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Restaurant Review: Cinnamon Kitchen, Westgate Oxford

Image courtesy of Cinnamon Kitchen

 

A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the brand new Cinnamon Kitchen at Westgate Oxford, a multi-million pound shopping development in the heart of the city centre. Perched right on the very top of the brand new development, the trendy Cinnamon Kitchen provides an innovative, authentic Indian dining experience to guests both young and old. Open every day for brunch, lunch and dinner, and owned and designed by acclaimed chef Vivek Singh, Cinnamon’s sleek interior design coupled with its mouth-watering dishes and eclectic menu makes it stand out from the crowd amongst other family friendly restaurants that have set up on top of the Westgate too. Here’s what my friend Katherine and I got up to during my lunchtime treat on a frosty January afternoon…

 

The Location

 

Image courtesy of Oxfordshire Guardian

 

The Westgate is fast becoming one of the most popular areas of the city, and for good reason. The new development has seen an influx of locals and tourists flocking to the area and there’s been a sharp increase in tourism too. As well as being home to the hottest shops and restaurants, the Westgate also boasts a number of bars, a cinema and an indoor mini golf course. Cinnamon Kitchen is perched right on the rooftop, next to a row of trendy restaurants including a sushi place and acclaimed cocktail bar The Alchemist too. Cinnamon’s stylish exterior fits right in with the Westgate’s designer theme and the outdoor garden with trees, plants and seating area (which will be amazing in summer) make it feel like a mini jungle right in the heart of Oxford.

 

The Restaurant

 

Image courtesy of Cinnamon Kitchen

 

This place looks just as good on the inside as it does from the outside, with incredible attention to detail and glamorous décor. The bar is decorated with gold mirrors and reflective white lighting, whilst the dining areas are complete with smooth furniture, vibrant wall art and crisp clean walls. Although not overly big inside, it feels like there is plenty of space between tables and there’s a private dining area too for those looking to dine in peace. There is a ‘show-cooking’ Tandoori grill next to the kitchen, allowing guests to see and smell their food before it arrives at their table, and this really adds to the authentic Indian fine dining experience.

 

The Menu

 

Cinnamon Kitchen lunch menu

 

We were asked to choose from the lunch time set menu, so I can’t comment on the rest of the menu’s on offer, but our choice of food was exquisite and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different to their usual lunch time routine. Starters to choose from included chicken skewers. smoked haddock and vegetable pastries. For mains you could opt for a butter chicken curry, char grilled sea bass or spiced veal kebab. Desserts could either be in the form of a carrot treacle tart, ginger toffee pudding or sorbet of the day. Our set lunch menu was priced at £21pp for two courses, or £24pp for three courses which I do think is a little on the steep side for lunch, but is well worth the money if you wanted to treat yourself.

 

The Food

 

             

Starter, main and dessert

 

To start, my friend and I both chose the chicken skewers with rose petals, pomegranate and toasted buckwheat which was every inch as good as it sounds, and looked super pretty on the plate too! The rose petal and pomegranate sauce made the perfect dressing with both complementing each other perfectly, whilst the chicken was incredibly soft, tender and tasty too. For mains my friend and I opted for the same again, both choosing a rich butter chicken dish with rice, naan bread and a trio of dahl. Although a little spicy for both our liking (we are such wimps!) the dish was great and super tasty. The trio of dahl really helped with the spiciness and the flavours were amazing. We both agreed that the extra side plate of naan bread was the best we had ever tasted – super soft, flavoursome  bread with cheese all the way through the middle – and we were well and truly full up by the end. For dessert we were treated to a medley of puds as we couldn’t decide what to have and weren’t even sure we could manage to eat anything else! Katherine and I soon devoured miniature tarts, cakes and pannacotta when it arrived though and it was the perfect way to cleanse our pallets and end a wonderful dining experience.

 

 

The Staff

Image courtesy of Cinnamon Kitchen

 

 

Throughout our lunch we were looked after by our waiters Andreas and Rohit who were both fantastic and couldn’t do enough for us. Andreas in particular was so attentive, well-mannered and super friendly. They both made sure we were treated like royalty and made our experience that extra bit special. I met with general manager Leon towards the end of the lunch and it was lovely to gain an insight into how well the restaurant is doing – he told us that they had 60 guests booked in for dinner that night and that they had been busy all week! I’m a firm believer that the staff are the beating heart, life and soul of any business and it is certainly true in this case. Cinnamon wouldn’t be what it is today without their wonderful employees who work tirelessly to ensure every guest leaves full, happy and feeling special.

 

As you can see, my friend Katherine and I had the most wonderful afternoon at Cinnamon and we left with our bellies full and our taste-buds satisfied. The ambience was lively, the staff were wonderful, the food was exquisite and the location was perfect, although I’m sure the rooftop would have been better had it not been so cold out! I would highly recommend Cinnamon Kitchen Westgate Oxford for anyone looking for an authentic Indian fine dining experience, for either an afternoon lunch time treat or an evening occasion. Big thanks must go to all the wonderful staff who helped make our afternoon so special!

NB. I was a guest of Cinnamon’s for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts are of course my own.

 

Katherine and I enjoying our day out!

 

Cinnamon Kitchen at night

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