Our visit to Chor Bizarre in Mayfair was by invitation, and we were totally spoilt. Having the opportunity to try several of the dishes on the rather eclectic menu, which covers feasts like the famous Kashmiri Wazwam, South Indian Tiffin, the quintessential Indian street food Chaat, along with other well known Indian dishes. I am going to have to use the word eclectic a lot as that very much sums up Chor Bizarre. The decor is both stylish and eclectic (and some of it is even for sale). The food is equally eclectic covering several Indian regions, we ordered a fairly mixed range of dishes. Sambar, Gazab ka tikka, a lovely mild dish with very moist chicken marinated in cheese and cream that is also served in Chor Bizarre’s New Delhi branch. Dakshni crab cakes, light and as spicy as advertised, Lamb Rogan Josh, Pepper Scallops, Baghara Baingan and Palak Makkai a rather delicious spinach dish.
The restaurant has an extensive wine list which they are happy to match to your food, something I always struggle with in Indian restaurants. For a useful guide on pairing see Charles Metcalfe’s Chor Bizarre Wine and Food matches. We had a nice bottle of Castillo de Clavijo Rioja Crianza, which only really worked with the milder dishes.
I very much wanted to try their Tandoori pineapple dessert, but alas after our feast I had no room, I just managed to fit in some mango sorbet and a nice glass of dessert wine.
Chor Bizarre which translates as Thieves Market has a nice relaxing buzz to it, on our visit it comfortably handled groups, couples and single dinners.
The Cinnamon Club is probably the most famous high end Indian restaurant in London. It’s located in a lovely building and has two bars, one in the Library that is cosy and a more flamboyant one in the basement.
Service was a bit lax initially, but it improved after we ordered. We went for a menu with matching wines, which was not very successful. Benares handles matching wines to Indian cuisine much better. The wines at Benares complimented the flavours of the very subtle Indian food. The Cinnamon Clubs Wine matches were competing too much with the flavour, all of them were really heavy and full bodied. I found the whole experience exhausting.
Some friends who visited The Cinnamon Club a few days before us, had issues with not being allowed to transfer the bar bill to the restaurant bill, which was inconvenient as the bar was busy and they ended up having to wait 15 minutes for it.
The restaurant has 2 AA Rosettes, which sounds about right.