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Est. 1996

Issue 173

May 2011






Cinnamon Culture is not a name many will have included in their list of top Indian restaurants in Britain but that is only because it has only been open a few months.

The venture is a partnership between Manpreet Dhingra of outside caterers Saffron D'Or and ex Babur top chef Jiwan Lal so the pedigree has been there from the outset. Located in Sundridge Park, Bromley, the restaurant is sited in an ex gastro pub so gives a feeling of size and grandeur missing in many smaller venues.

First thing to impress was that the owners had not gone overboard in re-decorating from the previous venue to the new. The décor is contemporary but understated with new chandeliers and re-styled flooring to immediately produce the atmosphere that here is somewhere that is serious about food. Even the crockery and cutlery are of good quality but not over the top with no sign of expensive logos or specialist designs.

I have always thought that Chef Jiwan is the epitome of a man in love with his food and this has blossomed further now that he has completely free reign to display his talents.

Once seated, we were immediately presented with homemade chutneys to accompany poppadums whilst we perused the well balanced menu offering some exciting choices. To start with we tried Ajwani Jhinga, Khatte bater ka seena, Vegetable patelle samosa and Zaffrani ostrich. The quail was wonderfully spiced and mouth-wateringly tender laid on a plinth of bubble' n'squeak which was tasty and fun. The black tiger prawn was beautifully presented and subtly spiced and the samosas mixing beetroot, pineapple, mint and more in a wonderful combo. The ostrich with saffron was not only fun and quirky but very, very tasty. Starters range from £4.95 - £6.95.

Undoubtedly keen to get in on the act our smiling waiter suddenly appeared and offered my companion a cinnamon martini, personally prepared with great pride and gradually consumed with even greater enjoyment.

For main course I went for the duck, a dish that can so often be poorly presented and cooked but not this time. The meat was perfectly cooked with a gentle spicing complemented by a delightful tamarind and orange sauce on a bed of spider-web thin noodles. The Murg Palak Panner was beautifully cooked with the right hint of spice and generous in portion size and the Goat Vindaloo was a fiery revelation - tender and hot! Main courses are from £9.55 - £13.15.

We tried the range of breads from Peshawari Naan to Laccha Paratha - all good - and enjoyed a tasty Palak Khumb and wicked Daal Makhni to round the meal off. Almost unable to move we tried to fend off chef's offer of dessert but he brought two wonderful fruit based homemade kulfis which just hit the spot and counted coup on a wonderful meal.

If you cannot spare the time for a full meal you can always pop in for a quick drink and some of the exciting bar snacks or perhaps go for a weekend or Bank Holiday when they have a special BBQ in the garden from just £8.99.

My only regret is that this restaurant is not nearer to where I live as if there is any justice, this will be a great success with anyone who really appreciates great food, good service and a relaxing atmosphere with the soft sounds of cool jazz. Chef Jiwan has already achieved an unusual 5 star hygiene rating and if this visit was anything to go by, his food should have a 5 star rating also. The jazz may be cool but the food is most definitely hot!!

Cinnamon Culture 46 Plaistow Lane, Bromley BR1 3PA Tel : 020 8289 0322


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Mood Food is published by FSR, London, England © 2011


Peter J. Grove

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email: GroveInt@aol.com