Westminster’s “majestic” nouvelle Indian, The Cinnamon Club, reopens this week following a £1 million renovation ahead of its 15th birthday celebrations in March 2016. It has long been the jewel in Vivek Singh’s restaurant empire crown (which includes Cinnamon Soho and Cinnamon Kitchen) thanks to its extraordinary location in the Grade II listed former library building near Westminster Abbey.
Indeed the majority of our reporters still acclaim its “thrilling take on contemporary subcontinental cuisine” and that its place as one of London’s foremost Indians is undiminished after 15 years. Last year, however, feedback in our survey was a little more up-and-down than it has been in the past – so perhaps a new look and menu is exactly what the restaurant needs?
The Cinnamon Club’s book-lined shelves and traditional features have been updated and elevated with dashes of colour and contemporary furnishings. Singh and his head chef Rakesh Ravindran Nair have developed a menu that combines signature dishes with new items and celebratory sharing platters, which are carved and served table-side for two-eight diners. There will also be a unique gin trolley making rounds of the tables offering cocktails from lunch through to supper.
On the menu: Milk-fed Herdwick lamb (slowly-braised shoulder of lamb from the Lake District served with saffron sauce, pomegranate pilau, burhani raita and coriander chutney); and Old Delhi style butter chicken on the bone, with black lentils and garlic naan.
A three-course set feast for tables of four or more includes: Kerala spiced seafood bisque flamed with brandy; banana chilli with fenugreek, raisin and bitter gourd in chickpea batter and spiced banana tarte tatin with thandai ice-cream.
Game and fish classics remain on the menu, including: Wild Spencer Gulf king prawns with coconut ginger sauce and red quinoa and clove smoked grouse breast with rustic tawa mince and black lentils. The 10-course tasting menu will feature new seasonal options like: Carpaccio of home-cured Shetland salmon with green pea chutney; and roast loin of Oisin red deer with black stone flower and onion reduction.
Unique artwork showcasing the heritage of the building adorns the walls of The Gallery – formerly the Mezzanine – which the Reading Room affords private dining for up to 60. Both bars have also been updated and sport a new cocktail menu.