9 Devonshire Square
The menu here sees head chef Vivek Singh continue his distinctive trademark of innovative, modern Indian food with refined authentic flavours.
Cinnamon Kitchen is tucked inside the Devonshire Square development, surrounded by office buildings near Liverpool Street Station. So as expected the clientele is made up predominantly of city folk. Nevertheless this sister establishment to the highly-regarded Cinnamon Club, still manages to pull off an edgy vibe with it’s Anise bar, serving up imaginative cocktails and the Tandoor bar, where you can sit facing the chefs whilst they prepare your grills with bellowing flames for theatrical value. The décor successfully combines the venue’s former warehouse style of industrial piping and grey walls with sophisticated hints of Indian patterns and textures. The result is a cool, classy and contemporary venue.
On the evening we arrive, we join the majority of diners who are taking advantage of the outside terrace, or rather making the most of the fading summer weather. Whilst studying the menu, we tease our palate with spice-infused cocktails; a wondrous cinnamon bellini and a refreshing cardamon and coconut lassi. The appetizers appear to be all too tempting to commit to just one and so our helpful waiter solves our indecision by recommending a mixed platter to share. A square black slate arrives, bearing a striking itinerary of bite-size creations that pull and pique our taste buds in thrilling directions. Highlights include, melt in the mouth yogurt cakes served with diced apples, delicate slices of duck in a sweet and sour tamarind and sesame glaze, a moist lamb kofta that sends waves of vivid spice through the mouth and a juicy fat chilli topped with a blend of lamb and spiced paneer. An accompanying bowl of mixed freshly baked naans enable us to scoop up any remnants of piquant chutneys on the slate. Our stomachs are now satisfied, but our tastebuds have only just woken up and yearn for more energetically spiced and textural creations. Thankfully a plate of seared haddock with Devon crab and Kokum (sour fruit) crust with a coconut sauce arrives before me. The fish is perfectly moist and the overall flavours of the dish are much more mellow compared to the sharp starters. My friend’s Tandoori King Prawns accompanied by a creamy Bangali kedigree and gutsy coconut chutney continues Singh’s skillful delegation of texture and spice.
I finish the meal with an attractive and pleasingly light dessert of buffalo milk kulfi mottled with gold leaf, on a spiky bed of crisp vermicelli shreds, that our waiter eagerly pairs with a glass of sweet Muscat de frontignan. Bliss. Meanwhile my friend is declaring her Valrhona chocolate fondant to be the best dessert she’s ever had. On either side of the dense and oozing fondant, sits two glorious accompaniments of hot milk chocolate and cardamon soup and a rich coffee parfait – a heavenly trio of sweetness.
Throughout the evening the staff are obliging and knowledgeable and happily answer all our incessant questions with regard to the dishes. The food here is refined and exciting and overall appears to be a more relaxed and fashionable alternative to the neighboring restaurants of the city.
A three course meal for two with wine will set you back by around £90 - £100.
Reviewer: Leila Sarraf