There's something kind of wonderful about sitting over an Indian feast, savouring the combinations of flavours and textures and knowing that people all over the world are equally in love with this cuisine as you. I only eat curry maybe once or twice a month but when the craving comes, I need to get in to the kitchen or out to a restaurant as soon as possible.
Since it's a Friday night, my partner Jeremy and I toss around some ideas for a few venues to eat at before settling on Cinnamon Club in Leederville after spotting it in the gold section of my Entertainment Book. Neither of us had been there before and though our go to is usually Bollywood, we decided to try something different and take advantage of a 25% discount.
We're seated by the window which is the perfect spot for people watching. We take a seat and immediately set about perusing the menu. Immediately I see that the prices are a little steep here but that's okay since we have my card.
Our waiter brings over some iced water for us as we make our meal choices for the night. On their website we'd spotted a couple starters that we were interested in but the menu in the restaurant was different so we end up going straight to mains instead.
Since we're in the spirit of sharing, we both pick a curry and a side each to split between us. I pick (in my usual fashion) the Butter Chicken ($23.00) and the Butter Chilli Naan ($5.50).
Butter chilli naan
The butter chicken is delicious, smooth and silky though it does lack the real depth of spices and smokiness that a truly great butter chicken does have. The meat is really tender, soft to the tooth and sits in harmony with the plentiful supply of sauce. The main downfall is that the dish is really enjoyable but there's only about five pieces of meat inside. I can't help but in my head compare it to Bollywood's plentiful and generous servings.
The butter chilli naan is really yummy and it's a different flavour than your traditional butter or garlic breads. The slices of chilli are flavoursome and the chilli seeds scattered on top have a real bite to them which I really appreciate and savour. When dunking chunks of this in the curry sauce, I have to admit I'm in heaven! For me, curry is and always will be about the sauce.
Lamb madras masala
Jeremy goes for the Lamb Madras Masala ($23.50) and the Churi Paratha ($4.50). The lamb curry is creamy and pops from the use of mustard seeds. The lamb falls apart with a prod of my fork and the sauce is slightly oily but in a great way. It's a nice choice that is completely different to my choice of butter chicken, allowing us to have a good variety for our dinner spread.
The churi paratha is unleavened wholemeal bread and tastes great. It's a more complex texture than naan bread but it works as an ideal vessel for soaking up curry. The slightly darkened edges have a smokey flavour to them and a texturally pleasing crunch.
We also order a serving of Pappadams ($4.00) which come with a side of mint yoghurt to dunk them in. While I love eating these crisp treats on their own, we both also like to crumble them up over the top of our plates so that each bite of rice and curry have a good crunch to them.
Our serving of rice turned out in our bill to be a serving each (though our waiter didn't confirm this with us) which did explain the large bowl size ($9). It's steamed basmatic rice with scattered sprigs of coriander to bring out the fragrant aroma. It's soft and fluffy but cools down very quickly once at our table since we're directly under a freezing cold air vent.
All up I have to say I'm not quite sure how I felt about our evening out at Cinnamon Club. While the service was efficient, I can't say it was genuinely friendly. The food is nice but it wasn't anything special and each dish had highs and lows. I definitely walked away enjoying our meal, but I'm not sure it was enough to go back.
All in all I guess I can say it was just an average night that could have been on the pricier side for the amount we ate had it not been for my wonderful Entertainment Card.