July 16, 2011

Cinnamon Club

I have been eating pretty well lately and a recent dinner at the Cinnamon Club added to the growing list of good dining experiences in London. My high school friend Caro had organised a surprise birthday dinner for her husband Neill and a few friends. Although the surprise was ruined by the restaurant calling to confirm the reservation, the dinner was still a treat for Neill and the group.

The Cinnamon Club is set in the former Westminster library but feels very light and relaxed. The cuisine is described as haute Indian and the restaurant is well known in London and now in it's 10th year. We started with a cocktail in the Club Bar downstairs which was modern and served a balanced selection of quality cocktails.

We then moved to our table and started with a tasty little amuse bouche which I cannot recall the details of. I skipped entrees but the selection around the table looked and tasted delicious: Roasted plaice with Bengali spiced crab; the carpaccio of cured salmon , tandoori salmon (yum!) and green pea relish; tandoori breast of Anjou squab pigeon or the pick of the bunch: spice crusted seared scallops with squid ink mash and achari cauliflower puree.

The mains were equally impressive with both meat and seafood dishes well cooked full of different flavours and lovely spices. Having skipped an entree (regretfully), I went for the tasting plate of anjou squab pigeon, tandoori loin of lamb and ‘Oisin’ red deer - a small portion of each with a bit of mash potato for £37. The lamb was the tastiest as the meat was tender and full of flavour. Caro also ordered the lamb whilst others had the pigeon or a pork dish. Neill had the hot and spicy prawns which I'm sure he enjoyed given how quiet he was during dinner. Some of us were a bit jealous looking at the enormous size of the prawns, the thought of which is making me hungry now. (Gosh blogging is tough!) Not being much of an Indian sweets fan, I gave desserts a miss but a few of the guys shared the tasting plate of assorted desserts for £25.

All in all a great night - excellent service (knowledgable and friendly), fantastic food which I could eat over and over again, and a great setting. Add to that a good selection of pre and post dinner cocktails/drinks and good wines (we went for the reliable, easy drinking Indian red wine from Sula vineyards) and of course great company and laughs. The Cinnamon Club experience will be one to remember.

What: The Cinnamon Club
Where: The Old Westminster Library,30-32 Great Smith Street,London SW1P 3BU
How much: Starters average £8, Mains average £20, Desserts average £7.50

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