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Never one to rest on his laurels, Vivek Singh has unveiled his new take on the Grade II-listed Old Westminster Library, and it's a stunning evolution. Playing to its strength, the book collection is now part of the Cinnamon Club's main dining room, while the neutral tones have been washed away in favour of slightly bolder duck-egg blues and calming greys. "Absolutely exquisite" new ideas sit alongside classics and family-style sharing dishes on head chef Rakesh Nair's updated menu, and each finely honed plate is flawlessly presented with "subtle style" – from a carpaccio of home-cured Shetland salmon (spiced to order and served tableside) to a deeply comforting Kerala seafood bisque served with a crab bonne bouche resting on the bowl's lid. To follow, char-grilled breast of Anjou squab is a masterstroke of flavour and texture, piqued with pumpkin chutney and crunchy peanuts, but we also dote on utterly tender roast saddle of Romney Marsh lamb with corn sauce – the grassy, nutty qualities perfectly complemented by a silky Burgundy from the terrific wine list. Polite staff "shimmer noiselessly" between tables, adding the final gloss to a memorable "epicurean experience".
The Cinnamon Club serves a refined style of modern Indian cooking, and is widely regarded as one of London’s best Indian restaurants. The Cinnamon Club recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and to mark this special occasion, the restaurant underwent a &1 million refurbishment. Set within the grand Grade II listed Old Westminster Library, The Cinnamon Club’s book lined shelves and traditional features have been updated and elevated with dashes of colour, contemporary furnishings and unique artworks.
More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »
Rather than follow his father into engineering, Bengal-born Vivek Singh chose a career in the kitchen, acquiring his classical training at five-star hotels including New Delhi’s Oberoi. In 2001, he brought his talents to London, where he opened The Cinnamon Club in Westminster with Iqbal Wahhab. Having established this clubby establishment as one of London’s finest Indian restaurants, he opened City outlet Cinnamon Kitchen followed by smart-casual sibling Cinnamon Soho in 2012.
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The private dining room occupies the old Reading Room of the former library, and is located adjacent to the Main Dining Room and has similar grandeur, marked out by luxurious, heavy blue drapes and attractive duck-egg blue walls. Glass panelling separates the two rooms, which allows privacy whilst at the same time retaining the feel of the restaurant. Ideal for either sit-down meals for up to 60 or standing canapé receptions for more.
Overlooking the main dining room, the Gallery offers guests a private area within the restaurant itself. Set above the main dining room, this eyrie benefits fully from the ambience and 'buzz' of the main restaurant below. The room is ideal for a range of informal events such as birthday, anniversaries, team celebrations, networking events and gastronomic receptions – from 12 to 32 (seated). One of our hiddengem favourites.
The Library Bar is the original Reading room in the old Westminster Library, and the room retains a relaxed atmosphere. The room is also available for private dining events at lunchtime and is ideal for smaller, more formal corporate lunches. Seating capacity 24 or 50 (reception-style).
Their award winning canapé, bowl food and range of set menus give you a range of options to choose from, so your guests can experience classic Cinnamon Club dishes like roast loin of Oisin red deer with black stone flower or Roast Gressingham duck breast with sesame tamarind chutney. Speciality cocktails and a beautifully selected wine list complete a very special private dining experience.
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