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The Cinnamon Kitchen’s Festive Tasting Menu

December 11, 2012

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The Single Gourmet Traveller and her lovely daughter set off on a trek across London last night to eat at the wonderful Cinnamon Kitchen. By the time we’d donned winter coats and hats and scarves, it was a little like Pooh and Piglet setting off for the North Pole. And if Piglet had been there to say they ‘ought to have a reason … for organizing an Expotition (sic)’, Pooh would have said, ‘We’ll go because it’s’ the Cinnamon Kitchen. And that would have been a good enough answer in itself. But then he might also have added, because Pooh Bear thinks of his stomach and food as much as The Single Gourmet Traveller, And you are going to experience Abdul Yaseen’s AMAZING food. And really, after that, what other explanation is needed.

So we boarded bus and train to Waterloo, then crossed Hungerford Bridge by foot, admiring all the lights, and finally on to the Circle Line tube to take us to Liverpool Street Station. I promise it’s worth it, I told my daughter, who’d never been to the Cinnamon Kitchen before and was now going for her birthday treat (and well, a treat for me too, it has to be said).

Oh the warmth and friendly buzz of arriving and settling ourselves into our seats. And then a gorgeous special winter cocktail was brought to us and as we sipped and decided to have their Festive Tasting Menu, my daughter asked if I was going to blog and I said, No, I’d written posts about a couple of meals there and interviewed Abdul about his favourite cookbooks, and so I was going to have a night off and just enjoy the meal without taking photos. But then Nicola brought out her iPhone and I took a photo of her with her cocktail … and then the first dish came and temptation set in … It was the most glorious Keralan seafood broth with steamed lobster momos. It looked beautiful and tasted wonderful. A gorgeous rich spicy broth and the momos – like dumplings – filled with lobster. Abdul is so clever, I said, to bring all these spices to a dish yet retain so clearly the essence of the lobster.

Then the 2nd starter came: Green spiced partridge with pepper relish and curried pears. Well, I’m going to take a photo, said Nicola and we spend time admiring our plates before eating. I used to take photos of food before writing the blog, I excused myself. So we both took photos.

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What a glorious combination of flavours it was. This was followed by a Chilled green pea & yogurt soup in a little glass to refresh the palate before the 1st main course: Chilli & cumin crusted sea bass with curried spinach sauce.

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Sea bass is one of my favourite fish and it was exciting to see how well it takes these spices: a perfectly crusted spicy skin with succulent fish on a bed of delicious spinach. Well, this was a tasting menu so there was another main course to come: Rajasthani spiced roast saddle of red deer with stir-fried beetroot and sides of black lentils and a selection of breads.

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The venison was perfectly cooked (we’d asked for medium) and so tender and delicious. This was definitely the ‘main’ part of the meal with a good sized portion to enjoy. However, so well balanced was it all, that we were happily getting full but still had room for the dessert to come. We’d opted to split the choices – either English farmhouse cheese selection with dried fruit naan and homemade pear chutney or Spiced fruit pudding with cinnamon anglaise, so we could have some of each.

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I like cheese but I rarely choose it over a pudding and was pleased that Nicola had suggested we have it to share. The pear chutney and fruit naan was so good it took the term ‘cheese plate’ to a whole new level. Then we shared the pudding: a lovely, incredibly light sponge, still warm with cinnamon-flavoured custard.

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Coffee or tea with petit fours finished the meal.

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Abdul came to say hello and it’s always lovely to see him. He gave the birthday girl the Cinnamon Kitchen’s cookbook and told us a story about how their gas was out for 4 days last week and how they’d managed to improvise with charcoal, which we thought was quite amazing. And then it was time to set off home. The restaurant – set in the heart of the City – was emptying. We made our way through quiet narrow streets to the station and the long journey home flew by in a rush of talk about our wonderful meal and looking through the lovely book. And as it was all so special, well I simply had to write another Cinnamon Kitchen post. Because, as Rabbit said of Pooh: ‘Without Pooh (in this case read, without The Cinnamon Kitchen), the adventure would be impossible.’

The Cinnamon Kitchen’s Festive Tasting Menu is £60 a head.
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4 Comments
  1. petit4chocolatier permalink

    Everything looks so good and elegant. I haven’t eaten venison in a long time. Making me so hungry now!

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