the food really is to write home about.

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.A little pre-starter of steamed chick pea cake (dhokla) with tomato relish was lovely and whilst we waited for our starters, we nibbled on a few breads (potato stuffed paratha, bakarkhani – saffron, fennel and melon seed bread, brushed with honey and sesame and garlic naan) along with three chutneys (pea and mustard, chilli, tomato).

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My starter was tandoori chicken with mace and cardamom – delicious as ever, maybe just a little dry on this occassion and a tad bit under seasoned. The others had the one and only mix grill platter of which I have cooked far too many in my time at the Kitchen. It’s a behemoth of  a starter comprising: grilled duck with tamarind, wild prawn with coconut, lamb seekh kebab, yoghurt kebab, peppers filled with Hyderabadi lamb and paneer and clove smoked salmon – all with their own chutneys and relishes This is the signature dish of the restaurant, eaten by about 95% of diners. With good reason too!

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Main courses I chose my perennial favourite – spiced saddle of Oisin red deer, pickling spices, crispy mushrooms. A Club signature, this dish has won a few awards. This was beautifully cooked, again a little low on the seasoning and the marination this time round, but still a tasty morsel! The deer is one of the best quality meat I have ever cooked and tasted, coming from Ireland courtesy Finnebrogue.

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There was no question about dessert. This time, as many before, it was the Kitchen’s signature buffalo milk kulfi, crisp vermicelli, mango reduction. The trick is to leave it for about 5 minutes to soften, allowing the flavour to really blossom (and it’s just nicer to eat like that).

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And lest I forget, the bar does the most amazing Indian influenced cocktails such as lychee and rose martini, mango mojito, masala mary and many more. The fact that I get extras  or that this is my alma mater is not the reason I love coming here – you only have to go once to be hooked, and their cookbooks are amongst the few cookbooks where the recipes work perfectly – as we would often test recipes numerous times, tweaking and perfecting, making sure that when made at home, the result would be what the chef desired. Beautiful Indian food. Everytime.

Overall Experience: 8
Food: 8
Recommend you go: 9
Wine: n/a (10 for the cocktails!)
Website
Cinnamon Kitchen  on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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