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The Cinnamon Kitchen – Winter Special Set Menu

January 18, 2012

Entrance to The Cinnamon Kitchen

Yes, I know I was only there a few weeks ago, writing about head chef Abdul Yaseen’s wonderful special canape tasting menu, but when I saw the January offer on their Facebook page – 2 courses for £16; 3 for £19, including a Winter Martini … well, how could I resist going back? How better to brighten a cold January day than a meal at The Cinnamon Kitchen?

Eating Abdul Yaseen’s food is an ‘experience’ – it’s not ‘going out for an Indian meal’ by any usual British definition, but food that takes Indian cooking to a totally different height.  It’s a glorious experience of the senses: beautiful plates of food that are art forms in themselves; flavours that excite with their layers of depth – one note as you first taste the food, then others unfolding as one after another little bursts of delight hit you. This is food to be taken seriously and cooking of the highest order. But it’s also fun and in Jonathan and Lyndsey I had the best of companions to enjoy it with; to share dishes with and talk food. It was fairly quiet when we arrived but soon filled up till there was a great buzz in the restaurant and we thought it must be a very good venue for a party of friends getting together.

I haven’t had a martini in years but this one with cranberry and lime juice was wonderful and, of course, we ordered the bread selection with chutneys because you absolutely cannot go to either the Cinnamon Kitchen or Club and not have their wonderful breads. There were also some lovely little amuse bouche.

Lyndsey and I had the ‘warm chicken salad, fresh herbs & pomegranate’ to start while Jonathan chose ‘bengali style minced mutton cutlets with beetroot & raisins’.

The salad was a wonderful mixture of tastes and textures: slightly smokey chicken, a perfect bite to the baby corn and courgettes, the sweet crunch of pomegrante seeds. I tasted the mutton as well – of course! – and that was glorious. We then got an extra course, courtesy of Abdul, as he and I have been in touch to sort out a date for an interview and he knew we were coming. This course was an unexpected delight and reminded me of the wonderful canape menu.

A spiced corn soup and a corn kebab with tomato relish; also a delectable piece of aubergine with masala peanut crumble. Then our main courses: ‘spiced crusted cooley, dopiyaza sauce and steamed rice’ for two of us, and one ‘keralan beef ishtew with coconut & vinegar’. This is definitely a time to be with friends who will share so you can taste what the others have, and both dishes were excellent.

Then there were the desserts, tasting as beautiful as they looked, poached pears with a wonderful coconut rice and some ice cream; a delicious cake with white chocolate and beetroot and rum & raisin ice cream.

There’s not much of January left to take advantage of this offer, but you can always find offers on their website and special menus (there’s a great one coming up for Valentine’s day and also a Detox – but detoxing in Abdul’s inimitable style! – with antioxidant-rich foods). Special menus are a great way to try out a top restaurant, especially mid-week. I thought it was a bit of a hike across London before I went to The Cinnamon Kitchen, but now I’ve sorted out the route, it’s a hike well worth the effort with food like this waiting for you. This is a restaurant that’s fast becoming one of my very favourite places to eat.

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