Cinnamon Soho is ideally situated for Carnaby Street shoppers in need of sustenance. I was surprised to find the atmosphere and mood very different to Cinnamon Kitchen which I visited a while back near Liverpool Street. This boutique restaurant is cosy and intimate, perfect for catching up with a friend, or enjoying a quiet relaxed meal. Posh Indian food seems to be growing in popularity at impressive speed. The Cinnamon restaurants offer high quality food without the pretentious dining style, they seem to have got the balance just right.
We ordered a selection of small dishes to start, petite plates attractively presented, all smelling divine… Naanza, an Indian pizza, this sounds bizarre but was surprisingly yummy, a thin doughy base topped with delicious spicy vegetables and cheese. Burnt chilli Indo-Chinese stir-fried chicken was my absolute favourite, intensely flavoured moreish marinated meat with soft pieces of pepper… it was too spicy for me and yet so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it. The only disappointment was the Roasted Aubergine chutney and carom seed ‘mathri’ – it was a bit bland, and the dip was a strange murky green colour, not very appealing or tasty.
CS offers a select menu of signature and classic cocktails, all appropriately influenced by Indian flavours and ingredients. We chose two of the most extravagant sounding concoctions: ‘Burning with Passion’ (vodka over proof rum, orange juice, passion fruit and strawberry puree) was suggested by our waitress and the light ‘Bhangra Bubbles’ (Rum, Chambord, homemade spiced syrup and champagne). They were very different drinks, the Burning with Passion is a long fruity drink, arriving spectacularly aflame and sparkling, Bhangra Bubbles is very sophisticated, a subtly flavoured glass of champagne.
Mains were sublime, we shared the Old Delhi-style black leg fenugreek chicken and Smoked saddle of Cumbrian lamb with spiced onion sauce. The lamb was beautifully cooked and spiced, we loved it so much we were fighting over the final slice of tender meat. The sauce was creamy and sweet and complemented the lamb well. The chicken reminded me at once of a cross between tandoori and tikka masala, a crispy spicy piece of chicken with a tomato based sauce. This was a comforting and filling dish, a lovely recipe especially when paired with the fragrant pilau rice. Perfectly thin and crispy naan, lightly brushed with garlic oil was the ideal ‘mopper–upper’ for the remnants of the addictive sauces.
Both desserts were amazing… an exotic Mango and cardamom crème brulee was thick and mousse-like, delicately flavoured with cardamom spice. My homemade sorbets were wonderfully refreshing, the peach flavour was lovely but it was the Pina colada boule that really excited me, a drink that I usually don’t even like turned into a sensationally sweet and coconutty sorbet.
If you like Indian food you will love Cinnamon Soho, delicious dishes created with flair and style, I was impressed.
More information here: http://www.cinnamon-kitchen.com/soho-home