30-32 Great Smith Street
Yet again, I've managed to be the lucky beneficiary of a free meal courtesy of some promotion or another on twitter. Yes, I'm a jammy ****, but you gotta be in it to win it, heed my advice and keep your eyes on the prize, especially during a time like London restaurant festival.
This was a Amex LRF event called 'Kitchen influentials' with Vivek Singh, of the Cinnamon Club, and Eric Chavot, who was head chef at the Capital hotel restaurant when it claimed it's 2 michelin stars (and subsequently lost, when he left). So with this pedigree I was eagerly anticipating their preset menu, what french influences would Chavot add to these . However, 12.30pm on a sunday is quite early for me, and would normally only just about be contemplating breakfast, so wasn't sure how awake my stomach would be to handle a full indian!
|Cucumber and mint soup with lamb seekh kebab and duck samosas|
The Cinnamon Club is in a grade II listed building, formerly of the Westminister library, the seating area is very gradeur with some of the book cases kept on the top level, a nice reminder of the past. The decor is perhaps dated, but I suppose the scope for renovation is limited in a place like this. With the high ceilings, impecable staff, and open plan seating there is a strong air of sophistication that comes from eating here. I felt awkward taking pictures, exposing myself as a commoner (blogger) and risked be chucked out back into the gutter. But the staff were friendly, although at times inaudible when describing the dishes. The sommelier was great, and the phrase 'peppery undertones' in a french accent, really swayed me for the choice of red wine.
For canapes, we had duck somosas, lamb sheekh kebab, and cucumber and mint soup as a palate cleanser after the quite intense flavours of the kebab. The duck samosas were great, the pastry thin and crumbly and the richness from the duck inside was fantastic. The kebabs certainly packed a punch, with quite a lot of chilli in there, the cucumber and mint wasn't that flavoursome, but definitely what was required to get the heat out of my mouth before the salmon course
|Cured salmon with green pea and mustard relish|
So much appears to have gone into this dish it was anything but a simple starter, while not being overly complex. The cured salmon is nice makes a vast difference from smoked. The sweetness and the crunch from the caramelised croutons with the sharpness of the mustard relish and the smooth jellies. Fantastic attention to detail of flavours and textures to compliment each other.
|Tandoori pigeon breast with pigeon burger, quail egg, and spicy lentils|
Cinnamon club are renowned for their use of game meats, the main dish consisting of pigeon, quails egg, burger, and spicy lentils. If that wasn't enough we also had biryani rice, black lentils, garlic naan bread. I really could have that pigeon everyday, perfectly cooked, I never knew a pigeon could melt in my mouth, but now I know. I'm really going to have to up my game to have more of it. However, the lentils were too salty for me and over powered the pigeon slightly.
|Coconut rice pudding with exotic fruits and passionfruit sorbet|
The dessert was lovingly described by Chavot, well to the next table who he seemed to know, my eaves dropping skills have increased. This as another level of pure indulgence, again bringing so many textures together of the raw fruit, the fried plantain, passion fruit and the crumbled hazelnut.
This truly was a fantastic experience, leaving with wide grins on our faces, we had got through land, sea, air and..er..pond, and all before 3pm. The normal menu is a bit pricey, but they quite regularly have deals on their website 2 courses for £22.