I absolutely love street food and so when Chef Vivek Singh opened Cinnamon Bazaar in Covent Garden, I was really looking forward to trying it out and it was very high on my list.
The list, by the way, grows crazily by the day as London’s restaurant scene is exploding with new openings announced faster than I can make my morning cuppa!
As we walked into the restaurant, the attention to detail in terms of the decor is what immediately caught my eye, starting with the doors when you enter! Make sure you take a moment to look at it all.
Inside the restaurant, it is so colourful, bright and spacious, and I particularly liked the decor on the ceiling. For the duration of your meal you could easily forget you were in London. The walls had this gorgeous design with specks of gold and the dinner tables had the logo etched into the corner. A lot of effort has definitely gone into the interiors and it is fabulous.
While we decided on our food, we chose the house cocktails, which have been made in collaboration with Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, an award winning mixologist. They had interesting names and flavour combinations. My friend settled on the Bazaar Old Fashioned, which was a coconut washed Indian Scotch with Coconut Sugar and Burnt Cinnamon. My choice was the Falooda Swizzel, which was white rum, basil seed, creme d’abricot, lime and amaranth cress. Very unique combinations. I really liked mine but a challenge for you Mr Lyan – please can you make a special flavoured Mojito 😉
We chose vegetarian dishes for the entire meal so if you are Vegetarian, this will be of particular interest for you if you are looking for a lovely restaurant to dine at.
From the starters we chose the Kadhai spiced ‘bullet’ chillies with poppy seed gun powder. They reminded me of padron peppers but with spices and the occasional kick. I really enjoyed these although personally would have added a teeny weeny bit more salt as I love fried chillies a little salty. They did have a fantastic flavour though and were perfectly cooked.
From the Chaats we selected the Dahi bhalla chaat: Chilled lentil dumplings with spiced yoghurt and toasted cumin, as one of our choices. I was with a chaat expert so we tried not to over analyse the food. It was refreshing and I loved the dumplings.
The Papdi chaat was our second choice, which was a combination of crisp wheat, tangy tamarind, yoghurt and chickpea vermicelli. I especially loved the addition of cucumber and thought that it was a fantastic Papdi chaat. It would be amazing in the summer as a lunch dish too as it is so cooling.
My favourite from the chaats, however, was the Jodhpuri kachori chaat. This was spiced onion dumplings, curried white peas, and a chutney medley. The kachori itself was to die for and so so tasty. This is a must order and a dish I will re-order when I go back.
From the bazaar plates section we tried the Paneer 65 because you have got to have paneer right? This was stir-fried with curry leaf & green chilli. I loved the flavour of the curry leaf but the fiery scorpio in me wanted a little more green chilli. It was tasty nevertheless.
Our absolute favourite dish from them all though was the Grilled aubergine with a sesame peanut crumble, labna and toasted buckwheat. It was ridiculously good and very addictive. All the flavours worked so well together and I highly recommend this dish, especially if you are an aubergine lover.
From the sides we went with garlic naans, which were lovely,warm and fluffy.
Dessert was incredible and I went for the Cardamom kheer crème brûlée. I am quite hesitant in ordering flavoured creme brulees after having a disappointing experience once, but this version ticked all the boxes. It was flavoursome, the texture was spot on and it was dreamy. It was served with a nankhatai (shortbread).
My friend went for the Carrot halwa roll with clove flavoured iced double cream. The carrot halwa was an interesting mix of regular carrot and black carrot and the clove ice cream worked really well with it. A novel combination.
He also couldn’t resist going for masala chai and I mean look at that teapot! How cute is that?
All in all we really enjoyed our meal at Cinnamon Bazaar and the choice was incredible. I will be back to try out the non-vegetarian dishes for sure so will either expand within this review or write a separate one. The prices on the menu are so reasonable for Covent Garden and the service was fantastic and really quick. The buzz and ambience was fun and it is a great venue to catch up with friends or go for a pre-theatre meal.
We went for dinner but would definitely go for lunch too as it is so lovely and relaxed. If you are vegetarian there is so much choice so if you fancy street food it is a really great venue.
For more information on Cinnamon Bazaar and to see the menus click here.
Our meal was complimentary but all views and photos are my own.