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|Address:||The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU|
|Tel:||020 7222 2555|
|Price: £64.00||Wine: £28.00||Champagne: £56.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 7.30am-12M (Sat 12N- )|
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Our first visit for a couple of years, and we were quickly reminded why we hadn’t rushed back. On arriving, the front desk had lost our reservation, and weren’t exactly over apologetic; ie it was clearly our fault. However, it was relatively quickly resolved by someone with a little more experience and tact, and a table found.
The Cinnamon Club attracts a mixed but slightly odd London crowd of Eurotrash, “special night outers”, politicos and associated PR / hangers on. Despite this, the atmosphere was quite pleasant, and certainly very buzzy, which we liked. They clearly do a roaring trade.
Some clearly don’t like it, but we thought that the ex-library décor and furnishing was very warm and pleasant, and a bit clubby but in a very nice way. However, we weren’t so keen on the modern bar downstairs. We really liked the upstairs bar, although service could have been better.
The food is PR’d and priced as very sophisticated, refined high end Indian. We felt that most of our dishes were quite mediocre, and lacked either real quality or excitement. The baby squid starter was fine, although a bit cold when delivered, and the Rabbit was simply uninteresting (@£12 pp). The mixed meat main course of 3 meats was perfectly fine, but really nothing special in either taste or quality of the meats. The squab was probably the best of the 3, but overall really not worth £37 pp.
We’ve always found front of house and service to be very mixed: At best professional, but I would never use the words charming and attentive. On previous visits, although not this time, service has been very slow. None of this matches the pricing.
The wine list is quite extensive, but with a bias to the more expensive end. You’ll probably need to spend at least £40-£50. Many wines are much more, presumably targeting our friendly MP and lobbyist expense accounts.
We spent £110 for 2 for 2 courses, ex drinks, ex service. Expensive and not worth it. Each to their own, but overall I really don’t understand the praise it receives from some, and we won’t be rushing back.