Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: Cinnamon Kitchen

Fans of The Cinnamon Club (as I am) will be thrilled to know that it has a little sister, Cinnamon Kitchen, in East London, so you can also enjoy the delicious and innovative modern Indian cuisine of The Cinnamon Club just a stone's throw from Liverpool Street station - perfect for post-work drinks/dinner and/or business meetings for those of you who work in the City.

Having said that, it seemed the ideal place for me to take John for a spontaneous Thursday night dinner to celebrate a recent success at work.   Booking on Toptable gives you an offer of three courses plus a glass of "summer fizz" for £19 - cheap but certainly not tacky as the majority of tables around us were also ordering from the set menu.

Tucked into the sweet but cool Devonshire Square, the restaurant also features a trendy bar called Anise, where, I was informed, holds a happy hour every evening.  I started off with some deliciously spiced potato cakes with masala peas, while John went with the recommended stir-fried chicken with peppers.  I had food envy at this point as his tender pieces of chicken were perfectly smoky and flavorful.  In addition to our meal, we ordered a side of breads (a variety of naan) served with very interesting chutneys, including a wasabi-pea paste that worked wonderfully well with the sweet tomato and chilli chutney.  For our mains, I chose a beef stew made with fragrant coconut milk served with basmati rice and John tackled sweet and sour pork ribs with garlic mash.  Again, I suffered food envy (although my stew was both comforting and beautifully aromatic) as his mash reminded me of American breakfast potatoes - wonderfully herb-filled and moreish.  Finally, for dessert, John selected the spiced pumpkin creme brulee (perfect for the fall months!) while I was more adventurous and chose the buffalo milk kulfi, dum cooked vermicelli nest.  I appreciated the innovation behind this dessert and it came wonderfully presented, with pieces of crystalized sugar draped on each individual strand of crunchy vermicelli thread, but when it came down to eating it, I felt as though I'd put thousands of pins into my mouth.  Needless to say, I didn't quite finish it.  But John did.

Aside from the overall success of its food, Cinnamon Kitchen boasts the same, high level of service characteristic of its main establishment.  Mid-conversation, a server quietly attended to our table, concerned that the uneven legs were causing the table to rock a bit - to be honest, I hadn't even noticed this, but it is one of those annoying things you quickly accept, I suppose, when sitting down at a table.  He quickly slipped something under the leg to keep the table still and his attention was quite impressive.  Though there is a two-hour turnaround for each table, you're never made to feel rushed and are encouraged to take your time to finish each course.  This is something I truly appreciate when dining out as I loathe being hurried by impatient staff.

As is with most restaurants near the City, the clientele at Cinnamon Kitchen is comprised of mostly after-work city slickers, which doesn't exactly create a relaxing environment, but I'd still highly recommend it - if not for its smart decor and creative dishes, then for its impeccable and friendly service.  Two thumbs up, people.

Photo source

No comments

Post a Comment

© angloyankophile

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig