I went to The Cinnamon in Brick Lane yesterday with a group of friends from work. Whilst the company was great, the overall experience of dining at The Cinnamon left rather a lot to be desired.
The food was passable. For starters, I had vegetable samosas (pictured above), which, priced at £3.50, was a massive rip-off, considering you can get much larger ones than that pictured at most newsagents for £1 or so. A friend had negotiated a 20% off the overall bill which was excellent, but even with that 20% off, I felt severely short-changed by the tiny samosa.
Also, I'd ordered vegetable samosa and been given lamb ones. As I was with colleagues and didn't want to show my true Gone Girlish colours, I checked my temper. But inside, I was seething. The cheek.
We had to wait what felt like a small eternity for our mains, and the first plate that was offered to me quite noticeably had food on it. As mentioned previously, I was trying not to be a diva, but food hygiene comes higher than public relations in my hierarchy of self-preservation, so I bluntly told the waiter that I wouldn't be eating from that plate and could I please have another one. I was answered with a tut and an eyeroll, but graciously, offered a new plate.
My dish, chicken tikka masala, was, as advertised, mild, and generally tasted pretty decent, so I will give The Cinnamon kudos for that. The dish photographed to the right of it, was what my friend ordered, and I had a little taste of that as well. The potatoes were lovely.
However, the cheesy naan bread was extremely burnt, and I could taste the cheese used was of low quality. Having to dip such starchy, unappetising bread into my tikka masala detracted from the richness of the sauce substantially.
The service was also a goddamn travesty. As mentioned, the two courses took far too long to arrive, with there being an hour between the two courses. I think this was because next to us were a huge party of 20 or so people, and they'd arrived just before us, so the restaurant had to cater for them as well. Which is fair enough. But I think that shows that the restaurant was understaffed for its full capacity, and thus, at busy times, the poor sods who arrive a minute after the previous party feel the brunt of it in terms of a rumbling stomach.
The main waiter who served us also had such an awful chip on his shoulder, that you would think he was a Chinese waiter in Chinatown. Rolling his eyes at me when he'd had the temerity to offer me a disgusting, filthy plate was a cheek. Every time we tried to beckon him over to take our order, he'd come just to tell us curtly to wait. Charming. And the icing on the cake was at the end, when he'd failed to collate all the receipts and so his calculations didn't add up (although everyone had paid), so he tried to block us from leaving the restaurant whilst he searched for the receipt that he had lost.
All this horrendous service, yet The Cinnamon helped themselves to a tip on the final bill, which worked out to £2 a person. As I said, I was in company, so trying not to show what a shrew I truly was. If I hadn't been with other people, I would have contested that service charge. On the basis of the attitude we'd received, this circus of a restaurant should have been paying us.