Happy birthday eve to me! The Cinnamon Club is where inspiration to begin inher30s.com all began – a chance to write creatively and away from the day job where Excel spreadsheets reign supreme.
Thanks to London Restaurant festival which runs every year around this sort of time, we’ve managed to nab a deal – 3 courses for £40 which is decent given the reputation and quality of Cinnamon Club. The first port of call however is definitely a drink at the bar downstairs!
It’s a shame that the bar is somewhat shut away from the opulence of the restaurant itself with the ambience and decor of a hushed library, which is in fact exactly what it used to be. Nevertheless, it’s a pleasant start to the evening – drinks are at standard London prices although Husband was pleasantly surprised by the £4 tag on a Kingfisher. We had quite a wait for our drinks though so beginning to get a little hungry (hangry), we opted to take our drinks upstairs to our table.
After much discussion over the menu (quite extensive for a festival menu), to start, I opt for the Char-grilled Welsh Lamb fillet and Husband decides on the Tandoori breast of pigeon.
Verdict: exquisite! Earlier drinks crankiness forgotten, we tuck in, well actually demolish our starters. The lamb positively melts in my mouth, subtly flavoured but still packing a punch. The tandoori pigeon is similarly a taste explosion with none of the garish redness that accompanies the usual Tandoori fare.
Course 2: for me, Allepy tiger prawn curry while Husband opts for the smoked saddle of lamb with saffron sauce. The prawn curry was a clear winner, hot, smoky, spicy and completely divine. 3 absolutely giant prawns meant I happily shared my seeming never ending portion. While the lamb did also have a knock out flavour, it was simply that compared to the prawns, it didn’t stand a chance.
My only bug bear was that we seemed to be hurtling through our meal at an incredible pace. Water glasses were topped up with every sip (Admirable…but ultimately annoying), no sooner had we chewed our final mouthful, plates were whisked away and the next course presented. Given we were only seated just before 8:30pm on a Thursday night, it seemed unlikely that they could squeeze in another sitting… so why the rush?
Finally, dessert. I opted for the Dark Chocolate & Pecan nut pudding with Garam masala ice cream while Husband settled on the Honey Lime cheesecake. The chocolate pudding was a let down, seemed to me just a hunk of dark chocolate without any flavour, no complexity of taste saved only by the absolutely fantastic ice cream on it’s side.
Not being a cheesecake lover, I couldn’t offer objective judgement, but Husband assured me of it’s delicate and interesting flavour. A toffee/caramel birthday cheesecake was a pleasant surprise and much appreciated – although unfortunately, taste wise, it was fairly bland and unappetising.
All in all, we had a lovely evening. The food, while extremely tasty (especially the prawns!) didn’t seem to me to justify the premium that Cinnamon Club commands over other Indian restaurants such as say Dishoom in Covent Garden or even a particularly good curry house. Still, the food was lovely in a beautiful setting, but ultimately we felt a little bit down by the impersonal staff. As for the price tag, there’s no doubt this is a place to treat yourself for a special occasion.