High Tea Indian Style At Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden
08 Apr 2017
Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden
From the outside, the green door and glimpse of the bar through the front window is all very inconspicuous, giving no secrets away about the visual, edible and drinkable treasures held within.
There is a mixture of red cloth, hanging baskets and fairy lights swinging from the rafters, the walls are speckled with gold leaf and the glass roof lets light flood in. Each table is etched with a leaf, and benches and chairs are decorated with bright cushions all aimed to catch the eye.
In this setting, it’s almost too easy to forget about the food altogether, filling up on the wonderful surroundings and basking in the day’s sun. With this much vitamin D pouring in, there’s no wonder all the staff were so extraordinarily happy and cheerful, treating every guest like it was their birthday.
The Trader’s High Tea is all about the little things: tea pots, plates whilst not taking precedence over the food; their pretty patterns and bright colours calling out to be snapped like a reality TV star in front of a baying paparazzi. It was hard to decide in what order to drink the chai tea and peach bellini that landed on the table at the same time. The chai tea was served at perfect drinking temperature and had a great kick to it (why I can’t make it taste like this at home I’ll never know), but the excitement of bubbly alcohol, fizzing away won me over first.
The Bhangra lamb slider and the Tandoori chicken and chutney sandwich that shared the plate were belters. The latter was definitely the most British looking item of the afternoon tea: two pieces of bread pasted together with sweet chutney and in all honesty, was far more exciting than some lame little cucumber.
The other savoury dishes of Aloo tikki chaat and Samosa chaat were full of colour, just as good Indian food should be. Two large samosas surrounded by a bright, burnt orange paste were soft with their own intense flavour. Not overpowering the rest of the food however, just like a confident friend at a party, rather than the school bully on the playground.
Leaving the sweets till last was a task in itself, had I known how incredible the Sweet carrot halwa roll was going to be I wouldn’t have been able to be so controlled. With caramelized carrot and beetroot wrapped in a pastry that fell about the place as you took a bite, the vegetables tasted like vegetables have never tasted before. This was completely contrasting to the Dark chocolate walnut cake that was a little dry, but saved by the puddle of sweet and sticky sauce it was caught in.
For tea for two at £30 (£40 including the bellini), you can be treated like royalty in a place more beautiful than any palace. Perhaps.
If I could have the pleasure of afternoon tea well, every afternoon, then afternoon tea at Cinnamon Bazaar would be the one atop my list.