Food and Drink
Posted by Becca Z
07. Jun, 2012
Here’s a fun fact: When you buy cinnamon, you are buying one of four main types of cinnamon. There’s Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Chinese cinnamon. The “true” cinnamon, however, comes from Sri Lanka and the spice is included as a base in of many of the country’s signature dishes.
It’s not surprising then, that Melbourne’s newest Sri Lankan restaurant is called Cinnamon’s.
Located on St Kilda Road, which is notorious for its dearth of anything that isn’t a sandwich bar (when people say that there isn’t a decent feed for miles, they mean it literally), any remotely promising restaurant is met with serious enthusiasm.
I’ll be honest, I arrived at Cinnamon’s not expecting much. I just wanted a day off from the sandwiches.
In a total surprise, the 14-page menu included some Sri Lankan specialities that aren’t commonly seen in other Melbourne, such as Lamprias, Dry Fish Curry, Kottu Roti, Faluda and Woodapple Cream. The regular offerings of dosa, string hoppers and wattalapam also featured on the menu.
The large signage up the front announced a Saturday Night International Buffet With Live Music at $34.90/head, Kids Aged 4-12 at $14/head and a quick scan of the menu showed that the famous Sri Lankan Hoppers (uppum), made their weekly appearance at the buffet.
For a regular weekday lunch, however, there are meal deals that cost between $10.90 and $14.00, including rice and a choice of two curries.
In an obvious hat tip to its predecessor Barbarinos + Wongs, the lunch menu had thrown in some non-Sri Lankan items as well, including a Black Bean Beef with Steamed Rice and Szechuan Chicken with Steamed Rice, which caused a healthy debate around the table about the pros and cons of offering a fusion menu.
Everyone at the table agreed on Sri Lankan curries on rice, pooling our collective resources into choosing seven different curries altogether. For the record, these were: spicy lamb, spicy chicken and mild chicken for our meat choices and eggplant, pumpkin, lentil and spicy potatoes for our vegetables.
When the food arrived, all conversation stopped – Cinnamon’s curries were good. Not only were they good, they actually tasted like good Sri Lankan curry. Even the two self-confessed curry aficionados agreed, as they mopped up their lentils and picked their chicken bones clean.
We were done within the hour, always a good sign for a St Kilda Road restaurant catering to office workers with a tight lunch schedule, and left with spare change in our pockets.
Most importantly, all of us agreed we’d be back. You know, even if it’s just to get away from the endless sandwiches haunting our every step.
474 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
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