I don’t know how this escaped my radar for so long, but there’s a cheerfully cosy little restaurant near Carnaby Street serving up comfortingly satisfying Indian eats (and without the queues spotted a few doors down at Dishoom)…
Helmed by prolific chef Vivek Singh, Cinnamon Soho is a more relaxed offshoot of the well-established Cinnamon Club in Westminster. Its an understated space, smart yet playful with subtle pops of colour adding a bright note to the moody ambience in the evening.
The menu is quite a vibrant affair too, revealing evergreen Bombay favourites, from potato bondas (soft batter-fried fritters filled with a spicy potato mash and curry leaf) to a papdi chaat compiling a sweet and savoury mash-up of crisp wheat wafers, tangy tamarind chutney and deliciously deep-fried strands of chickpea vermicelli.
Our choice of mains veered towards the classics too, the highlight of which was surprisingly a simple side order of slow-cooked house black dal. It was indulgently rich (but not overwhelmingly so) and instantly warmed the cockles of this foodie’s heart!
The lightly stuffed parathas were a big draw as well – crisp yet deliciously soft and flaky, they were so perfect that they could have easily been mistaken as coming out of my grandma’s kitchen… In fact having read fellow foodie Binny’s recent review, I could definitely see myself back at Cinnamon Soho for that unbeatable combination of chai and parathas at breakfast!
The stir-fried paneer was a bit lacklustre in comparison as I felt that the flavours could have been a bit bolder, but my dining companions only had praise for the home-style chicken curry, finding the fresh and buttery gravy a perfect match for the soft and tender chunks of meat!
We were too full to plump for dessert but slipped away on a warm and satiated note, ending our evening with a wander around the beautifully-illuminated surrounds…
I suspect it won’t be long before I’m back at Cinnamon Soho – the promise of chai, chaat and parathas proving simply irresistible with winter nipping closer and closer at our heels!
Cinnamon Soho, 5 Kingly St, Carnaby, London W1B 5PF
I was a guest of Cinnamon Soho, but as always hog full credit for my opinions.