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26 June 2017


the most annoying thing about dining out - other than trying to choose what you want, is splitting the bill. especially if there's a whole bunch of you eating different amounts of courses, more expensive drinks than others, or if you're trying to budget. and there is literally nothing more annoying than being that one person who cowers at the phrase "shall we just split it evenly?" when you know you only had a starter and tap water and everyone else was on cocktails and side plates. so, when i heard that there was a new app on the market that claimed to take all the hassle out of the end of the meal, i was curious.

katy and i test-drove the cake app at a restaurant i've seen floating all over instagram lately: cinnamon bazaar, in covent garden. i used to work in soho and walk past the original cinnamon restaurant every other day, but only recently was introduced to cinnamon's little sister restaurant. just outside the busy market, and totally easy to spot - thanks to the pastel pink walls and bright green door welcoming you in. then there's the organza drapes as you step inside the restaurant's light and bright dining room; bright fuschia and vibrant as hell, the contrast between them and the hanging plants dangling down from the ceiling is hard to miss.

we'd both previously agreed to try the set menu, because it took all the pressure off ordering, and seemed to be the best value for money for us both (it's £21.50 for two courses, or £23.50 for three), and it includes a specially-designed mr. lyan cocktail as well. bonus points for throwing in an otherwise costly drink, guys! i went with the crab and beetroot bonda - which tasted nothing like crab or beetroot, and turns out "bonda" means "deep fried balls", and katy chose the lamb galuti kebab with flaky saffron parantha. she definitely won that course, because by the time i'd finished eating my dish i couldn't tell you what it tasted like. whereas katy was gloating long after about her tasty kebab. gah!

the main course pulled it out of the bag though. we both chose the pork belly. double cooked and served with a curried yoghurt and mint pesto type sauce, this dish was everything my taste buds had been hoping for. plus: it came with a side of black dahl and naan to share, which.. if you know anything about me, black dahl is my indian go-to dish because cheap, filling, and never any onions. so basically, this course was devourrrrred by us both, to a point where we were scraping the dishes for any sauce that could have possibly been left behind. that pork though? tender. sticky. delicious. i was 100% there for that pork.

we were totally stuffed and had no room for the third course, so ordered a bottle of wine to follow our mr. lyan cocktail instead. it was called the falooda swizzel (white rum, basil seeds, apricot liquer, and amaranth cress. utterly tasty, could definitely drink again), and costs £11 on it's own so i'm pretty sure the £21.50 deal is totally under-priced for the amount of value you get. maybe i shouldn't say that, in case it increases. a lot. which would make me sad.

the best part of the meal was when it came to paying. we'd opened a tab on the cake app when we'd arrived, and closing it couldn't have been easier. the waiter tapped a few buttons on his device, while we worked out how much we wanted to pay each and tapped a few on ours, and it was done. once your card is synced to the app, it takes care of it all for you when the time comes to pay. truly, it felt so much less stressed that the whole "i'll pay with cash, i'll pay with card, do you have the correct change" end-of-dinner scenario i normally have to look forward to.

truly: it's changed the way i want to dine, and that's pretty cool i think.

*yes, cake were kind enough to give me some credit to use, but all thoughts are my own.