Cinnamon Bazaar by Vivek Singh is the latest addition to the Cinnamon Collection family following the successes of its sister restaurants The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Soho and Cinnamon Kitchen. Inspired by Bazaars dotted along the spice, silk and frankincense routes around India, the restaurant has a more relaxed feel compared to the other collection members. Bazaars, similar to marketplaces, are home to trade, socialising and entertainment and the influences of the colours, smells and energy successfully shine through the vibrant menu. I was impressed when I went to Cinnamon Soho in Carnaby recently for my bestie’s hen meal so I was very excited to see what the newest member of the Cinnamon Collection family had to offer.
There is a bustling vibe, dim lantern lighting and red/green décor reflecting an authentic market vibe. It was a Wednesday evening in December and the restaurant felt quite busy and lively, with a few festive group dinners and people chatting away over delicious tapas style food and drinks.
The first thing that caught my eye on the menu was the varied chaat selection. Chaat is one my favourite Indian dishes – the casual roadside delight which includes yoghurt, savoury snacks and delicious chutneys bursting with flavour honestly makes my heart skip a beat. It’s so rare to find an Indian restaurant in central London with more than two chaat options so I was firstly impressed with the choice and secondly with how veggie friendly the choices were. My fave was the Aloo Tikki Chaat – a stand out dish and a great accompaniment when paired with other spicy dishes.
What we ate:
- Chana masala hummus, fenugreek scented nimki
- Dahi bhalla chaat
- Aloo tikki chaat
- Grilled Aubergine, sesame peanut crumble, labna, toasted buckwheat
- Char-grilled cauliflower with pickling spices, sumac crumble
- Kabuli kofta: chickpea, spinach and dried fruits, tomato fenugreek sauce
- House black daal
- Sesame honey chilli and garlic potatoes
- Garlic naan, roti
- Cardamom kheer creme brûlée
- Carrot halwa rolls and clove ice cream
From grilled aubergine to carrots incorporated in the dessert, vegetables are not an afterthought on the menu and vegetarians are in no way stuck for options or limited to paneer and daal (a familiar scenario with many of the nicer Indian restaurants in central London). We tried a selection of the vegetarian dishes and were impressed with the flavours and varied spices that seeped through the food. The dishes we enjoyed the most were the chaats, kabuli kofta, honey and garlic potatoes and the cardamom kheer creme brûlée. I expected a bit more from the house daal and char-grilled cauliflower because the daal and cauliflower at Cinnamon Soho were memorable and richer in flavour.
The dishes are quite different to ones found on traditional Indian restaurant menus and it’s great to see a mix of authentic Indian dining and bustling bazaar influences combined at a pretty restaurant in Covent Garden. After all, fusing cuisines and incorporating street food into menus at sit down restaurants is the way forward in the London restaurant scene nowadays!
Location: 28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden
Perfect for: A catch up, group dinner (group set menus and private room available), date night