This was my first time visiting Cinnamon Bazaar. Part of the Cinnamon Collection that includes The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen and (now sadly closed) Cinnamon Soho, they are a contemporary group of Indian restaurants under the patronage of renowned chef Vivek Singh, located in the tourist hub of London, Covent Garden. My previous visit to Cinnamon Kitchen in Battersea was a pleasant affair so I was quite looking forward to visiting this one.
It was a rainy Tuesday when a bunch of us gathered in Covent Garden. However, the moment we stepped through the hand-painted green doors, we were transported to the vibrant world of Cinnamon Bazaar, miles apart from the wet and grey of London outside.
The award-winning interiors, designed by DesignLSM, is inspired from Indian street markets and is a colourful interior scheme of gold, blues, greens and pink. You can read more about the details here.
After exchanging pleasantries with my fellow bloggers, we got to my favourite part of dinner: perusing the cocktails menu. I chose a sophisticated and sparkling Persian Jewel | Champagne, Chambord Black Raspberry Liquor, Pomegranate Juice, Violet Flower.
For my starter, I opted for the Double-cooked Pork Belly | ‘Koorg’ style with curried yoghurt. I am a big fan of pork belly and one that comes coated in Indian spicing appeals even more. On the whole, I liked my starter of the full flavoured belly. However, I thought it was a bit too umami from the pork belly and needed something bland like potatoes or bread to add some texture and contrast of flavour.
I am always dubious of ordering mixed grills in restaurants; the meat almost always comes out dry and tasteless. I wanted to put Cinnamon Bazaar’s version of mixed grill to the test, so my main was Bazaar Mixed Grill | Chicken Breast Tikka, Lamb Galauti, Shrimps and Cauliflower, served with Black Lentils and Fresh salad. It was like an Indian version of a surf’n’turf.
Firstly, kudos to them on the lentils; they were perfectly cooked with beautiful smoky flavours as they should be. The salad was fresh and went well with the meaty mains. As for the meat itself, the chicken was delicious, the cauliflower could have been broken into smaller chunks but was nicely spiced and the prawns were the winner. Only the lamb galauti missed the mark slightly. Although it was soft and tender as the name suggests, it was too mushy and the flavours hadn’t penetrated the insides. Still, this mixed grill is one of the better ones I have had in a restaurant and is a good choice for a main, as you get quite a lot for the price. The portions were very generous and I had to pack some of it away for home!
After two heavy courses, I needed something small for dessert to end things on a sweet note. The Malai Kulfi on a Stick was perfectly sized and it was a befitting end to our glorious meal.
Service in general was efficient, and the place was heaving on a Tuesday, which is always a good sign.
Overall, a thumbs up to the restaurant and its food. The menu is fresh, focusing on small plates and street food style dishes rather than your tried and tested curries. It’s a good choice if you are in Central London and looking for a refined Indian restaurant that is not a tourist trap nor your typical local curry house.
N.B. I was invited to review the restaurant as part of Love Pop Ups London and all photos and opinions are solely of my own