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Fantas-tikka Open Tandoor Cinnamon Kitchen
An inventive flair for merging the old and the new is what executive chef Vivek Singh, has become famed for. He raised a few eyebrows with the launch of the Cinnamon Club in the Grade II listed building that used to be Westminster Library. So, his next offering was bound to cross a few boundaries too.
Cinnamon Kitchen is truly an experience in dining, both because of its’ décor and cuisine. From the moment you step through the doors, you find yourself transported into an exotic world with surreal proportions. Instantly confronted with a glamorous long cocktail bar, elegant angles, and a spacious surround, it presents a perfect precursor to your meal, or simply a place to stay drinking.
“Authenticity is brought to the forefront with an open kitchen where all the dishes are prepared in the tandoor”
Sophistication, excitement, low lighting and loads of space make this place the epitome of destination dining à la Modern Indian. A far cry from your local curry house- as its Michelin status takes it justifiably to another level. The authenticity is brought to the forefront with an open kitchen where all the dishes are prepared in the tandoor, although due to its’ spatial proportions, unless you have the advantage of a chef’s table, you won’t be able to see it done in front of you.
Indian food here is the perfect re-invention for more refined nouvelle cuisine tastes. Whilst Modern Japanese would not work at all, Indian food with its staple heavy sauces and robust dishes, is given a refined treatment here. On our visit we were treated with much the same respect as royalty, and not a given as a journalist. It always helps to keep an eye out on how customers appear to be responding, and the courtesy and service the establishment employs, will enduringly succeed to make the evening more memorable because of it.
Our welcoming signature cocktail ‘Autumn Martini’ was a smooth blend of subtly refreshing cranberry and lime mixed with cherry liquor and dry martini, which combined to create a sophisticated, smooth mélange, with dry diluted with subtly sweet, to good effect. The impeccable service scored highly with a succession of startlingly pretty ‘amuse bouches’ that served to accompany to full benefit the contrasting flavours of each course. The attention and care given to presenting each course also scored highly without being too invasive.
Modern Indian can appear to be quite radical on the surface, since they use marinades blended with aromatic herbs and spices, sometimes merging the sweeter flavours of dates and figs. For my main I opted for the tradition of game, to see how they would work with marinading flavours, without taking over the flavour of the meat. As a starter, I had a delicious roasted partridge, marinaded with coriander, with just a hint of spice to work in harmony. This was intended to compliment my main of their signature dish – roasted rostrani red deer marinaded in red spices with stir-fried mushrooms. This was a dish to remember, if not for the meltingly refined texture perfected by a smokey finish from the tandoor. A justifiable comparison would be to my own personal favourite, Chateaubriand – as strength and tenderness, with subtle flavours, made a mouthwatering experience. My friend opted for the Scottish Lobster momos, with tomato and curry leaf. Again, you would imagine that strong flavours together may be too overpowering but their subtle infusions gave a delicious edge to the lobster parcels. For her main, she chose the char-grilled rump of lamb with garlic and spinach, which would appeal to those who love the flavour of the tandoor with less complex flavours.
There is a truly distinguished and varied wine list that features all the New World countries as well as Europe and ranges from £25.00 to £300. Equally, the list of dessert wines and digestifs is also impressive.
A wonderful restaurant in which to entertain friends, impress business clients, or to have a romantic meal a deux. Its’ versatility knows no bounds and will serve to satisfy the most difficult of customers. Truly an experience to be repeated.
Cinnamon Kitchen Anise is at 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YL
3- course meal for 2 with wine £120
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