Cigalon

115 Chancery Lane, Holborn, London, WC2A 1PP
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Review Summary from 1 review

Address
115 Chancery Lane, Holborn, London, WC2A 1PP

Telephone
020 7242 8373

Cuisine
French

Region
Holborn

Nearest Station
Temple (0.25 miles)

Website
http://www.cigalon.co.uk

Opening Summary

Monday to Friday
12 noon to 2.15pm / 5.45pm – 10pm

Restaurant Facilities

Children Welcome

Credit Cards Accepted

Music Played

Booking Advisable

Located on Chancery Lane, Cigalon brings Provence and Corsican cuisine to London.

Its green house glass-ceiling, double height dining room, reed fences and singing cicada, transport you effortlessly to Cannes or St Tropez without the excess baggage.

With secluded booths and cosy banquettes it is the perfect venue for lunches and romantic dinners.

If you are looking for something calmer, look no further and book our private dining room which seats 8 guests.

Downstairs, our bar Baranis offer great cocktails and wines in a 60's style inspired atmosphere. And with the UK’s only indoor pétanque, it is the perfect place for a leisurely lunch or a playful evening.

Cigalon Picture Gallery

cigalon - provencal and corsican re
cigalon - provencal and corsican re

All In London Review

a little piece of Provence in Chancery Lane

Tucked away in the heart of Chancery Lane is a little piece of Provence, dotted with olive trees and bathed in a sea of lilac. Outside, the London legal bustle continues, yet inside there is a sense of calm while sitting in the bright, airy high-ceiling dining room. The open kitchen at the rear allows a glimpse of the chefs quietly and efficiently sending dish after dish to the tables of suits chatting around the room.

Cigalon takes its name from a 1935 Marcel Pagnol film in which a pretentious chef opens a restaurant in a village in Provence. It remains empty while the locals flood to the simpler meals provided by the ex-washer woman who opens up next door. The name seems to fit. The food is simple and treated as it should be, the dishes would be welcomed in villages throughout the south of France. This is a testament to the skill of the chefs, who certainly have a higher pedigree than that of a laundrette, namely head chef Julien Carlon, from Pascal Aussignac’s stable at Comptoir Gascon. The prices are attractive as well, be it choosing from the lunchtime set menu or a la carte.

Three types of warm bread and a coarse tapenade with olive oil drizzled croûtes hit the table, followed quickly by the two starters. The lack of any butter seemed a mystery but a polite request to the attentive waitress and this was quickly rectified. The rustic cruditées came on a wooden block along with a ceramic pot of smooth hot anchovy dip doused in high quality extra virgin. The appearance of Romanesco and the unusual orange Cauliflower (high in vitamin A for the health conscious among you...) gave the dish added intrigue, and the temperature contrast between the hot dip and raw vegetables worked exceptionally well. The venison terrine was flavoursome, yet with only one pickled gherkin appearing alongside the onions and yellow courgette, the dish seemed slightly miserly in terms of pickle portions.

The mains were the standout dishes. A chunk of pork tenderloin was succulent and moist throughout, with excellent charring from the grill giving the outside a delightful caramelisation. This was served on a faux pewter china plate, with a few cracked hazelnuts and three large pieces of earthy beetroot, all accentuating the bold simplicity of the dish. The flavours worked excellently together, the only criticism being the largest beetroot could have done with a few more minutes baking. The smell rising from the hake instantly transported the table to the Mediterranean coast. The prawns were meaty, as was the generous slab of fish that fell apart at the prod of a fork. A pile of black Camargue rice was certainly al dente, and therefore potentially not to everybody's tastes. Yet the oozing jet black squid ink added to the drama and bordered by the light, bubbly, intense shellfish bisque the whole plate was brought together. Again a slight gripe with the fish skin not being as crispy as it should have been, but overall two excellent uncomplicated portions of food.

A bay leaf crème brûlée was just about large enough to share, although that led to the race of spoons to crack the caramelised top. The interesting bay flavour was subtle without overpowering, a satisfying dessert, doing its job very well without setting the culinary world ablaze. This humble crème brûlée seems an apt representation of Cigalon, the kind of food the people of that 1935 cinematic village would have wanted to eat. It appears this is the kind of food and atmosphere the staff have tried, and succeeded in creating. If an unfussy bit of Provençal cuisine is what you fancy, make the trip to Chancery Lane, you can even immerse yourself further downstairs in their bar, Baranis, by sipping a glass of Pastis and partaking in a spot of boules in the UK’s only indoor pétanque court, c’est la belle vie...

Reviewed by James Whiting
Published on Sep 8, 2011


Best For

London's most romantic restaurants - oooh-la-la! picture

London's most romantic restaurants - oooh-la-la!

When you're in the mood for love, or even just some lovin'...

Dishes inspired by Provençal cuisine are prepared in the exposed kitchen here, while diners benefit from intimate booths lit by candlelight, under a glass ceiling. It’s also ideal if you’re on a budget, as dinner can easily cost under £50 a head.

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The Nearest Alternatives

Cigalon

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