Inside, Anise or Al Fresco – the choice is yours at Cinnamon Kitchen.
Do you wonder where to go for chilled-out drink or meal that’s close to the City of London, but that isn’t full of people in full-on party mode? Well if you are near Liverpool Street, you should consider stopping by at Anise for a drink, and then maybe stay for a wonderful meal at the attached Cinnamon Kitchen. Devonshire Square has been rather cleverly updated, whilst retaining a central atrium, it’s covered over, so the joys of alfresco drinking and eating can’t be spoilt by the erratic nature of a British summer. Housed within an old spice warehouse in the square, Cinnamon Kitchen is in the perfect location.
On the evening we visited I’d suffered one of those horrible London journeys that should have taken 45 minutes, but took 90 minutes on a hot and airless tube. I was therefore rather happy to be seated on the balcony with a lovely long cocktail when I finally made it. I had a CK Spritzer, made with Whitley Neill blood orange gin, prosecco and soda. Whilst my partner Alex had the O’Clock G&T made with Whitley Neill lemongrass and ginger gin with a hibiscus tonic. It was a close call, but the O’Clock was declared the favourite. The food menu changes seasonally, and always offers a surprise or two. So much of it sounded delicious that we let the manager choose our dishes for us, with the only proviso not to be afraid of giving us hot dishes as we are both chilli addicts.
We had an assortment of starters. The dish at the rear of the photo was breadfruit shammi kebab, a new dish to me. Served with paprika raita these were rather like a potato cake but with an earthy taste. The dish in the middle of the photo is chicken tikka from the tandoor, the chicken was perfectly moist with a bit of heat. Lastly, we enjoyed crunchy kale and artichoke chaat which came with yoghurt and a tamarind sauce. This was my favourite dish, and the manager confided that it was his favourite too.
The manager chose a full-bodied Rioja to accompany our meal. This was a great choice, its rich red fruits working well with the spiced dishes.
For our mains, we shared a fragrant delicate chicken biriyani made with leg meat and perfectly cooked rice, a rich mutton curry in a tomato sauce with cardamom and chilis, salty delicious 24-hour simmered black lentils (another favourite of mine), and garlic naan.
I’m not usually that fussed about dessert, 9 times out of 10 I’d rather have cheese, but the poached pear with coconut rice and a tangy sorbet almost seemed like a healthy option! It was certainly a very pretty option too.
The cooking here is faultless, every dish met our expectations and just a little more. Incredibly Cinnamon Kitchen has now been open for 10 years, and to celebrate there is a special 10-year anniversary tasting menu for £70 or £115 with wine pairings. Why not treat yourself to the best of the past 10 years, and see just why Cinnamon Kitchen has stayed successful and now opened a sister restaurant in Battersea, to complement the City branch and Cinnamon Club in Westminster.
9 Devonshire Square,
0207 626 5000