A couple of months ago it was decided that London was the right place for our end-of-fiscal-year review. England in June? Hey, you can’t knock a quick trip across the pond in summertime, even if you know in advance that the meetings are going to be a tad intense & that you’ll barely get to see the light of day. London, like Seattle, has days that last forever in the summer. Sun’s up at 5 am and hangs around until almost 10 pm. Maybe we’d get to see some daylight after all.
If you’re going to travel half way around the world to huddle in a locked conference room with 8 other people for half a week, you’d better make sure you have a smashing dinner lined up at some point in the proceedings. The remit was as follows: within walking distance of Victoria Station, private dining, great food. Oh, and no breaking the bank. Yikes. Food in London just ain’t cheap these days.
I trawled the Internet, scouted recommendations from friends on the other side & generally did my homework. I’m like that. It’s how I roll. I’m just not about to have 8 people travel in from all 4 corners of the globe & not make sure they’re as happy as can be.
After a not-insignificant amount of time perusing the options, I decided on a private space at The Cinnamon Club, a 10 minute stroll down the street from our offices & a 15 minute walk back to the hotel. Rave reviews on their food & a stunning grade-2-listed building to add to the ambiance of it all. Perfect.
Turns out, it pretty much was, perfect. The Mezzanine, where our private table was set up, overlooked the main restaurant, affording us gorgeous views of the interior of the building. The service was brilliant, especially given that we were in England – so *not* the Land of Customer Service. The folks at The Cinnamon Club just know how to put on a dinner. And they know how to make you feel like you’re the most important dinner guests they’ve had there all year. Splendid, old chap!
I admit it, I really wasn’t paying as much attention to the food as I usually do. Well, after all, this was a business dinner, and however fun & social the chatter, it still wasn’t the time or place to be concentrating on photographing or memorizing with any exactitude all about the food. I do know, from the repeated rounds of “Wow!” & “This food is amazing!” that ran around the table all night long, that I can recommend The Cinnamon Club without any hesitation. This was incredible Indian food.
Here, for your visual pleasure is the gallery.
An Amuse Bouche to get things started. I simply cannot remember what it was. Except that is was really good.
Naan bread came out piled in wooden baskets.
Tandoori breast of Anjou squab pigeon
This was one great tasting pigeon. Superbly blended spices with just a touch of heat. And of course, I simply had to have the pigeon. How often do you see pigeon on a menu in the US?
Stir-fry of English asparagus with ‘kadhai’ spices, yoghurt gnocchi
Char-grilled Welsh lamb fillet with nutmeg, sweet bread bhaji
Smoked saddle of lamb with saffron sauce, ground lamb kebab
One of the things I love about England – they eat a lot of lamb. Once again, superbly spiced with a hint of heat.
Hot and sweet king prawns with Alleppey curry sauce, brown rice
Cauliflower and smoked buffalo cheese parcel with stir-fried green pea and potato
There were also sides served family-style around the table:
- Masala chicken livers with green peas
- Black lentils
- Tandoor roasted aubergine crush
- Cumin flavoured yoghurt with cucumber
- Pilau rice
- Mashed masala potatoes
- Selection of breads
Who knew Indian desserts were so interesting and diverse? And spectacular.
Selection of English cheeses with quince chutney and dried fruit naan
Warm chocolate mousse with white chocolate ice cream
The orange sauce that the ice cream was floating in was extraordinary. It transformed the ice cream into something other-worldly.
The Warm Chocolate Mousse was absolutely incredible. I never had Indians down as being fantastic Pastry Chefs. I was so wrong. This is one of the best chocolate desserts I have eaten in my life. And that’s saying somethin’.
Replete & happy, the 15 minute stroll back to the hotel in the warm summer breeze was the perfect end to a truly fun and delicious evening.
THANKS! Cinnamon Club for making our few hours of escapism as good as it could possibly be.