Central London

Published on October 28th, 2015 | by Clarissa Waldron

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Halloween Body Bites @ Cinnamon Soho

Halloween Body Bites @ Cinnamon Soho Clarissa Waldron
Food
Venue
Service
Value

Summary: Not your typical Indian restaurant – definitely one to experience

3.8

Gory Delights


Halloween is fast approaching and I couldn’t be more excited! The night of the living dead is my favourite time of year, even more so than birthday’s and Christmas, so I was more than ready to try the limited edition Halloween Body Bites menu at Indian restaurant, Cinnamon Soho – which sees the return of its controversial 2014 Lamb Brains Burger.

Yes indeed, you read that right. A Lamb Brains Burger! I’m an adventurous eater (I knowingly ate raw horse meat in Tokyo) but I think even the most venturesome of eaters would have to think about this one – will it look like a brain? Will it taste soft and fleshy? Is it safe?

The burger is actually very delicious, and very edible so you don’t actually have to endure any gore or questionable tastes – giving you an edge in future “What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten” contests . The burger comes in a brioche bun, deep fried and topped with red onion rings and tomatoes with masala fries on the side. Overall, knowing it is brains rather than a patty is the only potentially off-putting thing – so put that to the back of your, eh, brain, and enjoy this crunchy, richly-flavoured, yummy burger.

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This year things have expanded and Duck Hearts and Oxtail Samosas make up the rest of the Burger Bites menu. The Duck Hearts are of course not a usual menu staple and are another adventurous endeavour for most people.  Appearance again is key here and the presentation of the dish makes it very welcoming. The hearts are tossed in crushed coriander and chilli and mixed with chunky, sauteéd red onions, while being served with a small, chunky salad, and a coriander pesto.

In this set-up you could almost forget you’re tucking into a duck’s main muscular organ and not diced up cubes of liver. The hearts are actually quite resilient, and not as soft or as big as I had expected them to be, with a smooth meaty texture that goes very well with the accompanying hot garlic chutney.

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Though not too much of a stretch of the imagination, the Samosas are a tasty and sizeable choice. Consisting of slow-cooked oxtail meat, encased in crunchy pastry and paired with caper lime raita and tamarind chutney, these will be a definite hit for those looking to compromise on the adventurous menu.

From the a la carte menu, the Seared Duck Breast proved to be an excellent choice and like the Halloween menu, resulted in a cleared plate. The breast arrived pre sliced and was very tender with a lovely crisp outside. It came neatly presented with a side of rice, some kale, and a sesame and tamarind sauce – the sauce being the only hint of Cinnamon Soho’s Indian heritage that was experienced this evening.

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The move to dessert brought about a bout of indecisiveness – “I want to see what Chocolate Golis are” , “The Coconut Brúlée is tempting” – but the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Stem Ginger Ice Cream won out, along with the Bramley Apple, Almond and Carom Seed Crumble with Cinnamon Ice Cream.

I’m a big fan of crumble but sadly, this one proved to be quite powdery and bitty, and resonated of sawdust. The inside was dry and the apples too chunky and hard. Raspberries were also included in the mix, which wasn’t listed on the menu, and I wouldn’t have chosen it had I known. I felt there was a lot going on here and the raspberries took away from the other flavours rather than being a suitable addition. So in this round there was one clear winner: the Sticky Toffee Pudding.  Its texture is sturdier than usual, as most variations are soft and spongy, but this is well worth tasting and the ice cream is an added bonus.

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Throughout we sipped on the rich Casa Azul Merlot, from Chile, with lovely tones of spicy dark fruits that actual paired very well throughout our sitting, from the meaty flavour of the duck hearts to the sweetness and piquancy of the sticky toffee pudding. A well-chosen, versatile red which hits the £25 mark.

Featuring other such dishes like Lamb Escalope, Quinoa Salad, Roganjosh Shepherd’s Pie and the Body Bites menu, Cinnamon Soho isn’t your typical Indian restaurant. It’s one that is happy to embrace its surroundings and influence, be it British cuisine or calendar events like Halloween, and this is an approach that makes it a very exciting dining spot.

So hats off to Cinnamon Soho for challenging the norm and pushing the boundaries of what an Indian restaurant is supposed to do and we look forward to seeing another expansion on the Halloween menu next year!

http://www.cinnamonsoho.com/

Cinnamon Soho, 5 Kingly St, London W1B 5PF

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