Situated above The Hunter’s Moon, this contemporary restaurant brings a little piece of India to Ashbourne’s main street
The décor is rich and impressive. Well-spaced tables are beautifully dressed, the polished wood set off by bright red runners, candles and sparkling silverware. Some large tables would be suitable for families or groups of friends, but it would also be a good destination for a romantic night out.
There’s a modern approach to the cuisine that includes dishes from various parts of India, bringing wide a range of flavours to the dishes.
Poppadoms and dips arrive as you’re making your choices from an extensive menu, with a clear explanation of all dishes. There’s also a chef’s recommendation for a vegetable side with each main course.
When the food arrives it is colourful, as you’d expect, and looks wonderful against simple white dishes and bowls. And, with locally grown seasonal produce and herbs used in making the sauces and spice blends daily, there’s a real freshness to the flavours.
You might start with Aloo Tikki, pan-fried potato cakes from north western Punjab, followed by a main course of chicken or lamb Chettainud , which originates from the southern coast of India. This is a delightful dish cooked with black pepper, cinnamon and cloves, stewed with curry leaf and coconut.
An enjoyable vegetable recommendation is Channa Masala, chickpeas braised with fresh fenugreek, cardamom seeds and tamarind, with fresh coriander.
There is just one Indian offering on a shortish dessert list from which a raspberry panna cotta stands out, not only for the delicious taste, but also for the unusual plate decoration - raspberry sauce art.
A well selected short wine list is complemented by beers, and also cider - a good accompaniment to spicy food.
With its pleasing setting, good cooking and courteous service from well-trained staff, the Cinnamon Garden is an asset to the Ashbourne area – and offers good value too.