Last week we reviewed new bar Baranis and its indoor petanque court. Directly above it is Cigalon. It has the same owners (the people behind Club Gascon), the same chef (Julien Carlon, also chef at Comptoir Gascon) and the same building (the old Hodgson’s auction house) but couldn’t be more different.
The bright colours of Baranis are swapped for sophisticated shades of grey and trendy rounded purple sofa-chairs that give a friendlier edge to the fine dining getup.
Sticking firmly to the Provencal theme, Cigalon’s menu is more about simply showing off good ingredients than the fancy French terms would suggest. A starter of beef Canneloni with bone marrow boasts such soft, tender meat that the question is how many days the beef’s been cooking rather than how many hours. A main course of rolled rabbit haunch is again expertly cooked, though it’s the pairing of the accompanying Jerusalem artichoke puree and juniper infused jus (come on, it’s gravy) that’s pure genius.
It’s good to know there’s no overlooking of pudding, either. An impressive selection includes a dark chocolate and aniseed tart that could only be faulted for a distinct lack of aniseed, and a mysteriously named “Citrus Treat”. This features sorbet, jelly, candied peel and purees from just about every citrus fruit known to man, and is a refreshing end to a hearty meal. A treat indeed.
Prices average out at around £6 for starters, £14 for mains, and £5 for puddings, which is a lot less than many restaurants serving far less exciting food. The all-French wine cellar downstairs is shared with Baranis and offers an extensive range at varying price points. If you go, just make sure you stop chewing and chatting for long enough to hear London’s most bonkers background soundtrack – piped crickets. It will make you feel like you’re in Provence, apparently.