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The Cinnamon Tree, Pontcanna

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Words by James McLaren

Time was when Indian restaurants were all chintzy decoration, gaudy baubles and tigers. No more; many have gone for a more sedate ambience, with minimalistic décor fitting menus that are less chicken tikka masala and more Tharav Sofyani.

The Cinnamon Tree in Cardiff’s Pontcanna area fits nicely into this latter bracket. Its demure presentation certainly goes well with its tasteful menu of modern subcontinental dishes. The staff are always friendly, and always as immaculately turned out as their Mercedes cars outside. They’re doing well, it seems, and on tonight’s experience, that’s no surprise.

My partner goes for the Chicken Chat – chicken pieces in a thick, spicy sauce – while I plump for the King Prawn Malabari. Both dishes are beautifully presented and the succulent king prawns in their crispy breadcrumb jackets are just the ticket with the warming chutney dip. Oh, and a glass of Cobra. Well; it’d be rude not to.

For mains it is quite a healthy affair. My partner’s Calcutta turkey steak comes with spicy mushroom bhuna, salad and absolutely lovely spicy Bengali potato wedges. Crispy, salty, creamy potatoes go wonderfully with the turkey. I have a Goan sea bass fillet, cooked in spiced coconut milk, served on a bed of crushed potatoes with caramelised onions, roasted mustard seeds and coriander. Wow, it’s a party in my mouth and no-one’s vomiting. It’s pretty hot, a medium apparently, but luckily I can still taste everything. Beautifully-cooked fish and a delicious coconut and spice combination.

I am very grateful for the mash when I take a small bite from the roasted chilli atop the ensemble; I can’t help myself, and my tongue suffers. Luckily it recovers quickly and I can continue to appreciate my fish. The very palatable house white wine is a decent accompaniment to our dishes.

The Cinnamon Tree is firmly on my list of potential venues when guests come to stay.

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Categories: Restaurant reviews

Gŵyl SWIGEN Festival – Sat Oct 22nd

October 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Gŵyl SWIGEN Festival, in aid of Shelter Cymru & Oxjam Cardiff, will take place in the beautiful Grade II listed Ebenezer Chapel, situated on Charles Street in the heart of Cardiff (info & map), & will showcase 25+ Welsh or Wales-based artists/bands performing on 2 stages.

The main-stage will feature a delightfully eclectic line up of laptop pop, folktronica, chillwave, burnt-out indie pop, Broadway-style indie-folk, psychedelic folk rock, avant garde noiseniks & doom rock. The second Café stage will feature solo & acoustic artists, as well as open mic slots (with a small donation) for any local musicians who’d like to perform throughout the day.

Artists playing: Albatross Archive, Anthony Reynolds & Charlotte Greig, BAANEEX, Ceri Frost, Derrero, Elephant & Soldier, Ellie Makes Music, Golden Fable, HEHFU, Howl Griff, Inconsiderate Parking, Jewellers, Joe Coleman, Kai Lena, Laurence Made Me Cry, Meilir, Molly Zacharias, Mother of Six, Nia Roberts, No Thee No Ess, Pulco, The Scene, The Smiles & Frowns (Adam Mattson Solo Set)

Doors = Midday – 11pm (last band).


Twitter: @SwigenFestival
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/SwigenFestival

Categories: News