Holi at Cinnamon Kitchen – The Start of Spring

House of Holi launch at Cinnamon Kitchen:

I had no idea what to expect.  Of course I’ve heard of Holi, but like many Indian traditions, my understanding of what might actually happen was just a little vague.  I know that it is a celebration of the end of winter and the start of spring.  And I know it involves a lot of colour.  The exact date of Holi varies each year – this year  it falls on 17th March.

Blue tomato in red, yellow, purple and green house of holi

But, a paint throwing pop-up? Well, I guess it beats street food and supper clubs.  Cinnamon Kitchen are celebrating Holi with their own House of Holi – running from today until 22nd March, and I was invited along for a preview yesterday!  As it happens I genuinely did have a meeting immediately after – and so watched as my colleagues smothered each other with brightly coloured paint powders.

I wasn’t the only one watching…the antics attracted a lot of attention from the grey suited city staff passing through Devonshire Square in the City.

house of holi painted lady

Even the chefs joined in.  In fact, the chefs seemed to be at the heart of the action.  Which perhaps explains the wonderfully colourful and vibrant food we ate later on.

House of Holi Chefs Paint Party

Then it was on to a taster of the Holi feast on offer at Cinnamon Kitchen.  Somehow there did seem to be a lot more than five courses, all prepared for us by Head Chef Abdul Yaseen.

Cinnamon Kitchen Holi - Bahalia Papdi Chaat

Trays full of canapes were followed by an  appetiser – Bhalla Papdi Chaat – chilled lentil ‘dumpling’ with crisp wheat, youghurt, tamarind and pomegranate.

Bhaditraka - Cinnamon Kitchen Holi Lunch

The meat starter was Bhaditraka – seared Kentish lamb escalopes with rock moss and allspice.  Foraged rock moss seems to feature in a number of chef Vivek Singh’s recipes, although it’s not something I’ve ever come across before.  The dish was a perfectly balanced, lightly spiced plate – with nothing overwhelming the flavour of the tender lamb – quite an art. I rather liked the taste of the rock moss.

Cinnamon Kitchen Holi - King Prawns in Cocnut Malai Curry, Ghee Rice

On to  mains of king prawns in coconut malai curry with ghee rice, plump juicy prawns in a rich sauce with buttery nutty rice.  Delicious.

Holi Sweets at Cinnamon Kitchen

At this point I had to leave.  Which was a real shame because I was looking forward to trying the Holi sweets – carrot halwa parcels, coconut and pistachio cake and saffron rabri.  I might not have felt so disappointed if I hadn’t been really enjoying the meal.  But…we’d lingered over paint play and cocktails and the event was running just a little late.

House of Holi Paint - Cinnamon Kitchen

If you like the sound of all of this, there are some great options.  Book a Holi play session.  It’s a great way to unwind and let your hair down.   And only £8.00 or £15.00 with a cocktail and canapes, your ticket includes a 50p donation to social enterprise charity e-Coexist (e-coexist.com), which focuses on empowering women and children in India.  And, you can enjoy the five course Holi feast that we had for £45 per person or there’s a whole range of Holi cocktails at Anise, the Cinnamon Kitchen bar.

Holi Sessions at Cinnamon Kitchen 

Monday – Friday
12pm-12.30pm, 1pm-1.30pm, 2pm-2.30pm, 4pm-4.30pm, 5pm–5.30pm, 6pm-6.30pm & 7pm-7.30pm
Saturday
12pm-12.30pm, then every hour until 6pm-6.30pm

Cinnamon Kitchen
9 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YL
T: 020 7626 5000
Cinnamon Kitchen on Urbanspoon

4.5 / 5 stars     
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Comments

  1. Pamela Morse says:

    The pigment throwing is something I always wanted to do…the food looks good too. How cool.

  2. Does anyone know how old do you have to be to go?

  3. Usually Holi is for all ages in India. If you can sit up and play you can play Holi. But since this is a restaurant they might have rules. Children usually love it!

  4. I was there that day.. managed to get some photos without getting covered in paint!

  5. This looks like a fun event. It certainly got people talking. I think that it’s not so serious.- which is a good thing. Food as FUN is an important concept!

  6. That food looks fabulous. We had Hindu neighbours who used to celebrate every year!!

  7. Food looks fabulous! I would love to take part and throw some pigments around :D

  8. Hannah attended an Holi event last year and the photos she shared are similar to yours Fiona, minus the lovely plates of food however!

  9. That looks like so much fun!

  10. That looks like so much fun!

  11. Did you manage to stay unscathed? Not so keen on the idea of getting dyed, but very much like the idea of trying some of the food.

  12. Brilliant! What fun.

  13. Yep. That sounds like amazing fun. I’m kind of jealous.

  14. OMG I want to go!
    Janie x

  15. That looks such fun and to end up with all that delicious food too, WOW. GG

  16. Sounds like you had a “colourful” time

  17. Wow, that looks like loads of fun!!! Great pics, and gorgeous food to go with all the fun!

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