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Wednesday 20 June 2018

Cinnamon Kitchen – Vivek Singh Spicing Things Up at Battersea Power Station

Name: Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea

Where: Battersea Power Station, 4 Arches Lane, SW11 8AB, http://www.cinnamon-kitchen.com/battersea/

Cost: A 3-course meal here will cost on average £45pp excluding drinks or service. Starters cost from £6.50 to £17.50, mains are priced from £14 to £29 while desserts from £2 to £8.

About: Readers of The London Foodie will know that we are fans of Vivek Singh’s vibrant Indian cooking – I have written about his restaurants on a number of occasions – his small-eats, casual Cinnamon Bazaar (reviewed here), or the flagship, more upmarket Cinnamon Club (reviewed here), and more recently at Taste of London when I had a most fantastic Chaat at the Cinnamon Kitchen stand (see here).

For the best Indian cooking at @tasteoflondon head to @chefviveksingh of @cinnamonrestaurants - I had a number of Indian dishes that got me scraping my plates: . My top recommendation is his Chamiya’s Chaat, this was heavenly - a mix of sweet, spicy, salt and sour flavours - with cured watermelon, pomegranate seeds, spicy coriander chutney, yoghurt, chickpeas and herbs, among other things - it was fresh and so good, a personal favourite. . Coorgi Double Cooked Pork Belly - was very tender and served with Kokum berries and curried yoghurt. . Kolkata Open Blue Cobia - grilled white Black King fish fillets, was buttery and dense, with a super zingy mustard and coconut curry sauce. . Lamb Galouti Kebab - lamb patty over a fried roti served with pomegranate seeds, yoghurt and spicy coriander chutney. . @chefviveksingh’s cooking was vibrant, fresh and full of flavour - his signature dishes at Taste are some of the best of the festival, but hurry it all ends tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ . ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ›
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Following his 10th anniversary at Cinnamon Kitchen Devonshire Square, I was intrigued to hear of Vivek Singh’s new venture South of the River. Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea is part of the multi-million regeneration project of the Grade-II listed Battersea Power Station (so long overdue).

Situated in Circus Village West, Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea has a minimalist industrial dรฉcor with railway arch faรงade, exposed brick walls and an expansive open-plan kitchen.

It is a large restaurant, modern and sleek, serving Vivek’s contemporary Indian dishes paired with cocktails by mixologist Tony Conigliaro of 69 Colebrooke Row, one of my favourite cocktail bars in London, also reviewed here. And so we headed south to check it out.

What We Ate: The menu is divided into Appetisers, which include a section on Grills, then Mains, Sides, Breads and Desserts. The recommendation is of 2 appetisers/grills plus a main dish and a dessert per person.

Vivek Singh - working through the food orders at Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea

With that in mind, we kicked off with banana leaf wrapped sea bass with chilli, tomato and kokum crust (£9) from the Grill section – not much of a looker, what it lacked in presentation, it more than made up in flavour – spicy, well seasoned and fresh. Served with a mildly curried sour cream and a carrot and chilli cream, this was a good start to the meal.

The Keema Litti rustic lamb dough ball with anchovy chutney (£6.75), also from the Grill section, was intensely flavoursome wrapped around freshly-baked pastry and served with a vibrant mint and anchovy sauce.

Bombay street food (Vada Pao) – was a toasted bun (Pรฃo is bread in Portuguese) with a chickpea burger (Vada) and coriander cream, tapioca cake and chilli paneer - this looked like cubes of prime beef, but slicing into it revealed the creamy white, surprisingly firm flesh of the curd cheese (£8.50).

Wild African prawn (£17.50), came with a coriander and garlic crust, it was butterflied but cleverly served in its own shell – it was wonderfully aromatic and succulent from having been grilled in the shell, and easy to eat without any of hassle factor.

For mains, we went for the clove smoked lamb rump (£24), served with fennel and nutmeg sauce and saffron rice. The lamb was tender and medium rare as requested, the spice level was just right - rich, exotic and warming without blowing your head off, and with some delicious cardamom and clove spices.

King prawns in Bengali turmeric curry (£25), came with a deliciously rich ghee rice and spinach poriyal. We enjoyed this but felt it was a weaker option compared to the lamb or the magnificent African grilled prawn.

Despite being on the Sides section, the biryani was a main course in its own right and we could not resist but order it – Lucknow-Style Chicken Biryani (£15) with a Burhani Raita was one of the highlights of our meal - flavoured with lemon and cumin, the rice was perfectly cooked and the chicken meltingly tender.

With our biryani and mains we ordered a delectable Dal Trio (£7) of - yellow, black lentils and chickpeas.

The Peshwari naan (£5.50) was freshly made, it was rich with sweet sultana, burnt coconut and ghee flavours.

For dessert, the Himalayan Queen (£7.50) was a trio of pistachio kulfi, mango and thandai ice cream covered with spiced meringue and flamed with rum.

Finished off at the table, this was Vivek’s Indian reinterpretation of the 70s classic Baked Alaska.

Lassi panna cotta (£6.50) came with a mango mint salad, fresh mango and mango purรฉe, crisp dehydrated raspberries and edible nasturtium flowers, it was fresh and a light dessert to end a fabulous meal.

What We Drank: All cocktails, created by award-winning mixologist Tony Conigliaro specifically for the Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea, are priced between £9 and £12.50.

Coconut Kir was a refreshing cocktail with champagne, toasted coconut, coconut liqueur, and Wyborowa vodka (£12.50). Equally good, if somewhat stronger, was the Assam Manhattan (£8.50) made with black assam infused buffalo gin, vermouth, maraschino, black cardamom - spicy and delicious.

Entry-level wines, both priced at £22.50 from El Muro, Carinena, Spain, were a Macabeo White and a Tempranillo/Garnacha red. We shared a bottle of Sangiovese 2013 from Fico Grande Romagna DOC £30 that worked well with most of the dishes we tried on the evening, particularly the lamb ones.

Likes: the Lucknow-Style Chicken Biryani, the Wild African Prawn and the Peshwari Naan, as well as the cocktails were the highlight of our visit. The food was well seasoned, vibrant and fresh and I could not fault it.

Dislikes: it is nearly impossible to find a suitable/free parking space anywhere near the restaurant.

Verdict: Vivek Singh’s Indian cooking is full of flavour, zingy and fresh. His latest venture, Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea is a very welcome addition to the regeneration of the Power Plant and elevates Battersea’s restaurant scene as a whole. Highly recommended.

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