The combination of post-modern industrial chic and characterful Indian styling remains as engaging as ever at this veteran of the City dining scene that continues to fly the flag for Indian food in the Square Mile.
But chef Vivek Singh is never one to rest on his laurels, and with a nod to the influx of start-up businesses in the area, his flexible new menu appeals as much to social-media managers as City CFOs by offering informal all-day eating. There are more options for snacking and sharing than before, a greater emphasis on value and compelling choices throughout.
Think muzzeh – like Indian mezze – for around £5 or £6 (or three for £12.50), backed by a dependable selection of hot, buttery breads, rice and creamy dhal. An express lunch offers any dish and one side for £12, and a two-course set lunch weighs in at just £16.
Elsewhere, flavours sizzle in subtly spiced, aromatic starters, and craftsmanship and creativity abound. A simply conceived dish of kale and spinach chaat delivers an unmissable textural assault on the tastebuds, Indo-Chinese chilli paneer is a delicious marriage of garlic, soy and bold flavour, while both chicken liver with peas and Madras hot shrimps pack a gentle but persistent punch. Even the humble pink onion bhaji gets the gourmet treatment and is oh-so-good.
If it’s dinner and you’re bringing a bigger appetite, we’d recommend sea bass fillets grilled in a banana leaf. Ours was stunningly tender, accompanied by coconut and green mango chutney and masala rice flakes. Alternatively, coriander-crusted grilled wild prawns boast juicy flavours and a rich intensity.
Other top shouts include a first-rate tandoori Barnsley lamb chop, succulent and buttery Punjabi chicken leg curry and chicken leg tikka, a bargain at £7. Alongside the prettily plated Cinnamon classics (spiced venison, saddle of lamb or perhaps Lucknow-style chicken biryani) there’s also a six-course tasting menu – think Goan-style pork cheek vindaloo, marked by savoury richness rather than fiery spice, or delicate green-spiced monkfish contrasted with a punchy tamarind and tomato sauce.
The wine list shines as brightly as ever, with star turns being punchy Sauvignons, soft-fruited Malbecs or a selection of spice-friendly English offerings. Alternatively, try an Asian-inspired cocktail from the Anise Bar.
Outside, meanwhile, decking, verdant plants, festival-style lighting, slinky sofas and colourfully embroidered parasols within the covered courtyard of Devonshire Square makes a unique setting for year-round outside dining. And at Christmas a maharaja’s tent adds to the fun.
Factor in tip-top service from staff who know their stuff and you’ve got more than just a reliable City address that ticks a whole lot of boxes. If you haven't been to Cinnamon Kitchen for a while – or you've never eaten here – there's never been a better time to visit.