Food & Drink
Pink painted side of restaurant with name Cinnamon Bazaar and Richmond street sign

Cinnamon Bazaar: the restaurant turning Richmond roads into Mumbai markets

As I sat outside at Cinnamon Bazaar I thought that while the roads of Richmond are not quite as busy as those of Mumbai, they can be as noisy.

Sirens flew by and a car screamed its horn to get out of the way.

It is not what you would call a relaxing lunch environment.

But Cinnamon Bazaar, a restaurant inspired by the hustle and bustle of India’s ancient and modern bazaars, could say it gave the place authenticity.

Richmond’s latest Indian restaurant is an offshoot of the established and quite posh Cinnamon Club, all served in an Instagrammable hue of pink.

It promises diners modern Indian dishes inspired by the marketplaces that lie on the various trading routes that connect the empires of the Old World.

First stop, Richmond-Upon-Thames.

The service was really friendly and relaxed, serving us cocktails to enjoy outside in the unseasonal sunshine.

Best of these was the bright Pretty Please, with tequila, raspberry, elderflower and Grand Marnier. 

The Ananas did not contain enough pineapple for my taste and the Roots & Fruits tasted suspiciously like an Aperol Spritz – so if you like them you’re in the clear.

However, more refreshing than the drinks were the chaats, eaten as starters. Fresh flavours surprised mouths used to dense rich food from the nearby north Indian takeaway.

The puri, a shell of semolina filled variously with sweet and sour ‘waters’, chickpeas or potato, were a highlight, with the casing cracking to release a perfect mouthful of sharp freshness.

These were fun to eat as well as delicious.

Surprisingly light was dhokla chaat, a fluffy steamed chickpea cake.

Throughout all these ran a delicious green coriander chutney which cut through the heavier parts, especially the aloo tikki chaat potato cake.

Afterwards, the Malabar Boatman’s Kingfish Curry was the kind of dish you cannot stop dipping back into, even if you have had enough.

A briefly fried curry leaf garnish added a surprising meatiness to the gravy with generous chunks of fish.

A nice part of the Bazaar is that most of the mains come with rice, so there is no need to order such an important element on top.

For dessert, I would recommend ice cream with uncommon flavours such as cinnamon and saffron offered in subtle enough quantities to be universally likeable.

I ate a kulfi, like ice cream but denser and creamier having not been whipped before freezing.

I wished I’d had the rasmalai, having been put off by the warning it was incredibly sweet, as I saw it delivered to the table behind and presented beautifully.

With dishes from across India, there is a real range on offer on the menu – able to pair the seafood with a north Indian tandoori lamb, and east and west on one plate.

It is this range that tempts you to come back, if only the prices were a little lower. 

At around £18 for a main and £7.50 for a chaat, Cinnamon Bazaar is not trying to compete with your local Indian takeaway.

It is more of an occasion, with a relaxed atmosphere and staff to keep you at ease but punchy flavours to make you furrow your brow and nod your head at your friend.

And with the fresh chaats and bright sunny interiors, I would say this is a great place to try this Summer.

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