Celebrate the Indian Festival of Colour in the City of London
The other evening I was invited to “play Holi” at the Cinnamon Kitchen in the City. Holi is an Indian festival which marks the arrival of Spring, where families traditionally gather together and cover each other in coloured paint. At the Cinnamon Kitchen, a pop-up bar/tent has been erected where groups clad in white overalls get into the spirit of the celebration by hurling powdered paint at each other for half an hour!
I must be honest I was slightly reticent about the idea but given I was literally covered from head to toe in a white suit that looked like something out of a pathologists lab, what could go wrong I thought. Well ….. as my friend and I stood on the periphery of the action and gently threw some of our powder into the air, suddenly a great handful landed in the only part of me not covered up – my face!
Having made a hasty retreat to wipe myself down (it does wipe off very easily) we didn’t feel brave enough to re-enter and headed straight to the bar to recover! However, there were plenty who got their full half hours’ worth and 30 minutes later you couldn’t get into the ladies room for crazily coloured women trying to wipe the fluorescent colours off themselves! As we sat sipping cocktails in the very cool bar, we were glad to have beaten the rush!
As we were sampling the Holi Feast as well as the colourful fun outside, we then went through to the restaurant where our Holi menu awaited us. For a set menu the choices were very good, with a choice of 3 starters, 3 main courses and bread and dips.
To start, I had the tandoor chicken, which was so tender it was like slicing through butter.
My companion had the spiced seabream which came in an extremely tasty green mango and coconut broth.
To follow I had the king prawns in coconut and cardamom sauce which were delicious and the prawns so big there was no doubt they were king prawns.
My friend went for the spiced lamb kofta, where again the quality of the meat shone through.
To round off your meal, you are served a selection of traditional Indian desserts.
There is no denying the quality of the cooking and everything we ate was delicious. However, on the night we dined the staff were obviously feeling the strain of several large parties and unfortunately the dessert wine we ordered to accompany our desserts didn’t arrive until well after we had eaten the last mouthful of our sweets. However, Cinnamon Kitchen benefit from having a Guest Relations Manager and when he came over to our table and heard about this, he whisked us off to the bar for another complimentary cocktail to compensate. This was a nice touch and the cocktails are as good as the food, so a nice way for us to finish our evening!
Cinnamon Kitchen – 9 Devonshire Square. London EC2M 4YL