Cigalon, London

9.04.2015

"We can't define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers... One saying to the other; you don't know what you are talking about! The second one says: what do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? What do you mean by know?"
- Richard Feynman

Brilliancy is not for bragging. If you're talented, you will get noticed with reward. I think I have found the restaurant that shine the brilliance. Cigalon, name for crickets in French is a restaurant specialised in Provençal cuisine. Tucked in among lawyer's office, mainly businessmen dining on the day. With high ceiling, natural light shining in (perfect for photos), discreet pink banquette booth and potted olive trees. The décor was welcoming.

Menu

Champagne Cocktail

I have no doubt on the culinary skills, from the mastermind of the Michelin Gascon team. We choose to dine for the excellent valued star deal set menu from Bookatable, 3 course and a cocktail for a fantastic mere £20. Champagne cocktails was served upon arrival, it was a rather sweet drink but delightful.

Bread Selection with Tapenade

Watermelon, Cured Ham, Ricotta & Rocket Salad

Grilled Mackerel, Fennel Salad & Sauce Vierge

Whetting the appetite was bread selection with punchy tapenade, a change from the usual butter and reflecting on the Provençal side. My companion had the watermelon and cured ham which he wasn't too keen on. It was the watermelon which he thought did not go with the ham. On the other hand, I thought it was paired differently from the usual melon and it worked. My grilled mackerel was cooked nicely with a crispy skin, acidity coming from the sauce vierge and all balanced by the fennel salad.

Crispy Suckling Pig Belly, Roasted Squash & Grapes

Mixed Leaves Salad 

Black “Niçoise” Olive Mash

We both had the same main, crispy suckling pig belly with perfect crackling. I can still remember that bite of the crunch, the meat was melt in the mouth texture with a big chunk of cooked squash. Needless to say, it was delicious. The photo does not show how big the pork was, but it was a decent size that we over ordered on the sides thinking it would not be enough. Nicely dressed vinaigrette on the mixed leaves salad. It is a first for me, to have black olives in a potato mash giving extra flavour and dimension. I liked it, what I liked even more was the mini staub bowl that was served in.

Darjeeling Tea

Mini Madeline

Lemon Panna Cotta & Red Berries Compote

Charred Tome de Brebis & Black Cherries 

We shared a pot of Darjeeling tea with complimentary mini madeline that was still warm. The tea is from La Via del Tè, an Italian teahouse based in Florence. It is not the best Darjeeling tea but still drinkable. Honestly I was already full by now, knowing I somehow needed to make room for the dessert. The lemon panna cotta was creamy, not too sweet and the sharpness of the red berries compote was spot on. The Tome de Brebis is a semi-hard ewe's milk cheese and it has a wonderful, sharp and salty taste. I love cheese, I really do and I really like the Tome de Brebis with thin slices of toasted bread and the tangy black cherries. This was more than enough, that I wanted more cheese.

With the meal, we had a carafe of Domaine de la Citadelle "Le Chataignier" 2014, Luberon. Fresh and fruity, brilliant with the fish and surprisingly it worked with the suckling pig too. The palate is medium bodied, silky and full of apricot and with a crisp, dry finish.

This is a hidden little gem, the food was slick and talented. The star deal set menu proved to be a bargain, £20 for 3 courses and a cocktail and can easily be booked via Bookatable by choosing the set menu choice rather than a la carte. Service was top notch attentive and warm. I had no complaint, well maybe a little too much food I ate. I must say if you are good at doing something, you will get noticed soon and perhaps more people will start noticing this restaurant.

Score Rating: 3.5/5
Price: ~£30/person

I was invited to review.

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