I was very excited to hear that legendary Indian chef Vivek Singh planned to take over the old Carluccio’s site in Richmond (much as I loved going to Carluccio’s).

It’s now called Cinnamon Bazaar and inspired by the hustle and bustle of India’s ancient and modern bazaars where goods, ideas, flavours and experiences were exchanged.

The menu, from Executive Chef Vivek and Head Chef Rakesh Singh, runs from breakfast through to dinner and features pan-Indian, street food style dishes, along with a new innovative range of vegan friendly plates. 

It’s brightly lit and very welcoming, and I loved the eclectic decor – especially the Indian newsprint lining the ceiling.

Our Visit

It had only been open for a week when we went, and there were a few, minor, teething problems, but that’s to be expected with any new opening. 

Being in the same parent group as Carluccio’s, they’ve very sensibly kept on the staff, who’ve been on quite a learning curve to switch from Italian to Indian fare!  

We ordered a couple of cocktails while studying the menu: I fancied the Maiden Garden (Camomile Whitley Neill Gin; St. Germain; Lemongrass and Nutmeg) and my non-alcohol drinking other half chose a Berry Burst cocktail. 

He thoroughly enjoyed his, which was served in a tall glass, but mine was a bit of a disaster, due to the fact that it was served in a copper mug, packed with ice, and a paper straw to drink through. 

Once I’d removed the mountain of ice, it did allow me to try to drink it, but they should rethink the vessels that some cocktails are served in – and the quota of ice! 

Wonderful Chaat

We started with a selection of the chaat dishes, for which Vivek is famous. 

Dating as far back as the 1600s, bazaar traders would often work long days and indulge in these savoury snacks. To this day it continues to be one of India’s most popular street foods. 

Mitra, our server, suggested we share three chaats between us: Samosa Smash (Punjabi vegetable samosas, curried white peas, onion and chilli); Banarasi Tomato Cashew Chaat (Poached cherry tomatoes and tamarind chutney) and Dahi Bhalla Papdi Chaat (Lentil dumplings, sorbet, wheat biscuits & chutneys). 

Reader, these were seriously fabulous and they were so tasty and different from anything we’d had before. 



The flavours were beautifully balanced, and a refreshing tamarind sorbet  accompanied the tomato and cashew. 

Gentle heat built up in the mouth with the Samosa Smash and they were all so cleverly seasoned to allow the different flavours to come through without too much heat.  

Delicious Mains

For our main course, my husband had already earmarked the Lamb Rogan Josh Shepherd’s Pie (according to Time Out one of ‘The 100 Best Dishes in London). 

He wasn’t disappointed; he loved the fact that it had chunks of meat rather than mince, but only wished it could have been a more generous portion for a main course (it was served in a small gratin dish).

I opted for Tandoori King Prawn with a Goan curry sauce and Lemon rice…wow!  The prawns were fat and juicy and so good.

A finger bowl will be a useful addition, though, to avoid staining their fabric napkins.  

A Really Interesting Salad

To accompany it we had a Bitter Gourd Super Salad (Crisp gourd, red onion, spice), which was really interesting – bitter gourd was a completely new taste to me – and a delicious one.

Not being one to pass up a portion of Peshwari naan, my husband was very impressed – as was I with the tiny piece I managed to steal from him – it had lovely notes of cardamom.  

Just Desserts

As you can imagine, we were pretty ‘pogged out’ with this wonderful food, but my husband was persuaded to have some Carrot & Ginger Toffee Pudding with banana ice cream, which he said was particularly delicious as not overly sweet. 

He wolfed it down extremely fast, so I didn’t get to taste it. 

I had a portion of homemade nutmeg ice cream which slid down beautifully and was the perfect finale to a great meal.  

A well compiled wine list offers a good selection starting at £6.60 a glass, and beers and ciders at around £6.50.

Breakfast is soon to be introduced with a range of Indian dishes that sound very tempting indeed. 

We’ll definitely be going back and Cinnamon Bazaar is, I’m sure, going to be a very popular addition to Richmond’s dining scene – it certainly deserves to be!