Restaurant Review: Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden in London
A facade with a flash of lime green, Cinnamon Bazaar is a new cross-cultural eatery with particular focus on modern Indian small plates. Recently opened by Vivek Singh behind The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Bazaar in Covent Garden has been inspired by the culture of the exotic bazaars and trading routes that connected eastern empires; this is reflected with an abundance of vibrant and versatile dishes with interconnected flavour combinations.
An edge of colour and energy, cross-cultural dishes adapt themselves throughout the dynamic menu. Chicken Haleem connects India with Iran; Millet, Date, Tamarind and Pomegranate salad pays homage to the markets of the Middle East; and Lahori Chicken Kahia links up Old Delhi to new Lahore. A tribute to one of the world’s oldest and most traditional street food snacks, the creation of a unique and customisable ‘chaat chart’ also allows customisation and adaptation their chaat to personal tastes.
Acclaimed chef, Joel Robuchon, recently said that ‘a restaurant’s success will be determined per cent by its atmosphere and 50 per cent by its dishes’; Cinnamon Bazaar is one of those places that is pretty good at balancing the two. An aromatic fusion of fragrant spices dance with herbs and are thoughtfully paired with perfumes and bold flavours. The space on the other hand is playful with bold colours mirroring that of their innovative multi-cultural concept. Splashes of gold with blues and greens sit against organic, natural materials that mirror the heritage of India whilst lanterns and painted tiles mimic the Bazaars.
A menu divided into snacks, chaats, Bazaar plates and sides, dishes encourage diners to mix and share whilst are also clearly listed and adapted to dairy free, gluten free and vegetarian diners. From land and sea, snacks include crisp whitebait, chicken haleem masala sourdough toast and Kadhai spiced ‘bullet’ chillies with poppy seed gun powder. Chaats (a typical savoury Indian dish) have been deliciously interpreted such as the Papdi chaat a mix of crisp wheat with tangy taramind, yogurt and chickpea vermicelli, the Samosa chaat: Punjab vegetables samosa, curried white peas and tangy tamarind chutney.
The largest section of the menu, Bazaar Plates incorporates flavours and aromas from across the ancient spice routes. Tandoori Kentish lamb fillet, mint chilli, masala cashew nut is tender and beautifully balanced with spices, whilst Chinese inspired Indo-Chinese chicken wings with burnt chillies harmoniously portrays touches of the cross-cultural creativity. Other dishes listed include Vindaloo of ox cheek, masala mash and pickled radish and grilled aubergine, sesame nut crumble and toasted buckwheat.
Cinnamon Bazaar is not just a new Indian inspired restaurant to appear but has combined and interpreted a whole new pedigree of Eastern fusion. This results in an exciting and flavoursome menu whilst hailed mixologist extraordinaire, Ryan Chetiyawardana has created inventive cocktails that pair themselves throughout. A setting that stimulates the senses, the dynamic attitude is fed into the layout that is spread over two floors with the addition of a private dining room for convenience.
Address: 28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7JS, 020 7395 1400, cinnamon-bazaar.com