The other night Papa Lee and I went to The Cinnamon Club on Great Smith Street for dinner. The Cinnamon Club is a non-traditional Indian restaurant – they’re pretty fancy, innit. The service is very good, if a little stand-offish, but I guess that’s part of the schtick. We only got a smile out of the waitress at the end of the meal when she didn’t believe that I was Papa Lee’s daughter. Anyway.
Things kicked off with a pre-starter of a potato croquette with coriander and mint raita, conveniently on a little cocktail stick so that you can pop the whole thing in your mouth. Pleasant enough but nothing particularly spectacular.
My much anticipated main was the Tandoori breast of Anjou squab pigeon with black lentils & layered paratha, a dish I’ve had before and loved. However, the chef appears to have changed up the dish by making it a lot ‘wetter’ with the lentil sauce. Shame, really, because the pigeon is so beautifully tender and delicious and the sauce really drowned the flavours. The meat really is wonderful, though, and I’m not normally a pigeon eater. I don’t like the idea, but this is (was?) the only place that I’d willingly order and consume. We’ll see in the future…
For dessert we shared the tasting platter, which consisted of mango & mint ‘soup’, rice pudding creme brulee, blood orange tart, chocolate souffle (sooo delicious), sticky toffee pudding (divine), mango sorbet, Pistachio and green cardamom ‘Kulfi’ (wasn’t a fan), and lemon & coriander cake (too dry). Pretty good selection-wise, but flavours weren’t exactly mind-blowing.
I finished up with rose bud tea and Papa Lee had an Irish coffee. Perhaps on this third visit the restaurant has just lost its charm, but nothing particularly stood out. I think since the last time I visited the chef has changed and the truly outstanding dishes are now merely mediocre, which is a real shame. Still, the atmosphere is lovely and the service very attentive (even if they do give off the air that they’re better than you…) but it’s worth a visit if it’s your first time. A little more on the pricey side at about £70 per head (with two apertifs and no wine) so maybe save it for a special occasion.
The Cinnamon Club
30 Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BU
020 7222 2555
More recipes to come later this week. Until then, peace and love.