I didn’t have to go far to get a taste of France. It took just two rides to get to Greenhills to discover the spirit of a hearty French meal in Brasserie CiCou Restaurant. Situated in the bustling commercial center of San Juan, Brasserie CiCou is what it markets itself to be—a perfect place for gatherings French (or you could say, Filipino foodies who crave for the exquisite French cuisine). In fact, the place can also be reserved for parties, business meetings or company functions even catering.
One thing about Brasserie CiCou, you’ll love the fact that French food did not received a tweak to suit the Filipino palate. I have some friends who have traveled to France and have eaten in the best restaurants there, they know what the original taste is supposed to be like and that is what they offer here at Brasserie CiCou. Too often, my friends would get disappointed once they know that a certain dish had been ‘modified’ while the restaurant continues their claim to be ‘authentic’. Fortunately, here at Brasserie CiCou, the menu captures the essence of an authentic French meal—helpings of delicious, no nonsense French food.
Brasserie CiCou’s ambiance may seem a bit formal just as it is in any typical French restaurants, but it has a homey and more comfortable dining set-up. Moms in particular would be happy to know that the restaurant created a corner meant for customers with kids to enjoy—colorful throw pillows, a huge giraffe and graffiti on the walls along with a stack of Lego bricks they can play with while waiting for their meals. They even have an open/transparent kitchen so people could see everything what’s going on and how the food’s being prepared.
Every element in the restaurant reflects France. It had created a French country look and feel. You can try French provincial food such as full flavored soups, stews, casseroles and roast in ample portions, served with hearty fruit and cheese salad (watermelon, avocado, melon, local goat cheese, arugula and herbed vinaigrette) salads and good table wine. If you’re in for something flavorful, try the kadaiff cones, prawns in lime and coriander, cucumber and yoghurt salad and orange foam or you might want some baked red mullet wrapped in herbs and filo pastry, broccoli-cheese soufflé and potato boulangere. And for the more adventurous, there’s braised rabbit in cider served with sweet potato homemade fries. With these kinds of foods, it is perfectly acceptable for diners to mop up their sauces or spread start their meals via spreading their choice of pate on their slices of baguette—just like the French do.
For starters, we were served with assorted Pamora Pates such as chicken liver pate, chicken breast and liver pate, chicken gizzard pate, chicken liver and gizzard pate, chicken breast pate, chicken breast and gizzard pate with some breads, along with a hefty of green salads, pickles and mustard and washed them down with white wine. The simple green salad makes a delectable light appetizer or entrée. Pate is a rich savory paste made from finely minced or mashed ingredients typically seasoned meat or fish. It is from French origin and is a staple in French cuisine.
It was followed by our main meal, a roasted coquelet rubbed in rosemary and garlic on a bed of mashed potato. It’s made with free range and high quality chicken from Abra’s Pamora Farm. Roasted Coquelet is served warm with the savory of the gravy playing against the rosemary herb and the soft buttery taste of the mashed potato. The chicken was moist and juicy, not to mention really tasty and filling.
The dessert is quite impressive with the Trio of Crème Brulee: Vanilla, Chocolate and Green Tea. They have just the right amount of sweetness and have textures that are quite lovely. The green tea crème brulee is such a revelation while the chocolate’s made from rich dark chocolate.
There are still a lot of dishes to sample on Brasserie CiCou. But I reckon you’d better want to check it out yourselves. Come and visit the restaurant yourself for more tasty surprises. The service at Brasserie CiCou’s friendly and cordial and the food, tres tres bon.
Indeed, Brasserie CiCou succeeds in bringing out the best flavors in their dishes, allowing each ingredient to shine through. A French food writer once said: “La cuisine, c’ est quand les choses ont le gout de ce qu ‘elles sont.” Good cooking is when things taste of what they are. So if you’re looking and craving for authentic French cuisine, Brasserie CiCou’s the place to be. It’s where you can enjoy simple, hearty French food without having to travel to France. As they claim, “Be in France for the price of a meal.”
Brasserie CiCou Restaurant is located at 57 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan (just beside OB Montessori and Instituto Culinario, across Promenade)
+ 632 661-9200
Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.