Cinnamon Soho

Restaurants , Indian Soho
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(19 user reviews)
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An offshoot of Westminster’s classy Cinnamon Club, this more casual venue specialises in small plates inspired by pan-Indian flavours and western presentation. Don’t be deterred by the dark and narrow ground floor and basement dining areas – the cooking, overseen by talented executive chef, Vivek Singh, is the real attraction.

Try, for instance, the Punjabi-style gingery lamb mince, topped with crisp-crusted juicy brain fritters sharpened by a kick of lime. Remember to order breads for mopping up the marvellous masala. Lighter in texture, South Indian quinoa salad, seasoned with curry leaves, mustard seeds and chopped tomatoes, provides plenty of splendid citrus notes. An Indo-Chinese chilli chicken collaboration was so good that we ordered second helpings of the delectable seared morsels with their sweet and garlicky soy-chilli glaze.

An outstanding ox cheek vindaloo featured tender meat in an unbeatable, almost pickled, garlicky masala. The only glitch was laal maas, a supposedly fiery lamb curry from Rajasthan, let down by a shortfall in chilli heat. The young service team needs to invest more energy in getting to grips with the menu, and promoting it to curious diners unsure of what to order.

 

Venue name: Cinnamon Soho
Contact:
Address: 5 Kingly Street
London
W1B 5PF
Opening hours: Meals served 11am-11pm Mon-Sat; 11.30am-4pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus or Picadilly Circus tube
Price: Main courses £12-£17. Set meal (lunch, 5-7pm) £15 2 courses, £18 3 courses.Meal for two with drinks and service: around £70
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Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|19
1 person listening
LeeLee
tastemaker

For our mains, my friend and I both decided to go for the Big Veggie Kitchen Mash Up. This consists of a cauliflower and cheese filled paratha, a fried egg, stir-fried spiced mushrooms, and 2 spicy potato and vegetable bondas, all served with pomegranate raita, tomato chutney and house pickles. Now doesn’t that sound wonderful? We though so too! However, when our dishes arrived, they were clearly missing some of the key items.


Instead of the description above, we were served 2 potato and vegetable bondas, a slice of sourdough toast with a fried egg on top, along with butter and house pickles. The paratha that was served to us on the side was filled with spiced potatoes rather than cauliflower and cheese, and it was served at room temperature rather than warm! We were also missing the stir-fried spiced mushrooms, pomegranate raita and tomato chutney.


We immediately realised this huge difference and let our waitress know, who then called her manager to see to us. He apologised for the confusion and went to get us our missing items. However, by the time these arrived at our table, we were pretty put off the food and the rest of the items that arrived earlier had gone cold. Additionally, my friend and I were already really hungry when we arrived. So having to wait extra time for the correct dish to be brought out was simply too long a wait. Hence, we did end up eating some of the items that were not originally part of our order.


We both agreed that the spiced potato paratha was tasteless. It was spicy, that’s for sure, but it had absolutely no flavour in it. I would not recommend getting this option if you’re just ordering a paratha as a dish. I didn’t even bother touching the sourdough toast because it didn’t look like sourdough to me but instead, it looked like whole wheat bread. The spicy potato and vegetable bondas were decent, but also served to us at room temperature. They paired well with the house pickles though, which I actually quite liked. The pickles were bitter and spicy, just the way I like them.


I saved my fried egg to eat with the cauliflower and cheese stuffed paratha once it arrived. These two were pretty average as well. The fried egg had a lovely runny yolk and was sprinkled with spices, which were flavourful. As for the paratha, I found that it didn’t have enough cheese in it and much like the spiced potato paratha, it lacked any distinct flavour. The only good part about it was that it was served hot.


The star of the veggie breakfast was definitely the stir-fried spiced mushrooms. We were both given a good portion of it and it came with all sorts of different mushrooms. The flavour and spiciness level were perfect for me and I really enjoyed this. The manager also brought out the pomegranate raita that was missing but this was simply pathetic. There were barely any pomegranate seeds in the yogurt and it didn’t add anything to the overall dish. As for the tomato chutney, this was never served to us, even when the manager came back with our correct items.


As you can see, I clearly did not have a very good experience dining here. I understand that serving breakfast is a new service for the restaurant, but that does not excuse the lack of flavour and taste from the food. Indian cuisine is typically filled with vibrant and distinct spices, which were clearly lacking in the items we tried. The only satisfying and worthwhile item were the stir-fried spiced mushrooms!


It also seemed to me that the staff were not familiar with the breakfast menu. Our waitress had difficultly understanding that the plates she served us were clearly missing several key items that were included on the menu. The manager himself also seemed a bit unaware but after looking at the menu description realised what was missing and went to get them for us.


This was a real disappointment and the only reason I'm giving it more than 1 star is because the drinks that we ordered were fresh and to my liking - I went for a glass of prosecco, which was neither too sweet nor too dry - and because the stir-fried spiced mushrooms were really quite good. 

Lizzie W
Tastemaker

I've walked past Cinnamon Soho a few times in the past few months and fancied trying quite a few things on the menu - A different menu from your normal Indian restaurant

We were in a rush for a quick and tasty meal before going to cahoots so we decided to pop in and try their set menu
£16 for 2 courses and a cocktail so not a bad deal, with a fair choice for each course (I think this changes occasionally)
They immediately bought out our cocktails which were delicious. Mango with a chilli kick - quite different but easy to drink. Not sure what alcohol was in it :s we were also offered tap water straight away but it took a while to come to the table
Then starters followed and both were good - I had chicken tikka which was yum with succulent chicken (not dry at all) and bf had pork belly which was not bad but not best I've had
Mains were also good - I had the rogan josh lamb shepherds pie. Packed full of flavour with massive chunks of lamb and a side salad. Was really impressed. Bf had the beef coconut curry which was pretty good but rice a bit dry and flavourless (hey, it's only rice)
All this came in 45 mins but we had to dash so asked for the bill while finishing main (I think they thought we didn't enjoy it)
Bit rushed on our part as I also wanted to try their desserts which you could add for an extra £3
We were however totally full! I wouldn't say portions were massive but by no means were they small!
Ambience in the restaurant was lacking but staff were friendly 
Would definitely return but 3* as some things to improve on and normal cost outside of set menu is a bit steep for what the food was!

HerFavFood
Tastemaker

Having dined at the beyond prestigious Cinnamon Club in Westminster, I had high hopes for Cinnamon Soho, the sister restaurant found in a slightly dodgy looking street just off Carnaby Street. But this is the problem of being the younger sister of a fabulous sibling, especially if you don’t live up to the standards of grace and splendor that have already been set.


Despite the instant comparison that it going to be made, Cinnamon Soho aims for a different approach to that of Cinnamon Club and pitches itself as more informal, ‘cheekier’ and supposedly cheaper alternative.


The aim was to be sleek and sexy and it’s obvious that an attempt was made, however the dark wooden walls and stripped lighting create an interior which is too dark for my liking. Additionally the odd arrangement of tables to make use of the rectangular shaped space makes its seem more like a café than a restaurant. Had I not known already I wouldn't have guessed that this restaurant had any links to institution that is the Cinnamon Club.


Cinnamon Soho is the third restaurant from the Cinnamon range and it still has a lot of growing up to do. The dark location doesn't help as does the average service. However the food served here cannot be found in any other restaurant in the UK and is the factor which keeps this place going. 

Vieve W
Tastemaker

For a summer treat whilst being off work, I took my sister here for a spot of afternoon tea in the buzzing Soho area. I wasn't disappointed. We started off with a pot of tea each, me with their Cinnamon chai and her with Earl Grey. About 15 minutes later, came out the impressive display of food treats. We had a savoury plate each which consisted of chicken club (twist) toasties, a gorgeous twist on Scotch egg (pork free), a deep fried onion bhaji (thing!)  and these perfectly spiced Lamb Brioche sliders...yum! The sweet Garam Masala cake was like sticky toffee pudding (It was delicious) and the scone had a chutney as opposed to jam which was also fairly yummy. Overall, the tea was delicious and good for the price. 


Whilst it's true that the display of the restaurant could be organised a little better, but as we sat outside, this wasn't really an issue for us. 


Although Cinnamon Soho isn't as upmarket as the other Cinnamon restaurants, the food is genuinely just as delicious and the hustle and bustle of Soho, with Carnaby Street just down the road, meansI would happily go back again!

Puking Pastille

Had the most amazing vegetarian aubergine dish here and banana ice-cream to die for! Definitely intend to visit again to try out their High Chai.

Michael C

Over-priced and disappointing. Food is below average, the tables are too close together and the service is slow and unfriendly. This isn't a patch on the superb Westminster branch which I would recommend. With so many great places to eat in Soho there is no reason to go here. AVOID!

Sarah M

Our visit to Cinnamon Soho last night was pre-booked as a birthday treat and intended as a chance to experience another Cinnamon venture - it was extremely disappointing, expensive and something never to be repeated. The service, when finally noticed, was skittish and lacked consistency, concentration and coordination – forty minutes just to be served a re-filled bottle of tap water. The food, which will only be remembered for being later than Marilyn, was pretentiously and artlessly arranged for what it was, tepid with unconvincing flavours, while the only dish that appeared freshly cooked and hot was the peschwari naan [with a fig jam stuffing – why?]. As for the spatial arrangement of tables – you need a desperate re-think. Tables within such intimate proximity that we felt we were dining with the adjacent cover with questionable table manners, and had attempt an assault course to exit. Altogether an arduous and exhausting experience leaving one, especially the birthday girl, feeling less than elevated or replete, certainly not celebratory.


molli

Gorgeous venue for group bookings and must say very impressive backdrop for weddings. I had been there last year to attend a friends wedding coupled with a personal visit recently. It never fails to impress and very popular among both Britishers and Indian fraternity. I wonder how they mange to please people with various expectations. One of the interesting aspect was to see how manage the crowd in the Bar as it does get a bit busier and people after few pints forget they are humans. I was very impressed with their Indian Duty Manager's approach towards a city broker. My only suggestion to them would be to also open on Saturday for lunch time and perhaps change the furniture in the front area. Other than that perfect and stylish setting and "Best Indian food" in London atleast in east. www.cinnamonsoho.com

Jacques

Brilliant Indian outpost in the westend of theatre district. Been here a few times after visiting its sister restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen for business lunches. Went there for Sunday brunch which seemed quite relaxed and perfect after carrying the heavy shopping bags for my partner. Guess it's an oasis behind the busy Regent street. Liked the Holi cocktail they were serving along with the spiced scotch eggs. Very creative and reasonably priced!

Priscilla

Magnificent Indian restaurant famous for it's Bheja fry. I tried them at Taste of London as they had won the award for this best dish. At first I wasn't very sure if I can really try the Lamb brains but it just melted in my mouth. The other best dishes on the menu were kachori fritters, burnt chilli chicken and the carrot halwa roll! I still have taste in my mouth and can travel to London just to try these dishes time and time again.

Kay and Vinit

We tried it today and loved the food and presentation. Nice atmosphere and not too expensive. We ordered the quick lunch (set meal) and it arrived promptly and full of flavours.

HMJ

Having been a fan of Westminster’s Cinnamon Club, I decided to try Cinnamon Soho for Friday lunch, hoping to get the weekend off to a good start. There were three options: a rapid lunch with the curry of the day for £7.50; a two-course lunch for £15 (three for £18); and the regular a’ la carte. Having booked in advance, I was shown to a great table for four next to the bar but with lots of space around us and which allowed us to sit adjacent to each other. Some of the smaller tables looked a bit nipped in and the downstairs bar may be fine for an intimate evening dinner, but looked too dark and stuffy for lunch on an unseasonably sunny October day. The service was professional, friendly but not in our face and didn’t disrupt conversation. As this is the ‘cheekier’, trendier and newest addition to the Cinnamon family, staff were informally dressed with black Cinnamon branded aprons over their normal clothes. “I thought it would be busier than this” said my guest when he arrived in the virtually empty restaurant promptly at 12.30pm. By the time we left 90 minutes later, the place was packed and understandably so. We opted for the two course menu and chose the burnt chilli chicken and sweet potato cakes. Both were well presented and accompanied by a dollop of spicy green sauce but the chicken won the day with succulent chunks of meat cooked with onions and coloured peppers in deliciously dark, sticky coating. The potato cakes for me, could have been a little spicier. We checked out the Keralan fish pie with our waitress but I was put off by the addition of ‘squids’ in the pie and the pastry topping didn’t appeal to my guest. We both plumped for the tilapia which was served with a timbale of white rice and florets of al dente broccoli. The two decently sized fillets of fish were coated with seasoning and free from bone and skin with yet more green sauce. We opted for a side order of a plain naan although it wasn’t really necessary. We lingered over coffee which allowed us to see the rapid lunch being served to the next door table of suits. The rectangular wicker baskets contained lots of small dishes and looked terrific value if you were in a rush and wanted something relatively simple. The wine list started at £16 and our bottle of Hungarian Pinot Grigio “single vineyard” Hilltop at £19 was fine. So, how did it compare with the older, grander atmosphere of the Cinnamon Club? It’s smaller and less formal with its table settings but the food is just as good and being just off Regent Street, it would make an ideal lunch-time respite from your forthcoming Christmas shopping. My only suggestion: get the waitress out of her blue jeans.

Jonathan

7 of us went for dinner last night and we found the meal to be very average. It took around 45 minutes to get our dishes and the restaurant was not very busy. The lamb dish that three of us ordered was simply a large bowl of rice with 5-6 pieces of lamb in it and several pieces of lamb were very fatty and not tender. We expected a much better dish considering the time we waited. The restaurant doesn't have any character, particularly compared to the Westminster branch. For £30 per head including wine it wasn't expensive but that was for one course and for that sort of money you can get much better Indian food in London. Very disappointed.

Alexandra

Amazing and exciting food at a really reasonable price. Disagree with the above review regarding the portion sizes and the service, not only were the portions more than ample but our waitress was extremely quick & efficient. Agree that the interior is a little lack lustre, but you are able to sit outside which in the summer would be perfect.

scoffer

Oh dear. My friends and I were excited by the review. It is half right the room is as described It is wrong because the food is awful too. The experience lingers unfortunately. The worst meal I have had in a while.

Nabeel

Great review. Also THANK YOU Guy Dimond for being one of the ONLY reviewers in England to get the name Keralite right - as opposed to the absolutely made up Keralan which is being used by UK chefs, press and even Indian chefs in the UK. Kudos.

Hugh

Agree about the location and interior but not about the portion sizes; I was actually delighted that a new restaurant was offering starters, main courses and desserts rather than sharing/small plates and found them ample - certainly not 'the size of side dishes'. The halwa was a small portion but so too would one want it to be given the sweetness, and indeed the price - only about £4 as I recall.