National Veggie Week: Bikini Girls review the sensational Spanish restaurant: Cigala
So, in celebration of national vegetarian week, the Bikini Girls Vicky and Deni headed into Bloomsbury to visit the family run restaurant, Cigala and sample their vegetarian menu offerings.
“If it isn’t fresh it isn’t on the menu”
A popular restaurant located in the heart of London that swears by the motto, ‘if it isn’t fresh it isn’t on the menu’. Cigala is situated on a lovely road which feels as though you have been transported into Western Europe; the interior of the restaurant is very traditionally Spanish – with white table clothes, brown furniture and an external bright red canopy.
As we headed down at 2.30pm on a week day we expected the restaurant to be fairly quiet being that most people would probably be at work. However, this definitely wasn’t the case – the restaurant was surprisingly busy giving off the initial reaction that clearly this was a good place to dine.
As we were reviewing the vegetarian and vegan options we decided to try a vast array of tapas plates as well as a tropical mixed salad (Ensalad Mixta, £9.20) .
By now most of you who read our blog know that Deni and I definitely aren’t the easiest to cater for, with Deni being an ethical vegan and me with my huge amount of food allergies and intolerances we always wonder just how well the restaurants we visit will cope… and of course let our readers know incase any of you suffer or choose to eat plantbased as well.
Vicky's favourite dish:
Vicky’s favourite dish came from the Tortilla Española (£5.70), a Spanish omelette made with organic eggs, potatoes and onions. As I am partly Spanish I love a traditional dish. The omelette was prepared freshly for me minus-ing the dairy because of my allergy – proving they could vouch for the fact each dish was freshly prepared. The omelette was filling, warming and deeply satisfying. I paired it with the grilled asparagus dish that had a delicious salty taste to it that created a pleasant juxtaposition of flavours.
Deni's favourite dish:
Deni loved the grilled aubergine dish, (Berenjenas alpujareña (£6.20) with red peppers, cumin and spices. Deni says, ‘The dish was roasted to perfection, it had the perfect melt in the mouth texture that was filled with aromatic spices.’ Deni accompanied her dish with the freshly baked bread, (Pan y aceite, only £2.90) with Amanda extra virgin olive oil that she says tasted incredibly fresh, warm and satisfying. ‘There may seem like a little too much oil at the beginning, but once you start dipping you’ll quickly devour it all – also its key to remember that the Mediterranean diet is very high in oil and they all look so healthy from it!’
We would recommend spending around £30.00 per person if you are coming to Cigala so you can try all of the different Mediterranean tastes of Cigala, perhaps slightly more if you want to try the meat options or if you decide to try the Cava – a Spanish version of Champagne which we definitely recommend as it really does make you feel as though you are on holiday.
The dessert options were a little less flexible for Deni and I due to our numerous dietary requirements, however we both were thrilled with the delicious options, Jake Hodges the founder of Cigala recommended for us.
I had the orange flan, ‘Flan de Naranja’ (£6.00) which was made purely from oranges, sugar and eggs. It had a smooth, silky texture that melted in the mouth and erupted with tropical, sweet and fruity flavours. I absolutely loved this dessert and would definitely recommend anyone to opt for it on the menu.
Deni had the Frutas al vino option which was made from a pear poached in red wine and cinnamon, normally served with cream but removed as Deni is vegan (£5.00). She said the taste had a rich kick to it that contrasted beautifully with the sweetness of the pear.