Cigalon 1

115 Chancery Lane , London, WC2A 1PP

020 7242 8373

Visit Cigalon

8 reviews

44 French Covent Garden

SquareMeal Review of Cigalon

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’.

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Cigalon is recommended for

Cosy | Formal | Glamorous | Quiet Conversation | Traditional | Romantic | Special Occasions Under 40S | Brunch

Special offers

Test Drive – 5 courses tasting menu £29.50 per person

This offer is available 05/02/18, 05/03/2018, 09/04/18, 08/05/18, 05/06/18, 02/07/18, 06/08/18, 03/09/18, 01/10/18 and 05/11/18.

From: 05 February 2018

To: 05 February 2018

Max: 0

Château Musar (Lebanon) Wine Dinner – 4 Courses & 4 Wines tasting menu £49.50 per person

This offer is available 24/04/2018, 22/05/2018, 26/06/2018, 24/07/2018, 28/03/2018, 18/09/2018, 23/10/2018 and 27/11/2018.Menu changes monthly

From: 23 January 2018

To: 23 January 2018

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Temple Tube Station 404m

Chancery Lane Tube Station 426m

Address

Address: 115 Chancery Lane , London WC2A 1PP

Area: Covent Garden

Opening times

Mon-Fri 12N-2.15pm 5.45-10pm

Nearby Landmarks

Chancery Lane 188m

Lincoln's Inn 199m

Details

Telephone: 020 7242 8373

Website:

Cuisine: French

Private Dining: 8

7.1

Food & Drink: 7.5

Service: 7.1

Atmosphere: 7.0

Value: 6.5

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Chantel B. 02 November 2016

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: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.0

Frank C. silver reviewer 03 March 2015

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.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Alex W. bronze reviewer 09 May 2014

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.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

William l. 15 December 2013

No request of management is too small to be ignored. Call a cab? 'We don't do that'. Provide an extra plate so that one can remove the fish one bones oneself to a clean one. No wonder the place was empty on a Friday night when most restaurants were full? given the cafeteria layout one wonders what the noise level is when full, if it ever is.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Jan W. 05 November 2013

We often come to Le Cigalon for pre cinema meals and use the set menu as it is such good value and changes frequently so you do not get bored with choice. The set menu dishes are imaginative and I highly recommend.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Junglefresh. gold reviewer 27 March 2011

I've now been to Cigalon three times. The first time, I thought the light and the setting attractive, and the “get-up” of the waitresses (tight black trousers, white shirt, black braces) quite fetching – but the food a touch disappointing and the value so-so. I went back a second time as I am fond of French cuisine (clue in image used for I.D.). I enjoyed the salade nicoise and the guinea fowl too, while the wine was good value. Also enjoyed pouting waitress. So when I was invited back last week, I was looking forward to it. Ah well, should have quit while I was ahead. Clearly this is now a place that thinks it has arrived. The delays in every stage of the proceedings were really irritating, the waitress (a different one) had “dead eyes”, if you know what I mean, and even the manager coming in to take an order did not result in things improving. The food was still slightly better than what I consider to be average acceptable standard – but the whole experience became frustrating an irritating for everyone with our host pretending not to notice that his guests were now hyperventilating with stress to leave for afternoon meetings. If you decide to try it out, I suggest that you go “a la carte” rather than the prix fixe menu as those of our party who did made some appreciative comments. Those – like me – who tried to be “good guests”, did not. On the latest evidence, this restaurant has in less than one year opened, got itself going, attracted reviews from three “Gold Reviewers”, peaked and now seems destined to alienate. Perhaps a bit harsh, but the problem for me is, I just don't want to rush back to find out !

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Sabrina's Passions platinum reviewer 06 December 2010

French food can often be somewhat hit-and-miss in London and in all fairness, the same could be said about Paris. Cigalon seemed to arrive out of nowhere, slap bang in the heart of the city proving handy for those who dwell here along side me. Starters are priced reasonably at around £6-7 maximum, which is refreshing although admittedly not very exciting with just 5 choices including salad Nicoise, Soupe au pisto and rather bizarrely, a beef cannelloni with bone marrow… not sure I could stomach such a heavy starter, so vegetable tart it is. The tart is sub-mediocre and in hindsight would be a better choice during the summer, perhaps with a light crumbling of goat's cheese to give it some of the substance it greatly lacks. Main courses certainly promise more than the somewhat lacklustre starters with lamb tripe and trotter stew, which although not for me, is pleasingly authentic. And although the rib of veal is beckoning me to select it, I opt for a lighter dish of wild seabass with a sauce vierge (which ludicrously you have to pay £2,50 extra for!) and a side of somewhat limp vegetables. The fish was just as I had hoped, meltingly soft and perfectly paired with my chosen sauce. Was it excitment beyond my wildest expectations? No. It was nice and it hit the spot. We skipped dessert as service was a bit patchy and although Cigalon was nice and the interiors are certainly very pleasant, there seems to be an absence of some kind of cohesion between the service, the food and the ambience… It was a decent enough meal, but with no wow factor and with the prices not particularly cheap, it wouldn't merit a return visit. There are better places to eat in the City and there are CERTAINLY better French restaurants in London. The Galvin brothers may not be French, but their restaurants beat Cigalon hands down in the food sweepstakes!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 23 November 2010

My follower on these pages (thank you mum) will realise that I am on something of a personal quest to fine the perfect French bistro in London. Cigalon, whilst far from perfect, is an excellent addition to the mini-revival of the French bistro in London. Not so much French, as Provençal, this small restaurant sits atop a fun little wine bar. The room is lovely light and airy, with a big skylight running most of the length of the room, although was half empty when we went. The kitchen is at one end of the room, open to the world. Down the middle are a series of semi-circular banquettes, and these are the nice ones to go for. Service is friendly and warm, although when we were there, the atmosphere was a little thin: we had been moved away from a table of nine, as the staff were worried about the noise that should eminate from such a large group. Maybe they were all accountants from the nearby Deloittes office, but even they couldn't raise the buzz above the piped-in sound of cicadas that, I assume, is supposed to remind you of a sunny day in the hills above Aix. We started with a lovely fresh vegetable soup with pistou and a slowly braised beef in cannelloni. The former was light and fresh, the latter unctuous and satisfying, a lovely treat on a cold, miserable November day. Mains too held up well – the pied et paquettes (tripe and trotters), was the finest example that I have ever had: far, far better than many actually tried in the heart of Provence. The loin of pork too was well cooked, coming with a smear of green and an artichoke. OK, this doesn't strike me as a “smear” kind of restaurant, but what the heck, they can have their one nod to a modern trend. The wine list is, as you would expect, heavy on Provence and prices are good. We had a lovely white from Chateau Carnogue: a very picturesque vineyard that featured heavily in Ridley Scott's A Good Year. Truly dreadful film; truly lovely wines. And just to prove that every day is a school day, I found out that the grouse on offer had not been shot by some be-tweeded toff on the heather of bonny Jockland, but had instead been shot by some Gauloises smoking aristo in Haut Provence. Now I didn't know that they had grouse in France (and wikipedia is no help whatsover on the subject), but my trusty RSPB guide to European birds does indeed confirm that the Black Grouse lives (and dies) in South Eastern France too. I will be back, but be warned: if you decide to repair to the downstairs bar afterwards, there is a boule range (field/court or whatever it is called – again, wikipedia, where are you when you are really needed?). This may sound like a lot of fun, but after a long lunch and a snifter or two, it is utter madness to allow people to throw two pound steel balls around. I should just like to apologise in advance for everyone I am going to annoy in the coming months.

Special offers

Test Drive – 5 courses tasting menu £29.50 per person

From: 05 February 2018

To: 05 February 2018

Max: 0

Château Musar (Lebanon) Wine Dinner – 4 Courses & 4 Wines tasting menu £49.50 per person

From: 23 January 2018

To: 23 January 2018

Max: 0

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