Amazing lunch at Cinamon Indian Bistro
I had the chicken vindaloo lunch special ($7.75, satisfyingly hot but filled with subtle flavors) and the onion bhaji app ($3.75, fried perfection, remarkably ungreasy). Should have skipped the app because the vindaloo was a considerable amount of food, but it was so good I'm glad that I didn't.
The chef is seriously talented. According to the website, he's has cooked for dignitaries like Bill Clinton, John Major and the Queen.
Great prices, very generous portions and stellar food, and in the Beaches, no less! Not licensed (yet, anyway) - the only thing that would have improved the meal would have been a bottle or two of Kingfisher or Cheetah.
I really hope this place makes it. It's a very small space and for food of this quality I don't think they're charging nearly enough, not that I'm complaining. I've never had Indian food this good in the East End. I can only think of one or two restaurants downtown/uptown that compare.
If anyone else has been I'd love to hear about some of the other items on the menu.
I keep hoping that someone else here will try this place and report back.
My wife and I went there for dinner tonight, and it confirmed everything I thought initially. It was packed when we arrived at 7:15, which was nice to see. Despite this, service was attentive and prompt throughout the meal.
Started with the onion bhaji again. Plated very attractively, with a drizzle of mango sauce around the perimeter. My wife mentioned to the server how good the sauce was and he brought out a small bowl of extra sauce unasked.
I had chicken vindaloo again, having craved it since my first visit. Once again, brilliantly spiced, hot but complex and refined.
My wife opted for the lamb zardaloo boti - I don't eat (former) quadrupeds, but had a small taste. The lamb, like the chicken, was perfectly cooked and perfectly trimmed of the fat, gristle and what-have-you that tends to be the downfall of too many Indian restaurants along Gerrard. The apricot in the sauce was assertive even over the considerable chili hit. Delicious.
Still no license, I'm presuming for religious reasons. But no matter. It was a brilliant meal, and a lot of food for just under $40. Again, they could and should be charging more for food of this quality. The chef is an absolute artist. I can't recommend this place highly enough, but I worry that the economics of such a small space on a high-rent strip could be its undoing.
I am looking forward to sampling the food, and I see they have delivery now. One thing that bothers me is the bullshit on their website about the "awards" that the chef has won - there is no such award as the "Cook of Her Majesty" or the "Downtown New York Chef of the Year".
It could be a language mix up, I'm not judging, but I have known people who see bold statements like that and accept them at face value, without any checking. Did he cook for Queen Elizabeth? Did he actually create and execute the dish she ate? Or simply do something less illustrious in the kitchen?,
I just wonder, why a resto owner would risk alienating potential clientelle with all this dubious PR.
If the food is great, and it sounds like it is, why ruin things with the BS?
My guess would be that the chef cooked at one Indian state dinner with at least some of the cited dignitaries in attendance.
I don't think the fanciful claims detract from this guy's artistry, though he'd probably be best advised to talk about his cooking and put the other stuff aside. I do hope to hear your impressions of the place.
He's been around for months now and hasn't gotten any attention here.