Posted on Monday, 11th July 2016
The Cinnamon Club serves a refined style of modern Indian cooking, and is widely regarded as one of London’s best Indian restaurants. The Cinnamon Club recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and to mark this special occasion, the restaurant underwent a £1 million refurbishment. Set within the grand Grade II listed Old Westminster Library, The Cinnamon Club’s book lined shelves and traditional features have been updated and elevated with dashes of colour, contemporary furnishings and unique artworks. The result is a refreshed a convivial backdrop for what is a secluded and comfortable fine dining experience.
Chef Vivek Singh is one of the most successful and respected modern Indian chefs in Britain, and he also owns similarly named restaurants such as the City’s Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho. His elevated approach to Indian cuisine has resulted in a number of media appearances including a regular guest slot on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen as well as the publication of five cookbooks,
His menu at The Cinnamon Club is diverse and engaging, and also includes a selection of celebratory sharing dishes and sharing platters for between two and eight guests. As for the two of us, we went for the lazy Sunday menu (£40 for three courses, including a champagne cocktail – £35 from between 5.30pm and 6.30pm).
Our meal began with the Chef’s selection of canapes which were all delicious. These included an Indian mango purée in semolina shell which was sweet and tangy, a cumin and ginger flavoured lentil dumpling with tamarind chutney which was wonderfully spiced, and a delightful steamed rice cake with coriander chutney and curried yoghurt.
For our first starter we had the seared Gressingham duck breast with a spiced leg and mappas roll and served with sesame peanut crumble. This was gorgeous. The duck breast was divinely tender and the duck leg roll was wonderfully spiced. The fragrant nuttiness of the crumble was a perfect addition to the dish.
Kedgeree with smoked haddock and poached egg was in contrast a little bland. We couldn’t fault the runniness of the egg and the freshness of the fish. However we would have preferred more spicing and seasoning in the dish itself.
To mains and a roast saddle of Romney Marsh lamb with corn sauce, pickled root vegetables, masala and cashew nuts was lovely. The meat was tender and tasty, and the creamy corn sauce worked well with the lamb. The vegetables had been gently pickled and provided a touch of acidity to the dish. The masala was fragrant and the nuts added a crunchy contrast.
Wild Spencer Gulf king prawns with green mango coconut sauce and red quinoa was wonderful and delicious. The coconut sauce was dreamily good, and provided an explosion of flavours especially when eaten with the red quinoa. The prawns themselves were large and tasty, although I would have preferred prawns with a slightly firmer texture.
To desserts, and we both loved the spiced almond raspberry pudding with strawberry ice cream. The combination of the flavours was heavenly, with the spices in the pudding contrasting well with the strawberry ice cream. The pudding itself was moist and light, with a nuttiness in its texture.
Spiced red pumpkin and corn cake with popcorn ice cream was in contrast, a little less exciting. The cake was moist, but it didn’t quite sing with the flavours that its name was suggesting it had.
The Lazy Sunday menu proved to be a delightful dining experience. A few dishes were weaker than others, but on the whole the meal was delicious. It offered lots of wonderful contrasting flavours and textures, as well as being plentiful in choice and reasonably priced. It showcased what a good chef Vivek Singh truly was. The good food, combined with the delightful service and lovely setting completed what was a truly lovely Sunday evening.
1) The canapes were delightfully good, particularly the steamed rice cake.
2) The duck starter.
3) The lamb dish.
1) The spiced red pumpkin and corn cake, moist but unspectacular.
2) The Kedgeree
Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 4/5
Price: The lazy Sunday menu is £40 a head for three courses. £35 between 5.30 and 6.30. Excludes drinks and service. The a la carte menu is also available on Sundays.