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115 Chancery Lane
020 7242 8373
With its olive trees, ivy-clad trellises and airy glass-roofed dining room, Cigalon transports diners to sunny southern France – you’ll even hear a soundtrack of chirping cicadas in the background.
Local legal eagles and regulars from the nearby French Chamber of Commerce choose from a first-rate regional menu that includes Provençal specialities such as pissaladière Niçoise alongside
Corsican charcuterie and cheeses, plus excellent seasonal dishes ranging from red-mullet carpaccio topped with shavings of poutargue (pungent smoked mullet roe) to rustic lamb shoulder with
artichokes and trompette mushrooms. Pretty desserts might include nectarine poached in rosé wine with lemon verbena and blackcurrant sorbet, while the drinks list is stuffed with rare regional
tipples. Cigalon does most of its business at lunchtime, thanks to wallet-friendly set menus and an express ‘plat du jour’ (£12 for two courses), although service ‘could improve’.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Restaurants with Gift Vouchers
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115 Chancery Lane
020 7242 8373
Temple Tube Station 404m
Chancery Lane Tube Station 426m
Chancery Lane 188m
Lincoln's Inn 199m
Mon-Fri 12N-2.15pm 5.45-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here. The service was great, a little slow, but that allowed us to enjoy the atmosphere and not rush our food. I had a lovely Lavendar and Lychee martini to start and then went for 2 courses - a starter and main meal. The food was really light but tasty and I left feeling comfortably full.
Food + drink: 4
I seem to have a predilection for restaurants named after insects with a nervous disposition. I am a big fan of Sauterelle, (Grasshopper) and also of Cigalon, named after the noisy cicadas that keep us awake on balmy summer evenings in the south of Europe. Interestingly, both restaurants are haven of calm in among the more stressful parts of London.
Cigalon is a refined restaurant and you know it from the moment you go up the steps into the elegant building. The room is large, the tables well-spaced, the look modern but comfortable. It is a place for friends or for colleagues who are about to cross the magic borderline. It is somewhere to interview someone as its atmosphere leads to confidences, to the speaking of deep truths, to be oneself. It is a place to impress a client with one's impeccable taste in restaurants. It is the venue to choose for someone accustomed to the 16e arrondissement. This may sound like nonsense, the result of a single if charming experience. It is not, as I have gone repeatedly to CIgalon and everyone who has joined me has felt the same.
The food is superb. It is imaginative and filled with unexpected flavours without ever seeming repetitive or formulaic. The kitchen is not behind double doors or hidden away. It is ever present and very much a part of the experience. It is only one more accomplishment of this outstanding restaurant to combine such a layout without detracting from the elegance or jarring against an atmosphere of hushed tones. Maybe the cooking is accomplished with silent devotion.
I return again and again to CIgalon. It means a longish walk and braving the crowds on Fleet Street. It is not perfect. Sometimes it takes a while to get the menu or the bill. Nevertheless, these are quibbles when a combination of excellent food and a congenial atmosphere has the habit of leaving me so utterly contented.
Went for dinner with a friend last night and picked Cigalon as it sounded nice and was in the right area. We both went for the 3 course set menu and the very reasonably priced accompanying drinks menu.
Starter was a bit of a surprise, and nothing remarkable (the wine was a very tasty Saumur).
Cigalon won us back by the excellent main course, a beautifully cooked piece of lamb neck with excellent accompanying flavours and a delightful (and very drinkable) Corsican red to accompany. This was my abiding memory of Cigalon and I'd highly rate their mains based on this.
Service was attentive and the atmosphere is airy and pleasant.
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Champagne Henry Dosnon (France) Wine Dinner
Test Drive – 5 courses tasting menu £29.50 per person
Domaine Masciarelli (Italy) Wine Dinner - 4 Courses & 4 Wines tasting menu £49.50 per person.
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