Vivek Singh is highly regarded for converting the Old Westminster Library into the below. The prestigious Cinnamon Club restaurant.
The vibe of the restaurant certainly lives up to the name, with leather seats and high ceilings creating the feeling of an old boys club. According to Time Out, it’s ‘become a magnet for power-brokers and politicians.’
The clientele it attracts wouldn’t surprise me, until I ate the food that is. I’ve been two or three times now and every time I’ve walked away hungry and unimpressed.
So it was with trepidation that I agreed to meet a friend at Cinnamon, Soho for dinner.
The Soho pop-up (pictured below) is a younger, more fun version of its Westminster sister.
Located on the site of the old Bar Red on Kingly Street, it’s moments away from Carnaby Street and Oxford Circus, but the vibe creates an opulence of calm.
Tables are spread out across the space as there’s no real need for a bar, with so many better ones nearby. It’s somewhere to pop in after a few after-work beers and then back out again.
Even Vivek Singh’s press shot for the pop-up is a bit trendier…
Anyway, enough of the mocking. I was actually pleasantly surprised by Cinnamon Soho.
The menu is much more accessible. Chefs Ramachandran Raju and Vivek Singh have created Anglo Asian mash ups such as vindaloo pork pie, masala mash alongside Indian stalwarts.
We started with the roasted aubergine chutney and carom seed mathri and the potato paratha and yoghurt.
The yoghurt dressing was sublime. If I wasn’t with people than I would happily have drank it.
I’m a massive fan of paneer and so I couldn’t resist ordering the fat chilli paneer to share with my friend. Pictured above, this dish came beautifully presented atop a pepper.
I’m happy to say that it tasted as fantastic as it looked. In fact, I loved it so much that my friend didn’t really to get to try it…Sorry!
Gripes? I would have included the Sunday brunch menu here. The only issue is that it looks really good! The brunch menu makes an effort to create that Bombay Street Food vibe that I get when I have lunch at my parents. Mum, if you’re reading this – we’re going here for lunch.
My one real issues is the use of ‘small plates’ on the menu. Ever since the Riding House, new restaurants are consistently trying to reinvent tapas on ‘small plates.’ At Cinnamon Soho the menu is broken down into small plates, large plates and then mains.
It’s an old entrepreneurial trick to pop up a new restaurant first and see how it is received. Well, even I say it’s good. I say it’s here to stay.