Review of 'The Cinnamon Club'

We really do like the executive chef of the “Cinnamon” collection of restaurants Vivek Singh but more than that, we love his food having been to most of his restaurants: Cinnamon Kitchen (in the city), Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea and, more recently, Cinnamon Bazaar in Covent Garden. The ambiance is always amazing, the food always delicious, exciting and interesting, and the staff are great. With my birthday earlier this week we decided to give “The Cinnamon Club” a try with an amazing discount this month on their “Seven Course Tasting Menu” (£45 instead of £85 pp). A great opportunity to take in some excellent food at a great price. Yeah, it was wonderful.

Main Entrance

“The Cinnamon Club” is located in the old Westminster library, a short distance down the street (literally) from Westminster Abbey, on a street you would not really expect a fine dining restaurant to be. You could be forgiven for walking straight by as their sign is only a small brass plaque beside the door. We visited early on a Monday evening and the restaurant was quite busy though only the ground floor is currently open though they do have a first floor dining area that overlooks this. The main section of the restaurant has two walls lined with books (not entirely props here, they are actually real books with an assortment of titles, not simply legal proceedings from the last 100 years as is often the norm in restaurants of this type). There is a bench with seating along the two book walls but the chairs are quite comfortable with a handful of large booths on the opposite wall. Despite the wood flooring and harsh furnishings the space was remarkably quiet perhaps because the guests were all talking in lower tones and more relaxed?


The standard menu includes details of the tasting menu but there is a separate, rather large, drinks menu/book that generally features bottles rather than glasses (though there is a smaller drinks menu that has this as an option). We were seated alongside the books and made to feel very comfortable. After some confusion over what we wanted to order, I mistakenly asked for the “set menu” rather than “tasting menu” – they do have a three course “Early Dinner Set Menu” for £30 that ends at 5:45 – Fair play, our waiter actually came with this menu and offered it to us despite it being 7 pm! After this was cleared up we ordered our drinks and waited for the first courses to show. Very considerately, we were given a printed A4 paper with the tasting menu courses listed and our waiter described each course as it was delivered…

Amuse Bouche

Soon after our order was taken we were given a small “amuse bouche” which, today, was a chick-pea cake with a delicate sauce. Pleasant but not packed with flavour.


The appetiser was “Tandoori king prawns, Alleppey curry sauce” which was absolutely delicious with a single king prawn (shell on) served on top of a small salad and several smaller prawns with a spicy, delicious simple curry sauce where you could almost pick out each of the spices used. The prawns were not overcooked but succulent and tender. It was great that here the delicately spiced flavour of the sauce did not overwhelm the flavour of the delicate prawns.

First Starter

Our “first starter” was “Vesavara spiced lamb mille-feuille, smoked paprika raita” which was a bit awkward to eat but featured lamb cooked in three ways with a simple tandoori cutlet on the top, lamb sautéed in the middle and a ground lamb base. The “mille-feuille” was more like a light cracker adding a wonderful texture to the dish but not a lot of flavour.

Second Starter

Next up was the “second starter”, “Clove smoked Anjou squab pigeon, pumpkin chutney, masala peanut” with components separated on the plate. The pigeon was perfectly tender (quite pink, as it should be) with, again, another delicate sauce. The small deep-fried cylinder had shredded pigeon inside which was a nice surprise and the sauces that accompanied these were perfectly pitched to bring out the flavours of the meat. Being a fan of peanuts the spiced peanuts were also a treat that also provided a bit more texture to the plate.

Rest Course

On a roll now, next up was the “rest course”, “Mandarin and chilli sorbet” which was, thankfully, much more mandarin than chilli though there was ever so slight a tingle on the tongue while eating. The small single scoop of sorbet was wonderfully palette-cleansing and came at a good time after three fairly complex dishes.

First Main Course

On to the main courses, our “First Main Course” was “Char-grilled halibut fillet, Mangalore style curry sauce”. The fish was delicate and falling apart when you came any where near it with the fork but had little flavour. The accompanying broccoli was al-dente adding a crunchy texture to the dish. The sauce had slightly receded on the plate suggesting it had been sitting under the salamander for a short period of time, likely to finish the fish, but tasted nice. No incredible flavours anywhere on this plate but a good, hearty main with the strong meaty texture of the meat.

Second Main Course

This next course was certainly the most robust of all seven, the “Second Main Course” was “Tandoori venison saddle, Rajasthani pickling sauce” – A meat lovers dream with three good sized slices of well-spiced venison on top of a bed of cubed potatoes and all surrounded by the beautiful “pickling sauce” that brought some tartness to the dish with a few small slivers of pickled beetroot. Absolutely wonderfully executed with the rich flavours blending seamlessly into one another. It was also, by this time, quite a large portion and we were beginning to get full.


Our “Dessert” course was “Royal Punjabi kulfi, quinoa crumble” which was a perfect kulfi - Rock hard ice cream with a delicate flavour accompanied with the crunchy quinoa crumble that very much resembled the “Rice Krispies” breakfast cereal.

"Second Dessert"

The restaurant was aware it was my birthday so delivered to the table another dessert which we shared: A delicious “Masala Sticky Toffee Pudding” (with a candle stuck in the top) served on a plate with “Happy Birthday” written in (delicious) hard chocolate and accompanied by a hand written card from the staff with best wishes. Yeah, it sounds a bit trite to say, but it is nice to have this little bit of a personal touch: They did not have to provide a card never mind one that was hand written…The steamed pudding was delicious, delicately spiced, moist throughout with the delicious caramel sauce.

We were both more than full by this point…which is hardly the point of this exercise…but I will say we were happily full.

The Bill

Even with the discount the bill (delivered inside a book, of course; ours “The Wind in the Willows”) came to just over £126 for the two of us (without tip, with two orders of bottled water, and two drinks each) which sounds like a lot but when you consider we had 7 courses (8 1/2 if you count the sticky toffee and the amuse bouche) that is not too bad at all, and when you think back on the quality of the courses, we had a bargain!

An amazing evening with perfectly spiced and flavour-balanced courses. None were particularly spectacular (maybe the “mille-feuille”…) though they were all a surprise. The only complaint we have, if anything, is that each course seemed to come too quickly, it would have been nice to have had a few more minutes between them to allow us to appreciate the atmosphere and, er, digest. It seemed that only a minute after our plates had been cleared another course was delivered to the table. To be honest, we were eating quite quickly as the food was so good though trying to slow down and savour as much as possible so they may have thought we wanted the next course to be delivered sooner rather than later. In any case it was an absolutely wonderful experience.


As far as COVID safety is concerned, during our visit all of the staff were wearing face shields (bar one, who was wearing a mask) which made them often difficult to understand. The tables were all very well spaced apart and we generally felt very comfortable there (which is, I am sorry to say, quite a different experience than we had at Cinnamon Bazaar a few weeks ago).

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2020-10-26

Cuisine: Indian

Address: The Old Westminster Library, Great Smith St, Westminster, London SW1P 3BU ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE St. James's Park, TUBE Westminster

Location: London (England) - Westminster



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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7222 2555