Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise, London, EC2M
A curry lover knows he’s found heaven when even the cocktails are spiced. At Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise skip the usual Cobra (£3.50) and delve into the mixer menu. Try the spiced martini with vodka that’s been beautfully infused with cardamon and cinnamon and topped off with a star anise or a spiced kir royal with cassis, champagne and green chillies. This is a place that takes its ingredients seriously.
The menu’s not overcrowded with options but it’ll take you a long time to decide what to settle for. Korma of root vegetables, green peas paratha (£12) with masala mashed potatoes (£2.50)? Maybe Rajasthani roast red deer, stir-fried mushrooms (£32) with black lentils (£3.50)? Or why not keep it simple with steak and chips (officially Scottish Angus fillet with masala potato chips, £25)?
Kick off with Lahore style ‘chapli’ kebab, minced venison cooked with crushed garlic and chilli (£7.50) and flattened. You’ll find garlic and chilli play a big part in the menu but then you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t a fan now, would you? Fat chilli with Hyderabadi lamb mince (£5.50) for more top-quality meat and for those who are really into chilli.
Pollack’s strong taste may be to everyone’s taste but it’s ideal with green spices (mint and coriander) and a creamy yoghurt rice (£12) while the vegetables were crunchy and tasty to perfection in the side dish of Stir-fried greens with cumin & garlic (£3.50). You’ll find more meat and [you’ve guessed it], garlic by ordering Char-grilled rump of lamb with garlic and spinach (£20).
Ideally located just an alleyway’s walk up from Liverpool Street Station the restaurant is tucked away in a covered square where business people and other diners can take advantage of the dry, warm weather (all day long on weekdays). Inside it’s smart and contemporary styled.
The only thing that leaves a bad taste in Cinnamon is the existence of a camera in the toilets. Call me old fashioned but I do prefer a pee in peace.
Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise, 9 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YL. Tel: 020 7626 5000. Open: weekdays 7am–midnight. Saturdays 6pm–midnight.
Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise snapshot
Food ① ② ③ ④ ⑤
Decor ① ② ③ ④
Value ① ② ③ ④
Atmosphere (Monday night) ① ② ③ ④
Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④