Cinnamon Authentic Indian Restaurant and Bar
Unit B, 2/F, 7-17 Amoy Street, Wan Chai
Tel: 2572 9696
Open: 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Price: about HK$200 without the drinks or service charge
Ambience: very quiet on a drizzly weeknight. You'll have to search for this restaurant; it's on a small, dead-end street in Wan Chai, on the second floor of a residential building.
Pros: most of the food we tasted was good, simple Indian food - nothing refined, but well-spiced and balanced.
Cons: the menu is large and because the dishes are grouped by sauce, it reads like a cheap curry house - the type where there are a few vats of sauces bubbling on the burner, and the cook adds fish, shrimp, chicken or lamb, depending on what the customer wants. The pakora (deep-fried fritters made of potatoes, eggplant and green peppers, HK$32) oozed oil, and didn't have much flavour. The dahl makhani (black lentils and kidney beans with black pepper, onion, garlic, ginger and cream, HK$58) was far too rich and creamy, and there was too much sauce for the legumes.
Recommended dishes: tandoori fish tikka (HK$78) came sizzling hot on an iron plate. The four thick pieces of fish were moist, with a light spice coating. The tandoori lamb, reasonably priced for four meaty chops (HK$98), had a strong lamb flavour that one guest and I liked, but another guest found too muttony-tasting. The surprise winner of the night was the British-Indian dish of chicken tikka masala (HK$68). The tender chicken had a nice smoky flavour that we could taste through the rich, slightly spicy sauce. Also enjoyable was the aloo gobi (HK$68), which had substantial chunks of potato and cauliflower. We tasted several breads, including lacha paratha (HK$20) and awa chapati (HK$15), which were freshly made.
What else? The restaurant didn't have a liquor licence on our visit, so they let us bring our own beer. There's a weekday lunch buffet for HK$78 that includes one standard drink, and a weekday dinner buffet for HK$148.