Cinnamon Club was such an amusing experience for us. First off, it's such a gorgeous space. Second, it's in the middle of Westminster, which is an absolute ghost town after work. Third, the service/decor/everything is so damn pompous, though not really in an off-putting way. I'm not sure about the ethical questions about trying to imitate the golden era of colonialism, but it is an interesting little trip.
We had some more service issues; in this case, we were seated about 35 minutes after our reservation time. I don't mind a wait, and their little bar is one of the better places to wait in the world, but they shouldn't have told us it was only gonna be an extra five-ten minutes...
The food though was extraordinary. I rarely eat Indian, mainly because it's so mediocre in LA, and though it's a bit better in NYC where I've been the last couple years, I'm still not sure it's worth the jaunt into Murray Hill... Cinnamon Club was destination worthy though. The nuance and the lightness in the cuisine was remarkable. Is there anything in the US that comes close to this?
We played it safer than I woulda liked to because we were with a less adventurous guest, but here's what we got.
Tandoori octopus with chutney aloo: I've no idea if octopus is commonly used in Indian cuisine (and I'm sure some regions and sub-cuisines use it much more than others) but this was wonderful. Reminded me almost of Cosme's or Taco Maria's al pastor fish-dishes. Or even like a Guerrila Taco type dish.
Then we did the king prawns with mango coriander sauce and rice vermicelli. These were perfect and relatively simple...
Finally, we did the butter chicken for the table. The waiter said that although this dish seems pretty standard, it was actually one that the chef had spent the most time researching and perfecting. Sensational. It's hard to recommend butter chicken at a place like this, but I've very rarely had better chicken in my life. The black lentils and naan were perfect accompaniments.
Thanks so much for the recs. Where are you going for your last meals in the city?