The Cinnamon Club situated in London’s Westminster district is a complete delight and quite possibly the best Indian restaurant in the world. Why?
Here are some compelling reasons:
• Stunning surroundings of the Grade II listed former Westminster Library
• Luxurious colonial feel to the bar/library and restaurant
• Constantly evolving menu
• Dishes created from Indian components, Indian cooking techniques and local produce
• Attention to detail both in terms of the food and service
• A little bit of politician spotting. Apparently the Cinnamon Club is a favourite to MP’s across the political divide – were there any expenses claims I wonder……….
The crowning glory of the Cinnamon Club is it’s stunning taster menu, which I was lucky enough to sample last week. What a treat!
Course number 1
My taste buds were initially teased by an amazing Norwegian King Crab and tamarind salad. Having been lucky enough to sample Alaskan King Crab, fresh from the Bering Straight, I kind of feel well positioned to say that this dish was a triumph. The crab was fresh and succulent, nicely offset by cured organic salmon.
Accompanied by a glass of Pas Saint Martin, Loire, France, 2007. A crisp, perfectly chilled white.
Course number 2
A stir fry of Red Sea Shrimp was next up. Delicately seasoned and spiced, accompanied by spinach. Really very delicious. My dining companion (who has a passing resemblance to London’s mayor Boris Johnson) yearned for seconds as did I!
Accompanied by a glass of Muscat Sec, Cae Des Vignerons de Frontignan, France 2008. The wines have obviously been carefully selected and this one fitted like a snug overcoat on a winter’s evening.
Course number 3
Crisp zucchini (courgette) flower with spiced vegetables / Mandarin and chilli sorbet. This one didn’t inspire from the menu description, but absolutely delicious and the perfect interlude before the main event.
Course number 4
Tandoori breast of Anjou squab pigeon with fruit ‘chaat’. Again heavenly seasoning and spices enhanced the already exceptional flavour of the pigeon.
Accompanied by delightful Chile 2007 Pinot Noir.
Course number 5
My favourite course, just a complete triumph. Char grilled monkfish, tomato lemon sauce. This was so tasty that my mouth is salivating as I write this – ok not a pretty thought but there you go….
Accompanied by Unoaked Chardonnay Akarua, Central Otago, New Zealand 2008 . I have to admit to not being a Chardonnay man, but this was passable and not stringent on the palate.
Course number 6
We were treated to two different courses both of which were memorable:
– Saddle of ‘Oisin’ red deer with pickling spices. This was cooked to perfection and bursting with flavour.
– Spice crusted fillet of Wagyu beef with stir fried morels, saffron sauce. My first try of the rather curious Wagyu (just google wagyu beef to see why it’s curious) was not a disappointment. Melt in the mouth, full of flavour and perfectly accompanied by succulent stir-fried morels. Ummmmm.
Course number 7
Mango fondant with chilled mango soup. I wouldn’t say this was the strongest course, but it did have a lot to live up to after the preceding meddly of pleasures! Nonetheless, refreshing and a perfect marriage with the dessert wine Moscato d’Asti, Vigneto Biancospino, Italy
Coffee and and petit fours rounded off a wonderful meal.
Things I would change? Not a jot, except possibly the unrelenting consumption of high octane wine, which did push me into a tipsy stupor on the way home!
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