Cinnamon Soho Easter menu, 5 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PF
You’ve heard the phase ‘Christmas has come early’. For us it was Easter that came early… We were invited back to Cinnamon Soho to sample Vivek Singh’s Easter egg-inspired menu and inspired it was too. (Read our full review of Cinnamon Soho and Cinnamon Kitchen.)
The spark that must have ignited this ‘all ball’ menu surely must have been Vivek’s now-famous Bangla Scotch Egg which was included in ‘The 100 Best Small Dishes in London 2012’ category by Time Out.
Before I explain the menu I just had lift these pun-tastic lines straight from the press release… ‘An Egg-cellent way to celebrate Easter and for just £30 per person, diners can get egg-cited about a three-course menu inclusive of a cocktail to start and a selection of sharing appetisers’.
And how about this eggs-tra comment… ‘Combining both sweet and savoury, head chef Ramachandran Raju’s menu takes our notion of the traditional Easter egg and turns it on its head, with delicious results to put a spiced spring in your step. A cracking good way to mark the occasion.’
Sorry guys, you know we love you really, and I don’t want to sound egg-otistic but my puns have the eggs factor and I’m no spring chicken!
Anyway, here is the full menu…
Easter Egg Flip: Cognac, Tawny Port, Baileys, sugar and egg white, garnished with grated nutmeg
Tangy potato chaat in semolina shell (v)
Indo-Chinese style stir-fried chicken and chilli
Fisherman’s-style crisp shrimp
Crab and cod balls on rock samphire ‘nest’
Bengali-spiced vegetable balls with beetroot and raisin (v)
‘Nargis’ lamb kofta curry with fragrant chicken biryani
Aromatic-spiced meatballs filled with soft-boiled egg, rich onion sauce
Vegetarian kofta, vegetable biryani (v)
Spiced mango and pistachio kulfi, ‘dum’ cooked vermicelli
Right then, from the top. The Easter Egg Flip tasted more of Christmas than Easter. The Cognac, Baileys, sugar and grated nutmeg gave it a real festive flavour. But then again what does Easter taste like apart from chocolate? And maybe that was just too obvious for Vivek and Ramachandran.
The shared appetisers (two of each) are basically a scaled down taste teaser of the starters, in much the same way that the starters are to the main course… The potato chaat in a crispy semolina shell was my favourite, the tangy spud and crunchy coating a perfect combo. Be warned, the Fisherman’s-style crisp shrimp had a fiery kick (note to readers, I’m a complete baby when it comes to spicy foods, Saff found the spice levels perfect).
We ordered one of each of the starters and shared them. I’d like to say we shared them equally, but that would be a lie… Saff preferred the Bengali-spiced, yet sweet, vegetable balls leaving me to sweat my way through the hot chilli and tomato sauce that came with the Crab and cod balls. The rock samphire ‘nests’ were a nice touch too, samphire is such an under-used vegetable.
Now on to the big balls… The lamb kofta was shaped into an ball (what else!) and was partnered by a Bangla Scotch Egg. The vegetarian kofta, with morels and prunes, had the sublime balance of spice, flavour and heat as always achieved by the Cinnamon group. The sides of a chicken and a vegetable biryani, as fragrant and delicious as they were, was maybe just a portion too much… We were getting full but still managed to eat clever little filo pastry ‘hats’ that sit atop the biryani sealing in the flavours and keeping the dishes warm.
On to dessert, by far the prettiest dish on the menu. Another ‘nest’, this time made from sweetened cooked vermicelli looked fab. The pistachio kulfi, by far my favourite of any style and flavour of any ice-cream was given a splash of colour by the spiced mango purée.
Just as we were finishing our meal Vivek wandered over to ask what we thought of his new creations… And then showed us a picture on his phone of a man and his big balls! No it’s not what you think, it was a pic of a street performer he took in Trafalgar Square.
Before we sign off here’s a few more puns… These dishes are available eggs-clusivley at Cinnamon Soho just in time to celebrate the Easter weekend. For £30 per person, diners can get egg-cited about this egg-cellent three-course menu. Sorry, I couldn’t resist!
The Easter menu runs from Friday, 29th March to Monday, 1st April.
5 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PF
Telephone: 0207 437 1664
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11am – 1 am (last food order 11pm)
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus