We had been eager to try some ‘modern Indian’ for quite some time. So when I saw a special deal for a 4 course tasting menu for £40 at Cinnamon Clubthrough the ‘Taste of London’ taste club, I thought it was too good to be true. Regardless, we booked, confirmed and let the excitement build.
Alas, it was too good to be true! On arrival, no one seemed to know what ‘taste menu’ we were talking about. The head waitress consulted with the chef and informed us that the restaurant had not yet confirmed this special deal with the promoter. Upset? Yes. But what could have been a disappointing experience was turned around by the restaurant and for that I give them major snaps! They kindly offered us a complimentary glass of champers and being the hubby’s birthday, we graciously accepted.
The restaurant itself is quite refined as it’s in the former Westminster library, complete with a mezzanine containing shelves of smart looking books. Thankfully there is no need to abide by the usual library rule of ‘no talking’.
Whilst there was an extensive tasting menu (that sounded delicious and later we found also looked delicious), we decided to order a la carte. A nice surprise was the complimentary pre-starter which was a spiced potato cake with some sort of chutney. As soon as we tasted this delight, we knew we were going to be eating some pretty tasty food!
Our starters were amazing! Chris had the tandoori breast of black leg chicken (which apparently is a chicken with more muscle) with fresh fenugreek. It was so tender and full of flavour he actually ate it slowly so that he could savour the moment! I had the zucchini flower which was full of chopped veggies that were intensely spiced and had an incredible kick!
We were then presented with another complimentary tasting dish of spiced vegetables with some sort of toasted bread which again was flavour and spice packed!
Our mains were also dishes to get excited about. Chris had the house specialty tandooori king prawns with coconut malai curry and steamed rice. As soon as his plate was set down, we both gasped due to the sheer size of the prawns – they were massive! We were later told they are flown in from the India/ Bangladesh region where prawns of that size is common. The dish was spectacular – succulent and perfectly flavoured with the coconut curry!
My main was also brilliant – not quite as good as the prawns, but still a fantastic new flavour combo to try. I had the black bream fillet (which is actually white, but I guess just named ‘black bream’ like ‘black cod’). It was crusted with a red berry called kokum, and tomato and I think it even had almond and coconut in there.
By this time we were pretty full, but being the dessert lover that I am, there was really no chance of leaving just yet! We ordered the chocolate trio – warm chocolate mousse, white chocolate parfait and milk chocolate ice cream. As hoped for it was a chocolate sensation! The mousse was more like a fondant but with more runny chocolate, so intense and smile-inducing!
What was even more smile inducing however was the special treat we were given… I had earlier requested a candle in the dessert to surprise Chris for his birthday, but it had arrived bare. The waiter discreetly nodded to me to wait a few moments and he then returned with a complimentary birthday dessert platter! Definitely the highlight of the evening…for me anyway! Such a nice gesture from the restaurant and it meant we were able to taste other treats such as a peach sorbet, a mango fondant, an orange cake, and marinated fruit skewers. All topped off with a chocolate ‘happy birthday’ slab – nice!
Cinnamon Club really impressed us – both with the quality of the food and the service. It shows that Indian food can be so much more than a standard tikka masala curry. Definitely one to try for luxury, modern Indian!
The Cinnamon Club, The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith St, SW1P 3BU
t: 020 7 222 2555; e: email@example.com; w: www.cinnamonclub.com