Contemporary Indian small plate restaurants took London by storm last year, and with an influx of openings in the last month, it doesn’t look like a trend disappearing anytime soon.
Cinnamon Bazaar is Vivek Singh’s 5th restaurant and has opened up shop in bustling Covent Garden. The restaurant is a mix of modern-day London and the colourful bazaars of India. Beautiful pink silk drapes hanging from the ceiling, hand-stencilled walls with flickers of gold painted lanterns next to tables with the Cinnamon leaf burnt into them, all working together to create the feeling of something special.
The menu takes a more casual approach, offering service from breakfast, lunch, a selection of afternoon sweet treats and dinner.
Menu heroes are:
- Samosa chaat with Punjabi vegetable samosa, curried white peas and a tangy tamarind chutney
- Tandoori Kentish lamb fillet mint chilli korma with masala cashew nut
- Bazaar shrimp fried rice with stir-fried bok choy
- Grilled aubergine, sesame peanut crumble with Labna and toasted buckwheat
A new fresh Indian pop-up restaurant called Kheera Kitchen is launching in Spitalfields tomorrow, in partnership with Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.
Housed in the Café from Crisis on Commercial Street, the restaurant will offer customers healthy, fresh Indian food, whilst supporting Crisis’ work to help homeless people get back into employment.
The concept is inspired by a motorbike ride across India and re-interpreted for Londoners. All food is made with carefully sourced ingredients to deliver lighter, clean tastes that are big on flavour, and not on heat. Sharing dishes are made for freshly baked bread, which takes centre stage for tearing and dipping. The restaurant doesn’t use any ghee in its preparation, all spices are imported from India and ground every day, and all dishes are cooked to order.
On the menu, you can find a selection of small plates, big bowls and sides including:
- Kheera coconut eggs
- Lamb kati roll, flash cooked spice-and-lime-marinated lamb, served in a flaky, buttery paratha.
- Keralan pork bowl with fresh pineapple
- Grilled chicken with cardamom bowl, made with gram puree, curd and smoked chilli
- Paneer, Mango and Tamarind Salad
- Fennel and lime burnt cream pot
- Chocolate, orange and anise brownie with mango ice cream
Kheera Kitchen will pop-up at Café from Crisis every evening from 6pm Wednesday to Friday, and from midday at weekends from 20th January until the end of April.
Find them at 64 Commercial Street, London E1 6LT
Kricket burst onto the scene back in 2015, with a 20-cover shipping container restaurant, created by Chef Will Bowlby and business partner Rik Campbell. Since then, it has proved so popular, that Kricket has recently expanded into Soho postcode territory with a bigger space, complete with open kitchen and counter top dining.
This vibrant eatery offers well-crafted small-ish plates, with a recommended amount of 2 dishes per person. We recommend:
- Caramelised onion pilau rice, barberries
- Samphire pakoras, date & tamarind chutney, chilli garlic mayonnaise
- Sulla venison rump, burnt onion raita, Jerusalem artichoke crisps, pickled blackberries
Cocktail fans are also in luck with their small selection of quirky cocktails. With ingredients from kewra water to coriander, to marmalade and cashew milk – the flavour combinations of the liquid menu are just as exciting as the food.
Tandoor Chop House is just one of the latest restaurants to serve casual Anglo-Indian food with an upmarket brasserie feel, serving playful mashups like their Bone marrow naan and Bhaji onion rings with burnt garlic chutney. They’re not afraid to bring punchy flavours and a little heat to their dishes, but we thought their menu was refreshing and packed full of original ideas.
A few of our favourites dishes were:
- Seekh kebab roll with green chutney & pomegranate
- Amritsari crispy lamb chops
- Green masala pollock
Talli Joe is all about “half plates, and full drinks”, with their name translating to ‘Tipsy Joe’. The menu offers an even balance between the vegetarian dishes and meat and fish, with small plate prices ranging from £3 – £10. It’s buzzy, casual setting makes Talli Joe the perfect after work location and the food offers you a unique discovery of the authentic tastes of India.
Our favourite dishes were:
- Devilled quails egg
- Kochi Beef Fry
- Truffle Ghee Kulcha
- Bohri Chicken
Visit them at 152-156 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8H