Until fairly recently, Cinnamon in St Thomas Street existed under a different identity.
Formerly Miaz, this eatery is still a purveyor of Indian fare, it still looks the same both inside and out, yet it has certainly undergone changes for the better.
My last visit was blighted by poor service, cold drinks that were served warm and a wait for main courses that seemed, to a hungry belly, to last an eternity.
It’s pleasing to be able to report that the service is now much improved.
Our waiter was attentive and could not have been friendlier, while the meals arrived in decent time.
The food, without doubt the most important component in a successful dining experience and the one thing that Miaz actually excelled in, was also good, if not spectacular.
After perusing the menu and demolishing a stack of poppadoms, we opted for a mixed platter for two (£8.95) and a duck hash tikka (£4.95) as our starters.
The platter consisted of what the menu describes as an “imaginative mix” of starters.
It isn’t actually that imaginative in reality but chicken and lamb tikka, bhajis, pakora and sheek kebabs are all staples of any Indian restaurant’s menu for a reason, and they were well-cooked if a little lacking in seasoning.
The hash tikka was not received as warmly due to the dish bordering on miniscule in size and again lacking the sort of exciting flavour that you expect from Asian cuisine.
The general consensus after the starters were finished was that Cinnamon could do with upping their game for the main courses, and that they did.
My dish, a Rajasthani Ghost – shanks of grilled lamb simmered in tamarind and yoghurt – was excellent.
Although perhaps lacking in heat for a dish described as “fairly hot”, it was nevertheless rich and flavoursome.
The lamb, so often a disappointment in a curry, was nicely cooked, juicy and tender.
One of my companions settled on a Pandina Ghost (£7.95), spring lamb cooked in blend of spices and fresh garden mint.
His assessment of the dish was that although the lamb was again delicious, it promised everything in terms of flavour yet did not quite deliver.
Despite there being a multitude of flavours in the mix, they did not quite all blend together to create something that stimulated his tastebuds.
After prolonged deliberation, the third member of our party opted for a tandoori mixed grill (£9.95), a surprise to nobody, as it is a meal he has been seen to enjoy approximately “700 to 800 times” in recent years.
Fortunately, this qualifies him as perhaps as good a judge of said dish as one could wish for. His conclusion was that portion size was fine and taste and texture was better than average.
The accompanying potato-filled naan bread, something he had tried before, was also a revelation.
Overall, this was a pleasant meal. While I thoroughly enjoyed my main course, there was little else to really get excited about; however, I have paid a lot more for much less enjoyable dining experiences.
Thus, I’d recommend Cinnamon to readers as a new venue in Scarborough worth checking out.
Ratings out of ten: Food 7; menu choice 7; service 8; decor 8; ambience 7; overall 7.